South Carolina vs. Kentucky: Game Preview, Prediction

By Tim Letcher
Jeff Blake, USA TODAY SPORTS
Jeff Blake, USA TODAY SPORTS

After two tough road games, the Kentucky Wildcats return home on Saturday to face the South Carolina Gamecocks in an SEC matchup.

Kentucky was able to escape road challenges twice in the last week. Last Saturday, the Wildcats got past the Florida Gators 68-61 in Gainesville. On Tuesday, the LSU Tigers had a shot to beat the undefeated Wildcats, but Keith Hornsby‘s three-pointer missed, allowing Kentucky to get out of Baton Rouge with a 71-69 win.

The Wildcats are now 24-0 and are looking for history on Saturday. Only Kentucky’s undefeated team in 1953-54 started a season at 25-0, and this year’s squad could match that feat by beating South Carolina.

Sophomore guard Aaron Harrison leads the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game. His backup, freshman guard Devin Booker, is second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.8 points per game, while shooting a sizzling 46.1 percent from three-point range.

South Carolina appeared to be heading in the right direction after a January 3rd upset of the ninth-ranked Iowa State Cyclones. That win made Frank Martin and his team 9-3 on the season and carrying a ton of momentum.

However, since that win, something has not clicked with this team. The Gamecocks are 3-8 in SEC play and have lost two of their last three games.

Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell leads the Gamecocks in scoring at 11.5 points per game, while sophomore guard Duane Notice averages an even 11 points per contest.

When these two teams met in January, South Carolina was able to hang with Kentucky for a while before the Wildcats pulled away and won 58-43 in Columbia. Kentucky held South Carolina to 22.6 percent shooting from the floor in the game.

Look for a similar game on Saturday. Both teams will play solid defense, but Kentucky has enough weapons to put points on the board. Kentucky will move to 25-0 with a fairly easy win.

Final score prediction: Kentucky 61, South Carolina 46

Tim Letcher is a Featured Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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