(Sporting Alert) — No. 1 Kentucky and No. 4 Duke are among the highlighted top 25 teams in action in NCAA college men’s basketball on Saturday.
The top ranked Wildcats (26-0, 13-0 SEC) will take their undefeated season record into the Southeastern Conference home clash against Auburn (12-14, 4-9 SEC), looking to extend the best start in program history.
In their last outing on Tuesday, Kentucky registered a 66-48 victory over Tennessee after another strong second half that saw them outscoring the Vols 31-17. Leading scorer Devin Booker collected team-high 18 points off the bench, while pulling down seven rebounds.
Starting guard Andrew Harrison also supported well after finishing with 14 points and was involved in his team’s last eight points in the second half.
The Wildcats continue to sit second in points allowed per game at 51.7, while their 7.0 blocks per game continues to be the second best in the country.
Head coach John Calipari is delighted with the start his team has made, record-wise this season, but the veteran coach thinks there are still room for improvement.
“I’m telling you, we’re playing to get better,” Calipari said. “If that means we win more games, that’s fine.
“We are playing to get better. There are areas of offense we’re focusing on and there’s areas of defense we’re focusing on. And that’s what we’re doing.”
Calipari says wins and undefeated records can cause players and coaches to lose sight of things a team needs to work on.
He believes his Kentucky team, although winning, has been making several mistakes that could cost them later on in the season and he is determined to get them fixed.
“We keep winning, we’re up 18, I’m not screwing this up,” Calipari said. “Well, you are screwing it up if you don’t correct (mistakes).
“You are screwing it up if it happens in March and you let it go in February, shame on me.”
Auburn, in the meantime, comes into the clash against Kentucky on the back of a 79-68 defeat to Alabama in the last outing.
At 12-14 on the season and losing seven of their last 10 games, the Tigers’ record doesn’t make them the ideal opponent to end the Wildcats’ unbeaten record.
However, the visitors, who are 2-45 all-time in Lexington, believe that they have nothing to lose in a contest like this and are super motivated in pursuit of an upset.
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10:00 PM (3) Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s ESPN2, WatchESPN
4:00 PM Clemson at (4) Duke ESPN, WatchESPN
12:00 PM Minnesota at (5) Wisconsin ESPN, WatchESPN
2:30 PM (6) Villanova at Marquette FOX
9:00 PM UCLA at (7) Arizona ESPN, WatchESPN
4:00 PM TCU at (8) Kansas ESPN2, WatchESPN
4:00 PM (10) Notre Dame at Boston College ESPN 3
4:00 PM Bradley at (11) Northern Iowa
2:00 PM Miami (FL) at (12) Louisville ESPN, WatchESPN
2:00 PM (14) Iowa State at Texas ESPN2, WatchESPN
12:00 PM Georgia Tech at (15) North Carolina ESPN 3
12:00 PM (17) Oklahoma at Texas Tech ESPN, WatchESPN
4:00 PM (18) Arkansas at Mississippi St Fox Sports Net, ESPN 3
2:00 PM (19) Butler at Xavier
1:00 PM Kansas St at (20) Baylor WatchESPN
2:00 PM (23) West Virginia at (22) Oklahoma St WatchESPN
12:00 PM Massachusetts at (25) Virginia Commonwealth ESPN2, WatchESPN