2018 NCAA Basketball Kentucky at West Virginia: Preview and Prediction

Mountaineers-Wildcats Preview!

Kentucky at No. 7 West Virginia

What: Big 12/SEC Challenge

When: 7 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Records: Kentucky 15-5 (5-3 SEC), West Virginia 16-4 (5-3)

Series: Kentucky leads 15-5

Last meeting: Kentucky won 78-39 on March 26, 2015, in the NCAA Tournament round of 16 at Cleveland

This is an intriguing match-up between two teams that seem to be going in opposite directions. The Mountaineers rank second in turnover margin (7.0), fourth in forced turnovers (19.1) and seventh in steals per game (9.3). As always “Press Virginia” is in full force but all the questions come on the offensive side of the ball. Kentucky has been in a slump since SEC play. Pre-SEC the Wildcats played a fairly soft schedule, so questions abound about the Wildcats.

Can Kentucky contain Jevon Carter?

Carter is the only player in the nation averaging more than 16 points, six assists and three steals per game. He leads the nation with 68 steals this season. The key for the Wildcats would seem to be to grind on Carter and try to wear him out. If they don’t he will takeover the game and it will be a long night for the Wildcats.

Can Kentucky’s guards handle the Press?

West Virginia’s press can wilt a veteran back court and the Wildcats have a young one. Handling the press will be decisive in who comes away with the victory. Quade Green and the other young Wildcats will see pressure that they have never seen before.

Prediction: I do not see the Wildcats green back court going into Morgan Town and coming away with a win. In the end, look for the Mountaineers’ pressure to be to much for the young Cats.

Mountaineers 77  Kentucky 68

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