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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NCAA Tournament Davidson vs. Kentucky: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Tournament Davidson vs. Kentucky: Preview and Prediction

Kentucky-Davidson Preview!
Publish Date: 03/15/2018
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Davidson

Region: South

When: 7:10 p.m. Thursday (CBS)

Vegas line: Kentucky by 5

This will be a trendy upset pick in the first round of this tournament for a number of reasons. Kentucky has been up and down all year long, while Davidson has been hot as of late and historically has been a team that can pull an upset.

Why UK wins

As usual, Kentucky is one of the most talented teams in the nation and defensively, they defend the perimeter as well as any team in the nation. Why is this so important? That’s easy. Davidson can shoot the ball, but Davidson is just 6-7 when shooting less than 37 percent from 3-point range. If Kentucky’s defense can be its usual suffocating-self on the perimeter, expect the Cats to win this game and advance.

Why Davidson wins

Kentucky is not a very good three-point shooting team, in fact, they are one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the country. If they can pack the middle defensively and force Kentucky to shoot jump shots all day, they could be in good shape to pull the upset. On the offensive end of the floor, Davidson will need to spread the floor and move the ball quickly to get open shots. Davidson is averaging almost 11 made three-point shots per game and they will need to hit that average to have a shot to pull the upset in this game.

Prediction

Since 2008 and the Steph Curry-led magical run to the elite eight, Davidson has not won a tournament game, losing in the first round on all three occasions they made the tournament.

This Davidson team is better than those three teams, but my problem with picking Davidson is the size and length of the Wildcats who can make it really tough on Davidson’s perimeter shooters. That size will be the biggest key to deciding this game.

Kentucky 70  Davidson 61

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