Kentucky Wildcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
The Kentucky Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores meet on Sunday in New Orleans for the SEC Tournament Championship game. The Wildcats are -6.5 point favorites over the Commodores with an over/under point total set at 139.
The Kentucky Wildcats have been the number one team in the nation for a good part of the season and continue to play like it. John Calipari’s UK team is the likely number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament not just because any of the other contenders for that spot made early exits from their conference tourneys but because the Cats have earned it through their own strong play. Kentucky didn’t have the easiest of time of it against Florida on Saturday and for one of the few tomes this year they needed to bounce back from behind several times. Kentucky shot 45 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line while hitting 29.4 percent of their shots from beyond the three point arc. Doron Lamb had 16 points, Anthony Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Terrance Jones and Marquis Teague each had 15 points as well. The Wildcats allowed Florida to shoot 48.3 percent which is well above their average defensively and in order to lock down the SEC Tourney title, something they want badly, they will need to play better defense than that.
The Vanderbilt Commodores haven’t always played to their potential this season but Kevin Stallings has his team playing to their potential now and they get another chance at Kentucky, a team they came close to upsetting two weeks ago in Lexington. Vanderbilt struggled early against an Ole Miss team who wasn’t willing to go down easy but in the second half the Commodores showed that they were the better team as they pulled away for the win. Vandy shot 41.1 percent, hit 31 percent of their shots from beyond the three point arc, and hit 62.5 percent of their free throws. John Jenkins had 23 points, Brad Tinsley had 12 points, and Lance Goulbourne had 10 points and 12 rebounds. If the Commodores can hit their shots they will have a chance to win this one but they are going to need to play a perfect game.
Kentucky is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games overall, 3-13-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, and 2-5 against the spread following a win. Vanderbilt is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games overall, 4-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 5-11 against the spread following a cover.
The total is set at 139 and while that looks to be about right, it may be a shade low and my play is just a lean to the over.