How to watch Kentucky vs. UNC: Game guide, TV schedule, streaming, odds
The Wildcats look to affirm their place atop the rankings with a big win over UNC on Saturday.
It didn’t take long for Kentucky to establish itself as the team to beat this season, already earning lopsided wins over top-10 teams from Kansas and Texas. On Saturday, the team gets another shot at a ranked team by facing Roy Williams and No. 21 North Carolina at Rupp Arena.
The Wildcats have been absolutely dominant under John Calipari this season, winning their first 10 games by a variety of outrageous margins. The team’s 72-40 dismantling of then-No. 5 Kansas in mid-November was the first sign, and since then, the ‘Cats have added a 12-point win against then-No. 6 Texas.
Kentucky has proven to be one of the most devastating defensive teams in the nation thanks to Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl Towns and others, and that same group powers one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Cauley-Stein is the leading scorer at just 10.3 points per game, but this is one of the most unusually deep teams we’ve seen in recent memory.
That means North Carolina will have its work cut out, but the Tar Heels also boast a talented group despite posting losses to Butler and Iowa already this season. UNC currently ranks No. 18 in points per game, No. 11 in assists per game and No. 3 in rebounds game in the nation, so they can put numbers with the best of them. The Heels also have wins over ranked teams from UCLA and Florida already this year, so it’s not like the team can only beat up on inferior opponents.
With that said, Kentucky is Kentucky, and playing at home, it’d be a huge upset for UNC.
How to watch, listen and stream
Game time: 12 p.m. ET
Online Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Rankings and records: Kentucky is currently 10-0 and ranked No. 1 in both major polls. UNC is 6-2 and ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 18 in the USA Today poll. This is the 47th matchup between the two premier college hoops programs, with UNC holding a 23-13 all-time advantage. The teams last met Dec. 14, 2013, with the Tar Heels pulling off a 82-77 victory.
Odds: Kentucky -12
One big matchup
Cauley-Stein vs. Meeks. After losing roughly 50 pounds during the offseason, Kennedy Meeks has emerged as a star player for the Tar Heels this season. Over the first eight games of the 2014-15 season, he’s averaged 13.8 points on 64 percent shooting, 10.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in just 23 minutes per contest. Facing one of the best defenders in college basketball, Cauley-Stein, should be the latest opportunity for Meeks to show that he’s truly taken his game to another level. For WCS, this is another chance to prove to NBA scouts that he’s pretty much ready to take the leap on the defensive end of the floor.