Kentucky vs. Alabama - 3/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Alabama Crimson Tide (18-13) at Kentucky Wildcats (23-8)
College Basketball: Friday, March 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -12 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN SEC Network
The Alabama Crimson Tide and the 16th ranked Kentucky Wildcats will face off in the quarterfinals of the SEC Men’s Tournament this Friday night in at Bridgestone Arena.
The 10-seed Alabama Crimson Tide was able to pull off the minor upset of the Ole Miss Rebels after defeating Ole Miss by an 81-73 margin. Alabama had trouble containing Stefan Moody of the Ole Miss who had 39 points, but was solid defensively in down low and was able to hold a comfortable lead for the majority of the 2nd half. Alabama shot 52.8% from the field and 50.0% (12-24) from beyond the arc. The Crimson Tide held the Rebels to 38.8% shooting from the field and 32.4% (11-34) from three-point range. Leading the way for Alabama was Riley Norris who had a double-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, the Crimson Tide have been led by Retin Obasohan (17.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.4 spg), Shannon Hale (11.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg), and Arthur Edwards (9.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.4 apg). Offensively, Alabama is averaging 66.6 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field and 33.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Crimson Tide average 7.7 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.79. Defensively, Alabama is holding their opponents to an average of 67.1 ppg on 40.3% shooting. The Crimson Tide have a rebound margin of -3.1 and a turnover margin of -1.1.
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The 16th ranked Kentucky Wildcats won three of their last four games and finished the season with a 23-8 record while earning the 2-seed in the SEC Tournament with a 13-5 conference record. Although Kentucky didn’t meet the high-expectations that many expects had for them in the beginning of the season, the Wildcats are still a very well-rounded team that ranks in the top 30 in both offensive and defensive FG%. Leading the way for the Wildcats was SEC Player of the Year, Tyler Ulis, who averaged 16.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 7.4 apg, and 1.4 spg. Also contributing for the Wildcats on the season has been Jamal Murray (20.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.0 spg), Alex Poythress (10.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg), and Isaiah Briscoe (9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.1 apg). Offensively, Kentucky is averaging 79.0 ppg on 47.6% shooting from the field and 35.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Wildcats average 6.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.28. Defensively, Kentucky is holding their opponents to average 67.9 ppg on 39.7% shooting. The Wildcats average 5.8 blocks per game and have a rebound margin of 6.0.
The Crimson Tide are 4-0 ATS in thier last 4 neutral site games however, just 1-5 ATS in thier last 6 games overall. The Wildcats are 18-8-2 ATS in thier last 28 vs SEC opponents however, just 1-4 ATS in thier last 5 neutral stie games.
Kentucky was able to easily defeat Alabama in both matchups this season as the Wildcats won by a 77-61 margin at Alabama and a 78-53 margin at home. Kentucky is a young team that has taken some time this season to figure things out, however, I like had the Wildcats were looking during the 2nd half of the season and I think they’ll once again have no problem getting a double-double victory against a Crimson Tide team that can struggle to score the basketball. The line has yet to be posted but I don’t think the number will be high enough to make me not take Kentucky. Please check back for updates when the lines are posted.
Update - This is a large spread but as Kentucky tends to pick it up when it comes to tournament time and for the fact they've covered this number in both games this season against Alabama, I'm sticking with Kentucky to cover in this one.