2012 NCAA March Madness Prediction & Odds: Kentucky Host Georgia
Thursday, March 01, 2012
by Bovada Sportsbook
It’s Senior Night at Rupp Arena on Thursday night when No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats plays its final home game of the season, and the Cats figure to have no trouble with Georgia Bulldogs, which is a 21-point underdog on Bovada Sportsbook’s NCAA basketball odds.
UK has already clinched the SEC regular-season title and has won 20 straight games overall and 51 straight at home – still yet to lose under Coach John Calipari. Tonight could emotional because several of Kentucky’s stars are likely playing their final home game. Freshman Anthony Davis, the likely SEC Player of the Year, certainly will enter the NBA draft. So too could fellow freshmen Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as well as sophomore Terrence Jones. Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas are UK’s only seniors.
Davis comes off probably his best game of the season, scoring a career-high 28 points (10 of 11 shooting) to go with 11 rebounds and five blocks (he leads the nation by a mile in that category) in an 83-74 home win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. UK (28-1, 14-0 SEC) actually trailed at halftime and couldn’t pull away until late in the game. Only two teams since 1956 have finished league play undefeated -- Kentucky in 1996 and 2003. The 1996 team went on to win a national title, and the '03 group lost in the regional finals to Marquette. The Wildcats close the regular season on Sunday with a tough game at No. 13 Florida.
Georgia (13-15, 4-10) won’t be playing any postseason ball barring a miracle run in the SEC Tournament. The Dawgs are one of the nation’s worst offensive teams, ranking near the bottom of the country in points (61.5 per game) and shooting (39.7 percent). Georgia does come in off an upset of Florida, however, 76-62 on Saturday. Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 18 points to lead the Dawgs, who never trailed. Georgia shot a season-high 53.8 percent against an SEC opponent.
Kentucky had a bit of trouble at Georgia back on Jan. 24, winning 57-44. Miller came off the bench to lead UK with 19 points – he and Kidd-Gilchrist were the only two Wildcats in double figures. It was Kentucky’s lowest-scoring game of the season and it shot just 7-for-23 from the field in the second half. Kentucky has won 13 of the past 17 overall vs. Georgia and is 55-5 against the Dawgs in Lexington. However, the Cats have covered just three of their past 17 home games overall. And Georgia has covered the past five at Rupp.