Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
When: Saturday, December 1st, 2:00 PM
Records: UNC 6-0; UK 4-1
The great road odyssey continues for the Heels who continue their hop scotching across the country to play team all over the place in some of the more hostile environments around. The latest stop has UNC in Lexington to renew the rivalry between the top two teams on the all time wins list. UNC has won three straight in this series and lead it all time 19-10. UK enters the game having won three straight after an incredible debacle versus Gardner-Webb who took the Wildcats by double digits at home.
UK is beset by injuries missing quite a few key players and relying on a very young lineup surrounding leading scorer Joe Crawford. Freshman Patrick Patterson has been pretty much as advertised so far and should provide an interesting matchup on the blocks for Tyler Hansbrough and Deon Thompson. Outside those two UK boasts only one other double figures scorer on average and that is Ramel Bradley who also leads the team in assists with 4.0 per game.
The tough part of this game is the same one that bothered them last year and that is having to play this game three days after a draining game versus Ohio State. Compounding that is the fact it is on the road so in one respect UNC will have to show some more maturity and toughness to maintain intensity for this game. UNC should easily out man UK both in talent and depth. Hansbrough was limited last season by the presence of Randolph Morris who has since graduated leaving Patterson as the only significant threat on the blocks. I would expect Hansbrough to have a big game. The status of Ty Lawson is still unknown and if I had to guess I say he will not play. That leaves Bobby Frasor and Quentin Thomas running the point which should be sufficient. UNC has enough weapons assuming Wayne Ellington keeps up the consistent shooting alongside the usual handiwork from Danny Green. I am very interested to see how well the defense plays and if the effort of the past two games continues. The ability to play defense at the level UNC showed Wednesday night is paramount for this team to stay among the top teams in the country.
UNC 90 UK 68