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Kentucky at North Carolina Headlines SEC Hoops Saturday

John CalipariThe “Battle of the Blueboods” between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Kentucky Wildcats takes place today in Chapel Hill, NC. These two programs have more NCAA Tournament Championships than any programs not named UCLA than anyone. They are always among the elite in the sport of college basketball and this year is no exception.

The Heels have been upset this year by the Belmont Bruins and UAB Blazers, but have huge wins over the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals and the number one ranked Michigan State Spartans. The Heels get up for the big boys. They are facing one today.

The Wildcats have losses to the Spartans and the Baylor Bears. They have also struggled a bit against some lesser teams such as Cleveland State and Eastern Michigan, But they are extremely talented and when they put it all together, they will be tough to beat.

Marcus Paige leads the Heels attack with nearly 19 points and five assists per game. Brice Johnson adds nearly 14 points and seven rebounds per game and James Michael McAdoo kicks in 13 per game.

Kentucky is led by Julius Randle with 18 points and 12 rebounds per game. Willie Cauley-Stein adds eight rebounds and four blocked shots per game. James Young and Aaron Harrison average 14 points each.

This game promises to be a great one. Anytime these two meet on the court it is a must watch game. At some point these two will play each other in the NCAA Tournament. They usually seem to dodge each other in the Big Dance because they are always seeded to meet late in the tournament. One of them normally gets beat before they can get that far. This year could be the year both make it to the Final Four as they are both very good and very young. By March, they should both be hitting their peak. The winner of this game will have a nice resume building win. The loser will be in a bit of trouble having lost their third game already.

For UK, they need the win because their next two games are against Belmont and Louisville. A bad streak right now and this season could get away from them. UNC needs it because they are about to go into the tough ACC schedule where they will meet up with teams such as the Duke Blue Devils, Florida State Seminoles, Pitt Panthers and Syracuse Orange. They need all the good non-conference wins they can get.

The second biggest game involving the SEC will be between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Wichita State Shockers. The Vols are 6-2 with a win over the Xavier Musketeers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in there. Those are nice, but a win over the Shockers would give them a good resume win. The 12th ranked Shockers are coming off a Final Four last year and have started off 9-0 this year.

Carbon Sports has the odds on these games:

Tennessee at Wichita State– UT is +6.5 -110 while the Shockers are -6.5 -110 ATS. Moneyline has Tennessee +220 and WSU -260. Over/Under is 133 with over and under both -110. We like the Shockers -6.5 -110 to cover at home. We also like the over-110.

Kentucky at North Carolina– UK is +4 -110 and UNC is -4 -110 ATS. Moneyline is Kentucky +157 and Carolina -180. Over/Under is 146.5 with both -110. We like the Wildcats to win this one. Take UK +157 and the over -110.


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