South Carolina at Kentucky Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Friday,January 20, 2017 9:30, EST in

The SEC is rather down in basketball again this season so it would surprise no one if No. 5 Kentucky were to run the table in the conference. But the Wildcats should at least be tested on Saturday when No. 24 South Carolina visits Lexington, albeit as a sizable NCAA basketball odds underdog.

South Carolina at Kentucky Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 6 PM
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioSouth Carolina / Kentucky
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: Kentucky favored TBA

Why Bet On South Carolina?

The Gamecocks (15-3) beat No. 19 Florida 57-53 on Tuesday in Columbia. Sindarius Thornwell scored 20 points for the sixth time this season to lead the way for South Carolina. With USC up by a point with about 40 seconds left, PJ Dozier took it hard to the rack from the left wing and kissed in a contested left-handed layup to make it 56-53 with 22 seconds left. The Gamecocks forced a turnover on the next possession and Thornwell hit a big free throw to make it a two-possession game, 57-53, with 16 seconds left. Florida guard Canyon Barry attempted a 3 at the opposite end, but the shot wouldn’t fall and the ball would be out of bounds to Carolina. Dozier threw a baseball pass to a wide-open Thornwell who ran out the clock.

Thornwell’s 20-point outing was the 80th game of his career in double-figures and the 21st game of his career with 20-plus. He is now 10th on the all-time scoring list for the Gamecocks with 1,496 career points.

Chris Silva (11) and Dozier (10) joined Thornwell in double-figures. Freshman Maik Kotsar led the team with nine rebounds. The Gamecock defense held the Gators to 35 percent shooting (19-of- 54) for the game (30 percent in the second half) and forced 16 turnovers. South Carolina held Florida without a 3-point field goal (0-for- 17), which an ended an 850-game streak of with at least one made 3.

USC is 5-0 in league play for just the second time in school history. South Carolina has now held eight opponents to 60 points or less this season. The Gamecocks have now beaten Florida in consecutive outings for the first time since 2011. Carolina is 3-0 vs. ranked foes this season.

The Gamecocks have risen to as high as 15th in the AP poll this season, which was the highest rank for Carolina since the Gamecocks were ranked 14th in the final poll of the 1997-98 campaign. The Gamecocks’ high mark in the Coaches poll this season was at No. 15.

Why Bet On Kentucky?

The Wildcats beat Mississippi State 88-81 on Tuesday. Kentucky (16-2, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) looked like it would cruise to the win after building a 66-49 lead midway through the second half, but Mississippi State responded with 13 straight points to make things interesting down the stretch.

In the end, the Wildcats were too potent offensively. The 6-foot- 3 De’Aaron Fox was especially impressive, shooting 8 of 15 from the field and adding five rebounds and five assists to go with his 21 points. The game featured a combined 52 foul calls, which has been a common theme with Kentucky games of late. In fact, over the past four games, 195 fouls have been called in UK’s games, an average of 48.75 combined fouls per game.

Kentucky shot 50.8 percent from the field. It is the 13th time this season and sixth game in a row that the Wildcats have hit at least half their shots. The last time Kentucky had such a run of consecutive games shooting better than 50 percent was the 1983-84 season. Kentucky’s 16 turnovers were its most since Dec. 7, and second most of the season (17 vs. Valpo).

Five Wildcats scored in double figures; and it was the ninth straight game that at least one Wildcat tallied 20 or more points. Fox scored nine straight points for the Wildcats from the 3:41 mark to 0:47 remaining. Freshman Wenyen Gabriel scored 13 points, two shy of his career-high. Senior Derek Willis poured in 13 first-half points and added five rebounds. It’s the sixth game this season he has topped 10 points. Freshman Malik Monk had 14 points and four assists. He continued his streak of double-figure scoring in every game this season.

This is the third time in Coach John Calipari’s eight seasons at UK that the Wildcats have been spotless through their first six league games.

South Carolina at Kentucky Free Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

Take Kentucky on the NCAA basketball odds. USC is good at home but not so much on the road.