Valparaiso at Kentucky Lines, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Tuesday,December 6, 2016 8:34, EST in

Valparaiso is an excellent mid-major team that should make the NCAA Tournament this season. Should the Crusaders go to No. 6 Kentucky on Wednesday night and pull the upset, that would certainly boost their tournament resume. However, UK is a big favorite on college basketball lines.

Valparaiso at Kentucky Lines, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 8 PM ET
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington
TV: SEC Network
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioValparaiso / Kentucky
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: TBA

Why Bet On Valparaiso?

Valpo (7-1) picked up seven points in this week’s AP top 25. It comes off a 65-62 win over No. 21 Rhode Island on Nov. 29. It was Valpo’s first home win over a ranked team since doing it against Notre Dame in 1988. Senior center Alec Peters, who is good enough to play for Kentucky and will be an NBA Draft pick, had 27 points and a game-sealing block.

The Rams had the ball with a chance to tie with 16 seconds left, as Hassan Martin was fouled after grabbing a Crusader miss. Bur Martin would miss the front end of the one-and- one, and junior Tevonn Walker came up with the clutch rebound. Jubril Adekoya was fouled with 10 seconds to play, but only split the two free throws, giving Rhode Island one final chance to tie. But the Rams’ only option on their final play was a last-second heave from Jarvis Garrett – one which was blocked by Peters to secure the big victory.

Peters continued his early-season domination, scoring 27 points on 8-of- 17 shooting from the field and 10-of- 10 from the foul line while also leading the Crusaders with nine rebounds. The senior has scored at least 20 points in each of Valpo’s first eight games of the year. Peters was one of four Crusaders in double figures, joined by Adekoya, Shane Hammink and Walker. Adekoya went 5-for- 8 from the floor in a 13-point effort and also added four rebounds. The Crusaders won despite committing 17 turnovers. Rhode Island committed eight fewer turnovers, but Valpo was outscored in points off turnovers by just five points.

Rhode Island was the first nationally-ranked team to visit the ARC since Purdue in December of 2010 and the first ranked squad from outside the state of Indiana since Marquette in November of 2006. The win also marked the Crusaders’ first victory overall against a nationally-ranked foe in their last 41 tries. The last Valpo win over a top-25 team came in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, when the Crusaders famously knocked off Ole Miss.

Why Bet On Kentucky?

The Wildcats (7-1) were upset at home by No. 11 UCLA on Saturday, 97-92. The Bruins’ victory marked their second upset of the top-ranked Wildcats in as many years. TJ Leaf added 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Bruins shot 53 percent from the field. That knocked UK out of the top spot in the polls, now held by defending national champion Villanova.

Kentucky cut a 14-point, second-half deficit to 95-92 on Derek Willis’ 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds remaining, but Bryce Alford’s two free throws with 7.4 left sealed the victory. Besides hitting 35 of 66 from the field, UCLA outrebounded Kentucky 41-38 and limited the Wildcats to 41 percent shooting.

Kentucky took 14 more shots than UCLA, providing the avenue to stay in a game when the Bruins hit 53 percent of their shots from the floor and were 17 of 21 at the charity stripe. How? The Wildcats recorded 19 offensive rebounds, eight steals and committed nine turnovers. UCLA had 18 turnovers. Behind 41-37, UCLA regained the lead with a 7-0 spurt and never trailed again.

The Bruins were also 10 of 23 from 3-point range. UK, meanwhile, shot just 33.3 percent from 3-point range and 41.3 percent overall, but still managed a solid 1.1 points per possession. Kentucky is elite at valuing the basketball and creating opportunities. The Wildcats rank seventh in the country with a 14.4 turnover percentage (a measure determined by turnovers divided by possessions) and 11th with a 39.4 offensive rebounding percentage (number of possible rebounds collected offensively).

“We gave up 10 3s and I’m guessing six of them we left a shooter,” John Calipari said. “All we talked about for two days is the one way they’re going to beat us is bouncing it, they’re not beating us shooting standing 3s.”

It ended a 42-game home winning streak by Kentucky, the second-longest streak in Rupp Arena history and the second-longest active streak in the nation Saturday’s loss was a humbling one for the Wildcats. After steam-rolling through literally everyone they’ve played this season – Kentucky entered the game having won by at least 21 points in every game – the Wildcats got outplayed by UCLA pretty thoroughly.

Valparaiso at Kentucky Free Pick: Valparaiso

Take Valpo and the points on NCAA Basketball odds.