Kentucky Basketball: Buckle up, lace ’em up as UK and Bama battle for SEC top spot

Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kentucky basketball locked in for a warp-speed battle with Alabama

Full throttle, thrusters ahead, engage at warp speed whatever your choice but settle in and see just how the Kentucky basketball team and Alabama shake out in a battle of the top two Southeastern Conference teams tonight.

528. 9-3. . Tuesday, January 12. 4-6. . 9 PM ET. 523

Wildcat fans who would like to see their team run and analysts who say the Cats like to run and get in transition will get their chance to see first hand if they can actually play this way.

If you asked about a month ago and you had this game marked on your calendar as the battle for conference supremacy pitting Kentucky (4-6, 3-0) and Alabama (9-3, 4-0) you would have been scoffed at.

Yet here we are.

No, it’s early in the SEC schedule and many will say that this game is ok to win or lose especially since these two meet again in two weeks. Maybe for Alabama, but I would disagree about Kentucky. This is a must-win for the Wildcats.

They struggled early on but now riding a 3-game winning streak coming off their best game of the year in a 76-58 win over Florida on Saturday. But, how are they going to handle the break-neck speed at which Alabama plays?

Bama is on a five-game winning streak with wins over Tennessee and a 94-90 win over Auburn on Saturday.

Written off by many by Christmas the Wildcats have seen a resurgence and could have easily been 6-4 or even 7-3 had the final bounce gone their way against Notre Dame, Louisville, and even Kansas. And that was with Dontaie Allen sitting ready on the bench while Keion Brooks Jr. was unavailable with a leg injury.

Allen was unstrapped from his bench seat and has been on fire shooting 3-pointers and coach John Calipari admitting the redshirt freshman’s defense has improved mightily.

Brooks returned against Florida in what was expected to be limited action but instead turned into a dominant and athletic performance with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block.

So what are the three keys to Kentucky pulling this one out? Let’s take a look.