Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Kentucky Wildcats Pick & Prediction JANUARY 27th 2024

Sixth-ranked Kentucky is out to avoid sliding to a third consecutive road loss when it visits Arkansas on Saturday in Southeastern Conference play at Fayetteville, Ark.

The Wildcats (14-4, 4-2 SEC) lost to Texas A&M 97-92 in overtime on Jan. 13 and were whipped 79-62 by South Carolina on Tuesday.

Kentucky tries to get back on the winning track against the Razorbacks (10-9, 1-5), who have dropped five of their past six games.

Kentucky coach John Calipari sees the past four games — the Wildcats also won two home games — as a mini-funk and nothing to be significantly concerned about.

“I wouldn’t want to be coaching any other team,” Calipari said. “I love this team. We’re a little young, not fragile, but just not mooses. But so what? Our length the way we shoot it, pass it. … I believe in this team. I believe in every individual. Let’s go.”

The 62 points against South Carolina was a season low for Kentucky. Three days earlier, the Wildcats scored 105 in a nine-point home win over Georgia.

But Kentucky had just seven assists on 25 baskets against the Gamecocks as the ball just didn’t move on the offensive side.

“I guess they weren’t there,” Wildcats leading scorer Antonio Reeves said. “We had drives. It was tough making shots down the stretch.”

Reeves was just 6-of-18 shooting while scoring 15 points against the Gamecocks. His average dropped to 19.2.

Rob Dillingham (13.9 points per game) and Tre Mitchell (13.6) rank second and third in scoring for Kentucky. Dillingham had a team-leading 16 points against South Carolina while Mitchell had 15 points.

The Wildcats are working 7-foot-2 freshman center Zvonimir Ivisic into the rotation after the NCAA ruled him eligible to play last Saturday.

Ivisic, from Croatia, contributed 13 points, five rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals in 16 minutes in his debut against Georgia. He had three points, two rebounds and two blocked shots in 10 minutes versus South Carolina.

Arkansas has won three of the past four meetings against the Wildcats and badly needs another one on Saturday.

The Razorbacks are in 12th place in the 14-team SEC and their NCAA Tournament at-large odds already are shot.

Arkansas’s five SEC defeats are by an average of 20.6 points, including a 77-51 beat down by host Ole Miss on Wednesday night.

“I actually thought we played fairly hard,” Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said. “We just got outplayed, outmanned 1 through 5. I think the effort was better than it has been, but Ole Miss took it to us in a lot of areas.”

Arkansas shot just 33.3 percent from the field while matching a season-low with 51 points for the second time in six games.

Leading scorer Tramon Mark (17.8 points per game) missed the contest due to migraine headaches.

Khalif Battle (11.5) scored a team-best 11 points versus Ole Miss.

Trevon Brazile (8.9) missed the second half with a knee injury and his status for Saturday isn’t yet firmed up.

Now Arkansas looks for a turnaround performance.

“The only thing I know is just to keep working,” Musselman said. “(The Ole Miss game was) not a good performance.”

–Field Level Media

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