When Kentucky and Alabama squared off for the first time on Feb. 5, the Wildcats held Alabama to a season-low 55 points on an abysmal 3 of 30 from 3-point range in a 66-55 UK victory. The loss for the Crimson Tide marked a low point of their season as they fell to 14-9 (4-6 SEC) amid a stretch of six losses in nine games.
But in the two weeks since that first meeting, things have changed for both programs as they prepare for Saturday’s 1 p.m. ET rematch at Rupp Arena on CBS. The No. 25 Crimson Tide (17-9, 7-6 SEC) have won three straight, while No. 4 Kentucky (21-5, 10-3) is limping in off a 76-63 loss at Tennessee on Tuesday.
Complicating matters for the Wildcats is the lingering uncertainty surrounding TyTy Washington. The star freshman guard left Kentucky’s loss at Tennessee after appearing to aggravate a leg injury he suffered last Saturday against Florida. Kentucky coach John Calipari said after the game that he wouldn’t have played Washington against the Volunteers if he had it to do over.
Washington led UK in scoring during the first meeting, and if he does not play Saturday, it could open things up for Alabama’s talented guards who struggled in the first meeting. But Kentucky hasn’t lost a home game this season, and the Wildcats will be eager to defend their home court after the Crimson Tide won at Rupp Arena last season for the first time since 2006.
How to watch Kentucky vs. Alabama live
Date: Saturday, Feb. 19 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Rupp Arena — Lexington, Ky.
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App
Kentucky vs. Alabama prediction, picks
It seems unlikely that Alabama will shoot just 10% from 3-point range like it did in the first meeting, won 66-55 by Kentucky just two weeks ago. With TyTy Washington’s status also uncertain for the Wildcats, the Crimson Tide should give UK a solid game. Look for Alabama to stay in it until the end before UK steals it to complete a season sweep. Prediction: Kentucky 79, Alabama 77
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