The pride of the mid-major community will rest on the shoulders of the #7 Wofford Terriers (26-4) this Saturday when they face the #2 Kentucky Wildcats (26-5) at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena (2:40 pm ET) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats opened as 5-point favorites and the over/under started at 139.
The Terriers are one of the most lethal teams in the country from the three-point line. They connect at 41.7% from deep (2nd) and are 55th in the nation in three-points attempted. Their proficiency from beyond the arc has led to Wofford scoring 83 PPG, which sits 14th in the country.
They were right on their season average in round one, shellacking #10 Seton Hall 84-68. Sharpshooting guard Fletcher Magee, who’s averaging a team-best 21 points per game, dropped another 24 against the Pirates. He also became the all-time leader in three-pointers made in college basketball history.
The Terriers are not nearly as good defensively. While they only concede 65 PPG (40th in the country) they are worse on a per-possession basis, sitting 62 in KenPom’s defensive efficiency metric.
Cameron Jackson leads the team in rebounding, hauling in 8 rebounds per game. As a group, the Terriers’s performance on the glass has been above average. They sit 99th overall, averaging 34 rebounds a game.
The Terriers will be facing a Kentucky squad that is almost as dynamic as they are at the offensive end. The Wildcats are 11th offensive efficiency (one spot behind Wofford) and are scoring 77 points per contest (79th overall).
Their defense, however, is considerably better than the Terriers’. John Calipari’s group of freak athletes is 8th in defensive efficiency and is conceding just 65 points per game.
PJ Washington has been their go-to scorer, averaging 15 points a night, and is also the Wildcats’ leader on the glass, snatching 8 rebounds a night.
But Washington had to sit out of Kentucky’s first-round game against Abilene Christian due to a foot injury, and his status for Saturday is still in question.
Troubling news for Kentucky: PJ Washington will not play in tonight’s NCAA Tournament opener and per Calipari is now wearing a hard cast for his foot injury (which makes it sound like Saturday would be iffy too)https://t.co/cxige9CSvW
— Gentry Estes (@Gentry_Estes) March 21, 2019
Washington’s prowess on the glass has helped Kentucky dominate that facet of the game. As a team, they rank 24th on the boards, at 36 rebounds per game.
Even without their leader, the Wildcats were able to obliterate Abilene Christian, 79-44. Freshman guard and potential lottery pick Keldon Johnson led the team in scoring, with 25 points in the win. Senior forward Reid Travis added 18 points and 9 rebounds.
The play of Travis, who missed time down the stretch with a knee injury, will be vital with Washington’s status in jeopardy.
Kentucky is now 8-2 straight up in its last ten games, with their most recent setback coming in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament to Tennessee. Wofford, meanwhile, is riding the longest win streak in the nation at 21 games. Their last L came on Dec. 19 to Mississippi State in Starkville (98-87).
Betting-wise, Kentucky has been a money-maker, overall, going 18-16-0 ATS. But approach with caution because Wofford is an incredible 21-11-0 ATS.
Get the current odds, spread, and game total projection for Wofford vs Kentucky above and good luck betting.