College Basketball Game of the Week: Kansas vs. Kentucky

College basketball blue bloods will step out of conference play for a big-time battle on Saturday evening. The Kentucky Wildcats will host the Kansas Jayhawks as a part of the Big 12/SEC challenge. These two teams are both capable of making a deep tournament run in March, and this should be a terrific game.

The Kansas Jayhawks suddenly look vulnerable after suffering a major injury. Kansas is still 15-3 on the season, but all three of those losses have come on the road this season. Kentucky seems to be hitting their stride, and they bring a 14-3 record into this game. The Wildcats are a perfect 10-0 at home this season. Kentucky should be a slight favorite over Kentucky in this game.

Kansas Struggling Without Azubuike

Kansas recently lost center Udoka Azubuike to a season ending injury, and the Jayhawks are not the same team. The Jayhawks just recently suffered a 65-64 loss to West Virginia, and head coach Bill Self is searching for answers on offense. Kansas is outscoring teams by less than nine points a game this season, which is very unusual for the talented Jayhawks. This game will be a huge test for the remaining Kansas players.

Dedric Lawson is doing all that he can do to make up for the loss of Azubuike, but he needs some help on the inside. Lawson is averaging close to 19 points and more than 10 rebounds per game this season, but teams are starting to throw more defenders at him. Lagerald Vick is one of the best shooters in the country, but will need to be more aggressive on offense going forward. Kansas still has a ton of talent on the roster, and you can never count them out.

Kentucky Freshman Have Grown Up

Stop me if you have heard this before; the Kentucky roster is absolutely loaded with talented freshman. Coach John Calipari is routinely bringing in top recruiting classes, and this season is no different. Kentucky struggled early in the season, but the freshman are starting to improve and are carrying the Kentucky team. The Wildcats are almost impossible to beat at home, and have been beating everyone of late.

Guards Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro are the two brightest freshman stars for the Wildcats this season. The dynamic duo is averaging close to 29 points per game, but that number keeps going up as the season goes on. Kentucky loves to push the ball on offense, and these two talented freshman aren't afraid of taking early shots. The Wildcats still have some room for improvement, but they are capable of beating anyone in the country.

Wildcats Win at Home

A few weeks ago, there is no way that I would have bet against Kansas versus anyone. The loss of Azubuike has forced the Jayhawks to adjust how they play on the offensive end of the floor, and they have struggled in his absence. Kentucky is always tough to beat at Rupp Arena, but this team has been dominant at home. This should be a terrific game, but there is no way I'm betting against the Wildcats.

Bet: Take the Kentucky Wildcats over the Kansas Jayhawks.