The Kentucky Wildcats are traveling down south this weekend for the intense matchup between Kentucky and Auburn Saturday afternoon in Auburn Arena. ESPN College Gameday will also be in Auburn Arena Saturday morning for their show.
The stakes are high for both teams going into this matchup as they are 1-1 in their last two meetings. Kentucky beat Auburn 80-53 in the regular season but the Tigers got their revenge in March Madness, beating the Wildcats 77-71 in the Elite Eight.
Auburn Head Coach Bruce Pearl spoke on Thursday afternoon about the weekend saying, “ We’re excited about the challenge. Obviously worked really hard for College Gameday to come to Auburn. It’s a significant step in the direction of our program.”
Despite some slow starts from the Auburn starting five, Bruce Pearl will not change the lineup for Saturday’s game, saying, “I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”
Senior forward Anfernee McLemore spoke on the same topic saying he believes the slow starts may be a consequence of lack of focus at the beginning of games. He goes on to say, “We have to do a little better as far as executing our game plan in the beginning. As a team, we have to be more locked into the game plan.”
The No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats are 16-4, suffering losses to three unranked teams, as well as No. 5 Ohio State.
For the Wildcats, forward Nick Richards and guard Ashton Hagans are the two players to watch out for Saturday. Richards is averaging 141.4 points per game and Hagans is averaging 13.2 points per game. This season so far they have rounded up 550 points between them.
Not only is it a big basketball matchup, but the weekend is also the annual AUTLive cancer game. Pearl hosts this game every year to raise money for people and families who suffer from cancer. Pearl encourages everyone to buy and AUTLive shirt and wear it to the game Saturday. All fans are encouraged to wear white.
The schedule for Saturday is below:
7 a.m. - Line formation begins at student entrance
8:30 am. - Auburn Arena doors open for College Gameday
10-11 am. - ESPN College Gameday
2 p.m. - Auburn vs Kentucky line formation
3 p.m. - Wristband priority doors open
3:30 p.m. - Auburn Arena doors open
5 p.m. - Tip-off vs Kentucky