On Friday, an early season match-up pits two potential March heavyweights against each other as No. 6 Texas visits Rupp Arena to take on No. 1 Kentucky. After Kentucky easily dispatched UT-Arlington 92-44 last week at home, Texas struggled with the Sun Belt Conference team on Tuesday night, sweating out a 63-53 win. It’s not that their common game is any measure of how to evaluate these two teams, but Kentucky – clearly the nation’s consensus most complete team – should be comfortably favored to defeat the Longhorns in Lexington.
Kentucky’s early season 72-40 win against Kansas in Indianapolis was impressive, but Texas has compiled some impressive early season victories, too. Texas on Nov. 20 defeated Iowa – 5-2 overall and an early-season Big-10 contender – 72-57 at home, on Nov. 21 defeated California – 5-1 overall and an early-season Pac-12 contender – 71-55 at home and on Nov. 30 defeated No. 24 Connecticut – 3-2 overall and the defending national champions – 55-54 on the road.
Texas has size in the frontcourt (they’re 4th in the nation in rebounding averaging 44 per game), depth and, most quietly, seniority, which could come in handy against a freshman-laden Kentucky team. Senior forward Jonathan Holmes is a strong frontcourt presence, rebounder, and leader, and sophomore guard Isaiah Taylor (averaging 15 PPG) can help keep the Longhorns within striking distance for most of the game.
Kentucky’s depth on paper is better, and is so strong that their leading scorer, Aaron Harrison, is only averaging 10.4 points-per-game.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., with TV coverage on ESPN. The game is also on Watch ESPN. Here’s how to watch online and on mobile:
Watch Texas-Kentucky Online
If you have the log-in info for a cable subscription with access to Watch ESPN, you can watch the game at WatchESPN.com. You’ll need a cable log-in and password, or the log-in and password of someone you know, to access the stream.
Watch Texas-Kentucky on Mobile
Mobile and tablet users with access to Watch ESPN can watch the game on the Watch ESPN app. As is the case with desktop, you’ll need the log-in for a cable subscription with access to ESPN. You can download the app for free in the App Store , the Google Play store, the Amazon App store or the Windows Store.