The #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats will get a taste of what an away game feels like at American Airlines Arena. The South Florida Bulls will pack the house when their Bulls face the #1 team in the country in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.
The #1 team meanwhile gets to see a familiar face while in Miami. South Florida head coach and former Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua meets his old team for the first time since his departure in 2014.
Seeing Antigua may not be all that sweet as he has spent plenty of time with Kentucky head coach John Calipari, allowing him to learn how Kentucky's teams work. Antigua has a chance to one-up his mentor with his own playing style.
Kentucky has looked a little rocky at times to begin the season, struggling to put away mid-major teams and allowing them to stay in ball games. If the Wildcats keep that up they will get beat, as they are hitting a tough stretch in their schedule and need to prepare to take some punches.
South Florida is the first hit. The Bulls are only 1-4 on the season but have the luxury of playing in Miami. The Bulls did lose to both NJIT and Boston University at home, and both teams are past Kentucky opponents. But South Florida wasn't facing Kentucky on those nights, and as Calipari so often says, Kentucky is everybody's Super Bowl.
The Wildcats have to continue their outstanding guard play. Kentucky has not played one game where their guards did not look phenomenal. Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis has seen plenty of venues in his one year, his leadership should shine through in games like these.
South Florida has relied on their bigs more often than their guards. The Bulls need to push their guards to step up in this game or it could get ugly if the Kentucky back court starts getting hot.
With Kentucky limited inside, the 'Cats will have to force the tempo. If South Florida gets the game how they want it, they can get Kentucky big men in foul trouble and take control early.
As long as Kentucky keeps the crowd out of the game, they should lock up their sixth win. Knowing Kentucky fans, there could be more people in favor of the Wildcats at American Airlines Arena.
Players to Watch
Jaleel Cousins- Cousins has been producing inside for the Bulls in the early season. With his size and experience against the young big men of Kentucky, he will have a huge game inside the paint for South Florida.
Tyler Ulis- Ulis has showed everyone why he could possibly be the best point guard in the NCAA. Fresh off SEC Co-Player of the Week accolades, the guard will look to further his quick development in a new arena. With Ulis having been to a Final Four already, a regular season game in Miami shouldn't be any pressure.