Chris Jans and the Mississippi State men's basketball team are hitting the road and heading on towards one of the toughest tests they'll face this season. The Bulldogs are getting set to take on the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats in the always raucous Rupp Arena.
Bot the Bulldogs and the Kentucky Wildcats are entering into this particular matchup having lost their previous games. MSU lost at home in a frustrating contest with the Alabama Crimson Tide while the Wildcats lost on the road against the Texas A&M Aggies in overtime.
But, at 12-3 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, Kentucky still seems imposing. The Wildcats, once again, have a deep, talented roster that has an incredible amount of young talent and an impressive amount of scoring potential.
And given that this game is in Lexington instead of Starkville, it's worth keeping an eye on the fact that Kentucky is 8-1 on the season in Rupp Arena.
Mississippi State basketball: Bulldogs face tough road test against Kentucky Wildcats
For Chris Jans and the Mississippi State Bulldogs, this is yet another tough test. MSU has fared well throughout most of this season and is 12-4 on the year so far. But this is going to be the Bulldogs' most difficult challenge since facing the Tennessee Volunteers.
With stars like Antonio Reeves averaging 18.9 points per game, Mississippi State might be in trouble if the Bulldogs can't find a way to slow him down.
Then there's Tre Mitchell, who is a walking double-double threat on any given night. Mitchell is averaging 12.9 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game, but it wouldn't be a stretch to see the Kentucky star post a double-double against the Bulldogs.
And his battle against Mississippi State's Tolu Smith may just decide who wins this contest.
Mississippi State will attempt to tame Kentucky's offense, but the Bulldogs will have to score a ton of points in the process. Even if MSU can keep UK 10 points below its season average of 90.8 points per game, State will need to score beyond its average of 75.3 points per game to have a shot at winning this one.
Mississippi State has shown it can be a tough team to face, but the Kentucky Wildcats are really talented. It'll be fascinating to see how this game unfolds.
How to watch Mississippi State basketball: Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats
- Who: Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-4 overall, 1-2 SEC) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (12-3 overall, 2-1 SEC)
- When: Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.
- Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV channel: ESPN2
- Live stream: Watch ESPN
Mississippi State basketball: Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats preview and prediction
This is a major road test for Jans and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. It's not every day that you get to meet up with one of the 10 best teams in the country and that's happening today for Mississippi State. It'll also likely have major SEC implications as both of these teams aim to prove that they are among the best in the Southeastern Conference this season.
We're going to get an interesting matchup between the stellar defense that Mississippi State boasts (the Bulldogs hold foes to 64.8 points per game) and the explosive Kentucky offense that is averaging over 90 points per game.
It won't be enough for MSU to just play a strong defensive effort. The Mississippi State Bulldogs will need to have a solid offensive showing as well. Can that happen to the extent it needs to?
Mississippi State basketball vs. Kentucky Wildcats prediction
I don't think it will, unfortunately. I suspect that Kentucky wins at home this evening. I just think there's too much offense from the Wildcats for the Bulldogs to try to keep up with. I hope I'm wrong on this one though.
Score: UK 82 - MSU 79