Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Valparaiso gets a tremendous opportunity to prove themselves today against one of the top teams in the nation, but that’s obviously easier said than done. Valparaiso has opened the year 7-1 overall with some nice wins coming against teams like Alabama, BYU, Ball State, and Rhode Island. Valpo is racking up what should be some decent RPI building wins in the nonconference for a group that could have an outside shot at making an at-large push to the Big Dance. The Crusaders have one of the best players in the nation with Alec Peters who’s averaging 25.4 points per game.
Kentucky is coming off their first defeat of the regular season losing to UCLA at home this past weekend by a final of 92-97. Kentucky’s defense failed them against an elite UCLA attack and the Wildcats are actually lacking resume wins right now with their only higher RPI result coming in their win over Michigan State. Kentucky has shown the ability to blowout the easier teams they’ve faced this season and it’ll be interesting to see what they can do here against this veteran Valpo squad. Kentucky has put up some bigger offensive numbers this season ranking 4th in the nation in points allowed. Malik Monk leads the team averaging 19.9 points per game.
Kentucky has finally faced some adversity early on in the year which head coach Cal can use to motivate his guys. This game means a lot to this Valpo squad and that’ll be giving everything they have from tip. We like Kentucky to bounce back and get the win, but feel the Crusaders have the better betting value getting the points.
Valparaiso +19.5 -105