Twelve things to know about tonight’s Georgia-Kentucky game, which tips off at 8:04 in Stegeman Coliseum:
1. Georgia (13-14, 5-9 SEC) will be playing its eighth game this season against an opponent ranked in the nation’s Top 25 at game time. The Bulldogs are 3-4 in such games, including 3-1 at home. Kentucky (27-2, 12-2 SEC) is ranked No. 3 in this week’s AP poll.
2. A Georgia win would complete a sweep of home games vs. SEC East opponents, following victories in Stegeman over Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Florida.
3. A Kentucky win would clinch a share of the Wildcats’ 44th SEC championship.
4. It will be Senior Night, with Georgia’s three seniors — guard Ricky McPhee, forward-center Albert Jackson and forward Tyler Whatley — being honored in a pregame ceremony. All three will start, per coach Mark Fox’s practice of starting his seniors in their final home game.
5. McPhee, a former walk-on, has started every game this season and leads the team in minutes played. He said Tuesday that “not in a million years” would he have expected to be in this position — starting for the Bulldogs against the No. 3 team in the country. “I’m just truly blessed to be part of the program,” said McPhee, a Parkview High graduate who walked on at Georgia two years ago after transferring from Gardner-Webb. “I’ve just tried to work my way up the ladder.”
6. The game is Georgia’s fourth reserved-seat sellout of the season and is expected to be the second complete sellout after the student-ticket allotment is sold. Georgia had no sellouts of any sort last season.
7. Kentucky and Georgia are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the SEC in rebounding margin. Kentucky averages 9.8 more rebounds per game than its opponents and Georgia 4.3 more per game than its opponents.
8. Three of the SEC’s top five rebounders will be on the floor – Kentucky’s 6-foot-11 DeMarcus Cousins (10.3 rebounds per game) and 6-foot-9 Patrick Patterson (7.6) and Georgia’s 6-foot-9 Trey Thompkins (8.1).
9. Kentucky made just 2 of 22 shots from 3-point range in a 74-65 defeat at Tennessee on Saturday, the Wildcats’ second loss of the season. Over their past four games, the Cats are 12-for-73 (16.4 percent) from behind the arc.
10. Kentucky has three players averaging in double-figure points per game: freshmen John Wall (16.8) and Cousins (16.2) and junior Patterson (14.9). Georgia’s Thompkins is second in the SEC in scoring at 17.9 points per game.
11. Georgia is 24-111 all-time vs. Kentucky, including 15-37 in Athens.
12. Kentucky coach John Calipari on the Dogs: “[They] just absolutely thumped Tennessee, who beat us. Vanderbilt, Florida . . . you can go right down the line, they have beat everybody on our half. The biggest thing is that they are really disciplined in what they do and how they play, and they don’t change for 40 minutes. They are very physical. [Travis] Leslie is athletic. Thompkins is about as good as there is in our league. . . . They have a couple guys shooting threes. Their point guard is shooting better now. . . . [It is] a hard game for us, a hard game to win, especially coming off of what just happened to us [the loss at Tennessee].”
So what are your thoughts about tonight’s game?