Eighth-ranked Kentucky basketball will host Virginia Tech on Saturday, December 16, 2017. Find game time, TV channel and how to watch online below.
Since Kentucky lost to Kansas on Nov. 14, the Wildcats have played (and beaten) six straight teams ranked 126th in Ken Pomeroy’s metrics. They’ll finally face a real challenge again Saturday: No. 29 Virginia Tech.
“This is plugged into our schedule at a time where we need to learn about us, and we will,” coach John Calipari said. “This team is a tough, grind it, fly up and down, shoot threes, get to the rim, come at you, try to be the aggressor — and we’ll see. We’ll know after the game where we are.”
The Hokies (9-1) have beaten Iowa, Ole Miss and Washington, which just upset Kansas, and lead the nation in points per game (96.2) and effective field-goal percentage (64.2). They rank second in 3-point percentage (46.8).
“This is the best 3-point-shooting team we will face all year,” said Calipari, whose team has allowed 10-plus made threes in three of the last four games. Tech averages 10.3 makes per game. “The other thing they do is they are going to press us. They are not going to come in here with all this respect and go back and play a zone or sag. They are going to press us. They are playing fast.
“Now, we have been in these kind of games with two teams playing fast, and it’s pretty fun to watch.”
Whether the Wildcats are ready to pass that test remains to be seen, but Calipari is right about the fun part. It could be a shootout at Rupp Arena.
Kentucky-Virginia Tech game time, details
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- Date: Saturday, December 16, 2017
- Location: Rupp Arena (23,000), Lexington, Ky.
- Records: Kentucky 8-1, Virginia Tech 9-1
What TV channel is Kentucky-Virginia Tech on?
You can watch Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech on ESPN2. Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale will be on the call.
How can I watch Kentucky-Virginia Tech online?
Stream Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to Kentucky-Virginia Tech on the radio?
Kentucky and Virginia Tech will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 191 and Sirius channel 137.
Kentucky-Virginia Tech preview
- Wildcats freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will face off with his cousin and former high school teammate, Hokies freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Both are Canadian natives who played together at Hamilton Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn. SGA is averaging 10.1 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals, while NAW is averaging 14.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Both are shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
- Alexander-Walker is one of three Hokies averaging at least 14 points and shooting 47 percent or better from beyond the arc. He, Justin Bibbs (6-5, 220-pound senior) and Ahmed Hill (6-5, 205-pound junior) have all made at least 20 threes. Bibbs is averaging 17.4 points and shooting 60 percent from the field, 95 percent at the free-throw line.
- Is 5-star freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt close to making his return? Calipari said he’s gone through some individual workouts with assistant Kenny Payne — and now Vanderbilt has posted a cryptic but seemingly very optimistic message on Instagram.