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An SEC catfight pits Wildcats against Tigers

The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats close out game road trip this afternoon, invading Baton Rouge for an SEC showdown with the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

John Calipari's Wildcats have lost just once this season and are certainly clicking on all cylinders, bringing a lengthy 12-game win streak into this contest. Kentucky continued its winning ways this week while remaining unbeaten in conference play with a 57-44 decision over Georgia in Athens.

Trent Johnson's Tigers are four games over .500 on the season at 12-8, but have found it much tougher in league play with a mere 2-4 mark thus far. This is the third straight ranked opponent on the docket for the Tigers, who have lost at Florida (76-64) and at Mississippi State (76-71) in the last week.

Kentucky holds a sizable 80-24 advantage in the series with LSU and leads in games played in Baton Rouge, 28-16. More recently, the Wildcats have won two straight and four of the last five meetings.

The Wildcats have one of the youngest rosters in the nation, but that hasn't prevented the team from ascending the polls. Kentucky has done it with balance at both ends of the floor and is enjoying an impressive +19.5 scoring margin as a result (second in the nation). The youngsters have certainly bought into the team's defensive gameplan, allowing a mere 59.0 ppg (18th nationally) on a nation's best .362 shooting. UK's scoring depth is unmatched with six players currently averaging double figures. Still, it is the emergence of freshman forward Anthony Davis that has the team rolling. The 6-10 Davis is shooting .629 from the floor, averaging a double-double with 13.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, while leading the nation in blocked shots (4.7 per game). Doron Lamb (13.7 ppg), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (13.2 ppg), Terrence Jones (11.6 ppg), Darius Miller (10.3 ppg) and Marquis Teague (10.0 ppg) all have the ability to fill up the basket.

LSU's problems usually come at the offensive end of the floor, where a lack of consistency has plagued the team. The Tigers are averaging a modest 67.2 ppg, while shooting just over 40 percent from the floor. Forward Justin Hamilton leads the way, with team-highs in scoring (13.9 ppg), rebounding (7.4 rpg) and blocks (29). Andre Stringer and Anthony Hickey round out the top scoring threats at 10.8 and 10.0 ppg, respectively. Ralston Turner (8.9 ppg) and Storm Warren (8.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) complete the starting five. In the loss to the Bulldogs this week, LSU knocked down 11 three-pointers but it wasn't enough. Stringer led the way with 17 points. Hickey hit four three-pointers en route to a 16-point outing. Hamilton finished with 11 points. Despite committing just nine turnovers in the game, LSU was beat up on the glass, getting outrebounded, 46-26. The Wildcats showed their defensive prowess in the win over Georgia, holding the Bulldogs to a mere 44 points. Miller led the Wildcats in scoring with 19 points off the bench, hitting 7-of-8 shots from the floor including all four of his three-point attempts. Kidd-Gilchrist posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Davis struggled offensively with just four points, but did grab 11 rebounds and block five shots in the win.