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Kentucky seeks to rebound vs Vanderbilt after being embarrassed in game without Nerlens Noel

  • b7e9c067b0c0b405290f6a7067009dbc.jpg

    Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) battles for the ball with Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 88-58. (AP Photo/WADE PAYNE) (The Associated Press)

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    Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) works against Tennessee forward Kenny Hall (20) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) (The Associated Press)

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    Kentucky head coach John Calipari directs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 88-58. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) (The Associated Press)

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    Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) drives against Kentucky guard Julius Mays (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 88-58. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) (The Associated Press)

Humiliated Kentucky seeks redemption in its second post-Nerlens Noel outing.

Kentucky is entering a stretch of nearly must-win games and can't afford another embarrassing performance like the Wildcats had against Tennessee. In the Wildcats' first contest after losing their freshman center for the season with a knee injury, the Volunteers thumped Kentucky 88-58.

The Wildcats (17-8, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) will host Vanderbilt (10-14, 4-8) Wednesday looking to show they can win without Noel — sidelined after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament a week ago.

Coach John Calipari says without the nation's leading shot-blocker, the Wildcats will have to change their defensive strategy to prevent opponents from getting to the basket. He is also hoping the loss leads to the commitment and cohesion Kentucky needs to make a tournament run.