Some pre-game notes before UK-Missouri tips off at 9 p.m.
* Officials tonight are Michael Roberts, Ted Valentine and Ron Groover.
This is the fifth Kentucky game that Roberts has worked this year. All have been SEC games. He worked at Vanderbilt, the home game against Tennessee, at Ole Miss and at Florida.
This is the fourth Kentucky game for Groover, all at Rupp. He worked the LIU-Brooklyn game on on November 23. He also worked the Eastern Michigan game on January 2 and the Tennessee game on January 15, with Robers.
This is the second UK game that “TV Ted” has worked this year. He also worked the Cats’ home game with Lipscomb at Rupp on December 15.
* Some wild games in the conference this afternoon. Tennessee needed four overtimes to beat Texas A&M 93-85 in College Station. LSU rallied in regulation to tie Alabama, then beat the Crimson Tide in three overtimes 97-94. And Georgia prevailed over South Carolina in one overtime, 62-54.
In a more mundane game, Vanderbilt romped over poor Mississippi State 72-31. (MSU visits Rupp on Wednesday.) And Ole Miss crushed Auburn 88-55.
So if Kentucky can beat Missouri tonight, the Cats would move into a second-place tie with the Crimson Tide at 10-4. Alabama would hold the upper hand for the No. 2 seed, however, thanks to its 59-55 win over Kentucky in Tuscaloosa.
If Kentucky loses, the Cats would fall into a tie with Ole Miss and Missouri for the No. 3 seed. All three would be 9-5. I’m assuming that Arkansas will lose at Florida. If so, the Razorbacks would be 8-6.
Kentucky would have a win over Ole Miss and a loss to Missouri. Mississippi and Missouri split games. Ole Miss won in Oxford. Missouri won in Columbia. So it the conference tournament was held today, Missouri would be the No. 3 seed, thanks to its 2-1 record among the three teams. Kentucky would be No. 4 thanks to its 1-2 mark. Ole Miss would be No. 5 thanks to its 1-2 mark and its loss to Kentucky.
Then again, we still have four more leagues games to go after tonight.
* Herald-Leader photo gallery from this morning’s ESPN College GameDay at Rupp.
The Tigers are still looking to break through on the road against a competent opponent after a string of narrow losses — at LSU, at Texas A&M and at Arkansas. They are 1-6 on the road this season with the lone victory coming by 42 points at overmatched Mississippi State on Feb. 13.
“I do think we’d been playing pretty good there going into the game against Florida,” Haith said. “Even the loss at Arkansas, at A&M, I felt good about our team getting better and better. … We’ve got to stay humble and stay hungry.”
* Kentucky is a 2-point favorite.
* Follow updates from me on twitter at @johnclayiv.