Blue bloods clash in New Orleans

23 December 2017 05:06:00 GMTPlus11

The UCLA Bruins and Kentucky Wildcats meet in the CBS Sports Classic at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans this weekend.

The Bruins arrive in town unranked and with an 8-3 record. There's no Lonzo Ball this year after the now Los Angeles Laker helped direct UCLA to a victory over the Wildcats at Rupp Arena in Lexington last season.

This Bruins side is nowhere near as good, as illustrated by their defeats to Creighton, Michigan and Cincinnati.

UCLA snapped a two game losing streak last time out when they rallied to defeat South Dakota State at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Thomas Welsh led five players in double figures for the Bruins with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Kentucky seems rather over ranked at seventh in the nation by the Associated Press.

Certainly the Wildcats are 9-1, but victories over Utah Valley, Vermont, East Tennessee State, Troy, IPFW, UIC, Harvard, Monmouth and Virginia Tech is not an impressive resume.

Kentucky continues to ride on its reputation and a preseason ranking of fifth in the AP Top 25.

As such both teams have something to play for on Saturday, particularly the Bruins, who could use the strong non-conference victory.

The Pac-12 looks a little down overall this season, regardless of the fast start of Arizona State, and UCLA's current best non-conference victory is over a Wisconsin side that has so far been unimpressive.

Kentucky follows their match-up against the Bruins with a clash with the Louisville Cardinals.

There's no Rick Pitino on the sidelines for Louisville, but in-state bragging rights remain important to both teams.

Kentucky are 3001.00 to win the NCAAB Championship, with the Villanova 1.90 and Kansas 4.50.

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