The SEC championship game between the No.1 Kentucky Wildcats and Vanderbilt Commodores will easily be one of the more intriguing matchups to close out this special championship week in 2012.
This season, the two sides played twice and the Wildcats took both games. In what was a back-and-forth struggle at Vanderbilt, with Kentucky pulled ahead in the final two minutes of play to steal an SEC victory on the road, 69-63.
In Kentucky, the Wildcats left it all on the court, winning 83-74 in a game where the Wildcats had the game won from the opening tip-off.
With a third game against Vanderbilt coming in this SEC championship, expect much of the same, with the Wildcats taking this game with ease.
Kentucky (32-1, 16-0 SEC) has been winning games handily, taking all games in conference play this season.
The key to the Wildcats' success in the 2011-2012 season?
It has been their top-notch play on the inside both offensively and defensively that has set this team apart from the rest, with top-NBA prospect Anthony Davis and forwards Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist leading the way.
Unlike John Calipari teams in recent history, this team has an unmatched commitment running their team through the play of their bigs. Offensively, the three are averaging 38.8 points per game, with both Jones and Davis shooting at least 50 percent from the floor this season.
Defensively, their has been a renewed commitment to shutting teams down with toughness on this end of the floor. Davis, Jones and Kidd-Gilchrist combine for 24.6 rebounds per game this season, with Davis leading the way with 10 per contest.
Does Kentucky Have What It Takes To Win A National Championship?
Davis' ability to alter shots and force teams outside of the paint has been the difference maker for this basketball team this season. His 4.7 blocks per game is a mark that easily ranks No. 1 in the nation this season.
Vanderbilt has had an especially positive season in 2012, heading into the contest 23-10 and 10-6 in SEC play.
Yet against Kentucky, this team simply fails to have an answer. The Commodores are No. 182 in the nation in the rebounding department, a mark that will hurt their chances dramatically against the Wildcats.
Despite facing an improved Vanderbilt team in this SEC championship, expect the Wildcats to continue to prove why they are the No. 1 team in the nation with a big win over the Commodores.