Kentucky vs. Kansas is shaping up to be one of the marquee matchups of the 2023 SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The Wildcats are hosting KU in this matchup as they look to secure a key nonconference victory for their NCAA Tournament résumé. Kentucky needs to pull off the win to stay off the bubble, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

Several ESPN experts predicted the winner and final score of this game as part of the network’s preview of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Here are their predictions:

  • Jeff Borzello: Kansas 72, Kentucky 70
  • John Gasaway: Kansas 74, Kentucky 71
  • Joe Lunardi: Kansas 78, Kentucky 74
  • Myron Medcalf: Kentucky 74, Kansas 72

Of the panel of experts, only Medcalf is picking Kentucky to win the game. Here’s an excerpt of his analysis:

“But this is a hot Kentucky team. The starting lineup of Chris Livingston, Cason Wallace, CJ Fredrick, Jacob Toppin and Tshiebwe has held opponents to just 85 points per 100 possessions and snatched 42% of its missed shots during this four-game run, per”

Kentucky has won 3 straight games entering this matchup. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks are on a 3-game losing streak as they grind through the Big 12 gauntlet.

Kentucky and Kansas have met 34 times previously. The Wildcats have a 24-10 record in those contests.

Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. ET on Saturday night.