Previewing Kentucky

After shaking off the rust in the opener, the No. 1 Tar Heels -- without starters Tyler Hansbrough and Marcus Ginyard -- should get a better test on Tuesday from Kentucky. The game will tip-off at the Smith Center at 9 p.m. and will be nationally televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (1-0) vs. Kentucky (0-1)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
9 p.m., ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Erin Andrews)


"Their style of play was that they whipped us. They out-fought us, they got all the loose balls and out hustled us. They rebounded in a timely fashion better than we did and they executed much better than we did. They also showed more leadership on the court than we did. It looked like they paid more attention to the scouting report than we did and that is my fault." -- Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie following the VMI loss

"Kentucky has a lot of talent. We know we're not going just going to beat them off our talent. We're going to have to work hard and execute." – UNC forward Danny Green

"It was such a weird game, VMI would have beaten us also. I know it's an easy deal for me to say that, but we wouldn't have beaten VMI if they had come in here and played us like that. They were sensational." – UNC head coach Roy Williams on Kentucky's loss to VMI

"That's one game. You can't base a team's talent on one game. Some teams have good games, some teams have bad games." – Green


Season Results: Kentucky arrives in Chapel Hill with an 0-1 record, dropping its season opener to Virginia Military Institute, 111-103, whose cadets knocked down 14 3-pointers. Wildcat guard Jodie Meeks led all scorers with 39 points while Perry Stevenson recorded his fourth career double-double with a career-high 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Kentucky had four player reach double digits in points, helping the Wildcats to the century mark for the first time since Dec. 23, 2003 against Eastern Kentucky.

Big Man in the Middle: Patrick Patterson averaged 16.4 points and 7.7 rebounds during the 2007-08 season before missing the final five games of the season to a stress fracture in his left ankle. The sophomore was on pace to break Rex Chapman's freshman scoring record, falling just 54 points short. There were high hopes surrounding the 6-foot-9, 235-pounder heading into his second year in Lexington, being named to the Top 50 watch list for the John R. Wooden Award All- American Team and Player of the Year trophy, but he was held to eight points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes of action against VMI on Friday night.

Preseason Accolades: In addition to Patterson being named to the preseason First Team All-SEC squad at the SEC Media Day in Birmingham, Ala., Meeks was also selected as a second-team option.

Against Top-Ranked Opponents: The Wildcats own an all-time record of 5-12 against No. 1 schools.

Odd Fact: UK has the nation's third-longest active streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer. The Wildcats have connected from downtown in 675 consecutive, trailing on UNLV and Vanderbilt. Kentucky's last game without a three-ball? Try 20 years ago against Seton Hall on Nov. 26, 1988 in the Great Alaska Shootout.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Kentucky, 86-77, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. on Dec. 1, 2007. Danny Green scored a career-high 20 points, while Tyler Hansbrough (14 points, 11 rebounds), Wayne Ellington (18 pts) and Ty Lawson (10 pts, six assists) all eclipsed the double-digit mark in points. The win was UNC's fourth in a row over the Wildcats.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Kentucky, 20-10. The Tar Heels are 3-2 all-time against the Wildcats in Chapel Hill, with wins in the 1990-91, 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons and losses in 2000-01 and 2002-03. These two programs have never played in the month of November before, and it's worth noting that at least one of the two teams has been ranked in each of the last 23 meetings. Kentucky leads all NCAA Division I schools with 1,966 all-time wins, while North Carolina ranks second with 1,951.

Projected Starters:
34 DeAndre Liggins (6-6, 202, Fr.) – Chicago (Ill.) Findlay
23 Jodie Meeks (6-4, 208, Jr.) – 8.8 ppg
22 Ramon Harris (6-7, 218, Jr.) - 4.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg
21 Perry Stevenson (6-9, 207, Jr.) – 5.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg
54 Patrick Patterson (6-9, 235, So.) - 16.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Key Reserves:
13 Michael Porter (6-3, 198, Jr.) – 2.0 ppg, 1.1 apg
 1 Darius Miller (6-7, 223, Fr.) – Maysville (Ky.) Mason Co.
55 Josh Harrellson (6-10, 265, So.) – 	SW Illinois College

(Stats from 2007-08 Season)

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Patterson ... Liggins

Meeks ... Stevenson

Miller ... Gillespie

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