The Kentucky Wildcats are known for being one of the best teams in the country, but they’ve also had their fair share of challenges.
Injuries, suspensions, and other incidents have kept the Wildcats in flux, and they have also faced the challenges of having a star player, the presence of a dominant coach and a highly competitive fanbase.
In the summer, Kentucky will have a chance to put their struggles behind them when they host Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The Wildcats have not played well during the 2016-17 season, falling to the Blue Devils in their first meeting and losing to eventual national champion Kentucky in the semifinals.
In that series, the Wildcats were unable to find their game and finished with a 42-31 victory.
The Bulldogs are currently No. 5 in the AP Poll, behind only Oregon, Michigan, and Florida State.
Kentucky also played at home against Georgia Tech earlier this season, but the Bulldogs won in double overtime.
Georgia Tech has the best record in the conference and is currently the favorite to win the ACC Tournament.
Georgia is coming off its bye week and has won eight of its last nine games.
The Jackets return four starters and will have five returning players, but one of them is not expected to play.
Freshman guard Jake Bugg is out with a knee injury and senior forward Isaiah Austin is doubtful for Saturday.
Bugg missed all of last season with an injury and Austin missed all but one game in 2016-2017 with a torn ACL.
Freshmen guard K.J. McDaniels and senior center Jaden Young are both expected to sit out with injuries, but both are expected to return.
Young will start at center for the Blue Jackets and McDanies will take his place at point guard.
Georgia will be without top shooting guard Tyus Jones, who will miss the remainder of the season due to injury.
Jones has made just one 3-pointer in the ACC this season.
Georgia’s offense is averaging just over 28 points per game, but its defense is allowing just 23.3 points per contest.
The Blue Jackets have struggled in close games, going 5-13 against teams that finished in the top 10 in scoring, including a 16-point loss to No. 2 Georgia in the 2017 ACC Tournament Championship Game.
Georgia has also lost two games by double digits in the second half, losing to No, 3 Duke on Jan. 29 and beating No. 12 Louisville on Feb. 4.
The Red Raiders will have the best chance to rebound from their loss to Kentucky by playing a much more aggressive style and looking to put pressure on Kentucky’s defense.
Georgia also has the most experienced squad in the league, with a squad that is nearly 30 years old.
The Yellow Jackets have played in more than 80 games, including 24 at home this season and 12 at the Verizon Center.
The schedule for Saturday’s game is very difficult, as the Bulldogs will be in the middle of their ACC Tournament run, which will be played in Atlanta.
Kentucky will play in Atlanta for the second straight year, with the Wildcats winning all three games they played in 2017-18.
The home-and-home series between Kentucky and Georgia Tech will be the first time that both teams have played at the SEC Network Center.