Kentucky head coach John Calipari yells to his bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
A look at the Southeastern Conference during week two of league games:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Tennessee at No. 13 Kentucky. Both teams should enter Saturday's game with plenty of incentive. Tennessee (11-5, 2-1 SEC) needs a quality road win to boost its NCAA tournament hopes. Kentucky (12-4, 2-1) wants to bounce back from an 87-85 loss Tuesday to Arkansas in which it gave up a game-winning dunk to Michael Qualls with two-tenths of a second remaining. The last time these two teams met, Tennessee embarrassed Kentucky 88-58 to hand the Wildcats their most lopsided loss in John Calipari's coaching tenure. It also was Tennessee's most one-sided victory in the history of this series.
LOOKING AHEAD: Texas A&M is off to a surprising 3-0 start in SEC play, with home wins over Arkansas and South Carolina and an impressive road win against Tennessee. The Aggies weren't expected to be a factor in the SEC this season — especially after a 20-point home loss in nonconference play North Texas on Dec. 31 — but they're off to a good start, and have a winnable game at Mississippi State on Saturday.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson returned from a two-game suspension (stemming from last season's on- and off-the-court behavior) and poured in 25 points as the Rebels beat LSU 88-74 in overtime on Wednesday. The Rebels are 2-1 in the SEC play and Henderson's prodigious ability to score points is a huge asset as long as he can stay out of trouble. "We know that we're right there and anything can happen," Henderson said. "There are 15 SEC games left. We hope this is the one that can start a winning streak."
KEY STAT: South Carolina guard Brenton Williams had made 50 consecutive free throws before missing one Saturday in a 71-68 loss to LSU. Williams' streak, which began last season, tied the SEC record for consecutive made free throws. Travis Ford also made 50 straight free throws for Kentucky in a streak that began in 1993 and ran through 1994. Williams is 39 of 40 on free-throw attempts this season.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: No. 8 South Carolina is dealing with some major off-court adversity as the Gamecocks bid for their first SEC title. Assistant coach Nikki McCray announced Monday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, though she plans to continue coaching through the rest of the season. McCray said she learned of the diagnosis in November. No. 25 Texas A&M edged South Carolina 67-65 in overtime on Thursday to take over sole possession of first place in the conference.