Arkansas's Bobby Portis (10) works the ball around Texas A&M's Kourtney Roberson in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Danny Johnston
February 27, 2015

While Kentucky has an opportunity to make NCAA history if it can complete its perfect season, the Wildcats are simply focused on capturing their 28th SEC tournament title and first since 2011.

After breaking their 60-year-old record winning streak, the top-ranked Wildcats hope to add to their remarkable campaign with a 34th consecutive victory in Sunday's championship game against No. 21 Arkansas.

Kentucky (33-0) rolled into its fifth SEC final in six years with Saturday's 91-67 win over 13th-seeded Auburn in Nashville, topping the school's record 32-game winning streak set from 1953-55.

Seeking a better start after nursing a four-point halftime lead in Friday's 64-49 quarterfinal win over Florida, the Wildcats led by 18 at the break, shot 56.3 percent for the game and outrebounded the Tigers 39-25.

''We wanted to have a faster start than (against) Florida, and that's what we did,'' said guard Aaron Harrison, who had 12 points as one of five Kentucky players to reach double figures.

Willie Cauley-Stein more than doubled his 8.9 scoring average with 18 points, while Andrew Harrison added 15 after he had totaled 17 over his previous two games. Harrison and Trey Lyles (12 points) combined to score 22 in the first half.

The Wildcats could enter the NCAA Tournament with a chance to become the eighth team to run the table since 1938. First, they'll have to get past Arkansas (26-7) for their first SEC tourney crown since back-to-back titles in 2010-11.

"I'll live with the results if we're at our best, if we have high energy, if we're creating," coach John Calipari said. "Maybe we have a bad shooting day. You don't know how this stuff plays out. I want them just focused on being at your best."

The second-seeded Razorbacks seek their first conference championship in 15 years after Saturday's 60-49 semifinal win over third-seeded Georgia. Michael Qualls led the way with 15 points as Arkansas advanced despite shooting 37.3 percent.

SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis will likely need to bounce back if the Razorbacks are to have a shot at dealing Kentucky its first defeat. Portis finished with a season-low four points on 1-of-14 shooting against the Bulldogs.

He had averaged 23.7 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 57.4 percent in his previous three games. Qualls had 17 points and nine boards, while Portis added 15 and eight in an 84-67 loss at Kentucky on Feb. 28.

The Wildcats started fast in that contest, jumping out to a 16-point halftime advantage. They limited the Razorbacks to 37.5 percent shooting - including 5 for 18 from 3-point range - to snap a three-game skid in the series.

This is Arkansas' first title game appearance since losing back-to-back finals in 2007-08.

"It's going to be a great opportunity, but it's a tremendous challenge to play against the best team in the country," coach Mike Anderson said. "I feel we're a much better team than when we played them early in the year."

Lyles and Andrew Harrison scored 18 points apiece as the Wildcats shot 48.3 percent in the first meeting. The Razorbacks, though, have held opponents to a combined 32.7 field-goal percentage in Nashville.

"We always play each game with a chip on our shoulder," Arkansas guard Anthlon Bell said. "Like coach says, a log on our shoulder. So we just come in and play hard. We know we can get a good chance to beat them."

Kentucky also has tightened things up in the SEC tournament, holding opponents to 36.4 percent from the field and 8 of 31 from beyond the arc in its two games. The team has committed 10 turnovers or less in six straight games.

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