1. The horse you see above in none other than Triple Crown winner Man O’ War. A sometimes forgotten fact about the great horse was he only lost one race, to a horse named Upset, hence where the term comes from. Sunday was the 25th anniversary of probably the greatest upset in college basketball history, Garnder Webb 84, err, nevermind. It was actually Chaminade 77, #1 Virginia 72. To celebrate the anniversary here is the only game footage from that night on the Big Island.
2. Since it is RPI Thursday, I thought I would do a little research due to the recent debates on this website on exactly what it would take for UK to reach the NCAA Tournament this season. As I have said before, UK’s RPI must be above 70 to recieve an at-large bid, as only 1 team since 1999 has gotten a bid to the tourney with a RPI under 70. Alot of people have argued that if UK goes 7-6 in the non-conference and 10-6 in the SEC making them 17-12 overall, that would be close to enough. So, here is some history of SEC teams and what it took to make the tourney.
1999: Mississippi- 16-12 (8-8) RPI: 51 (MADE TOURNEY)
Mississippi St.- 19-12 (8-8) RPI: 93 (MISSED)
2000: Vandy- 19-10 (8-8) RPI: 39 (MISSED)
2001: Georgia- 16-14 (9-7) RPI: 27 (MADE)
Alabama- 21-10 (8-8) RPI: 51 (MISSED)
2002: Mississippi- 19-10 (9-7) RPI: 44 (MADE)
2003: Alabama- 17-11 (7-9) RPI: 38 (MADE)
Tennessee- 17-11 (9-7) RPI: 61 (MISSED)
2004: Alabama- 17-12 (8-8) RPI: 26 (MADE)
LSU- 18-10 (8-8) RPI: 38 (MISSED)
2005: Vandy- 18-13 (8-8) RPI: 74 (MISSED)
2006: Alabama- 17-12 (10-6) RPI: 56 (MADE)
I think that 2006 Alabama squad should be the goal. UK must go AT LEAST 9-7 in the SEC, but even that is a long shot for an at large. No team in the past 8 years has been kept out of the tournament with a 11-5 SEC record either. But, every year is different when it comes to the tournament, i.e. a 56 RPI Alabama team in 2006 made the tourney but a 38 RPI LSU team in 2004 was kept out. Either way, there is a long way to go but here is the Cats resume up to this point: Links to overall RPI and SEC RPI.
Current UK RPI: 206
Best win: Texas Southern (219)
Worst Loss: Gardner Webb (216)
Average RPI of opponents in wins: 287
Average RPI of opponents in losses: 101
Wins vs Top 100 opponents: 0
Losses vs Sub 100 opponents: 3
Remaining games vs Top 50 opponents: 5
3. Here is a recap of the first day of the King of the Bluegrass tournament at Fairdale. Scotty Hobson’s University Heights team won by 2, and will play at 730PM tonight. Dakotah Euton and Chad Jackson’s Rose Hill team also won and will play at 9PM. Wesley Witherspoon’s team fell in the 1st round despite his 22 points.
4. Bobby Bowden’s reputation has definatly been damaged over the last few years with the wilting away of his program and many off the field issues. Rick Bozich use his column today to highlight the best coach in the Music City Bowl: Rich Brooks.
5. If you are headed to Nashville for the bowl game, the Courier-Journal gives you some things you need to know, i.e parking and the Cat Walk.
6. All right UK fans, its time to direct your anger towards ESPN’s Chris Low, who says that even with the mass suspensions of FSU, the Seminoles will still beat the Cats. Why, because they are not playing basketball according to Chris. Clearly, he hasn’t watched the basketball team up to this point. Or the football team for that matter.
7. More Bobby Bowden stories, this time from John Clay of the Hearld-Leader.
8. Today, I am moving Vandy from the overrated column (although they almost lost to Tennessee St. last week) and moving Mississippi into their spot. I will be honest, I have not seen the Rebels play, so I am going strictly on how they looked last year and their schedule this year. Pretty scientific, huh? Anyway, here is what they have done so far: beat South Alabama by 3, Winthrop by 5, Depaul by 6, Lasalle by 7, and Central Florida by 9. The only decent team they have played is Clemson and that was on a neutral court against an overrated Tigers squad. Ole Miss will probably make the tourney this year, but they are a first round flameout guarentee.