It is clearly time to hit the refresh button on the season once again. We have all had time to vent and whine and complain, and trust me, I did my share of that yesterday. But even still, with an SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament ahead, it is still not out of the question for this team to do big things. Those hopes certainly don’t seem high considering the way this team has played, BUT you have to admit the talent is there to play with anybody.
I find it hard to believe that anybody would consider this season SUCCESSFUL at this point. But, I am interested in what will have to happen in the last 5-10 games this season for that opinion to change. Several options are possible, and I just want to know which option would sway you:
(a) Nothing can happen
-I doubt anybody would be in this category, but maybe there are some fans who have already given up on this team, and nothing could sway their opinion. Maybe they don’t like the players or their behavior, or Cal’s coaching, or the toughness of this team, or whatever. But, doesn’t matter if their is an SEC title and/or deep NCAA run, maybe you are calling this season unsuccessful.
(b) An SEC Tournament Title (No Expectations for NCAA’s)
-Some people might have already given up on this team making noise in the NCAA Tournament, BUT there is still a legit shot to win the SEC Tournament. And maybe for some people, to add to the trophy case at Kentucky in one way or another will make this a successful season. Some might argue this team doesn’t have the talent for NCAA success, so winning the SEC is the plateau for this team.
(c) SEC Tournament Title and Win 1 NCAA game
-Certainly UK fans live for the NCAA Tournament. And for some, just winning the SEC Tournament is not enough. For some, a 1st round exit in the NCAA’s is just flat out unacceptable. So, to consider this season a success there has to be at least 1 win in the NCAA Tournament. Plus, the way this season is going, the 1st round game is going to be a challenge, thus making a 1st round win that much more an achievement.
(d) Sweet 16 (No SEC Tourney Expectations)
-I find it hard to believe that if this team makes the Sweet 16 that the SEC Tournament will really matter, so I skip that option. But there are many fans that NO MATTER HOW CRAPPY THE TEAM, UK can not do worse than the Sweet 16 for a season to be called a success. The Crawford-Bradley team, an 11 seed, some called unsuccessful for not winning an NCAA Tournament game or two. Plus, this team has enough talent to make it this far.
(e) Elite 8
-This team has enough talent to make an Elite 8. They have enough toughness for a 1st round NIT loss. But, considering the talent level, some fans want them to play to the level. So despite the gaps in the bench and overall inexperience, some fans will not cut this team any slack. Plus, Cal was paid BIG money to make it to this level of the tournament and further.
(f) Final Four or Bust
-I would hope this would make up a very small minority of fans, but we all know they exist. Some fans want the Final Four every single year. This is Kentucky. We strive for Final Fours and nothing else. Billy Gillispie’s final year was a bust, not because of the idiocy off the floor, but because they didn’t make the Final Four. Don’t believe me? Check some of the call-in shows from that year.
So, let me know which letter are you. For me, I am a (b). If this team can win an SEC title, then the NCAA Tournament really wouldn’t mean much to me. Frankly, winning the SEC Tourney, the way this team is playing, would be an OVER-achievement. So, that is where I stand. Where are you?