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Looking Ahead: Vandy or Arkansas


Always choose the lesser of two weevils.

With no more regular season games to be played, and with so many bubble implications on the line, the SEC Tournament hasn’t been more important to Kentucky in a long time.  Coach Cal has never been a fan, always wanting to move on to the next (“real”) tournament, but this year, it’s possible that we need the SEC Tourney to even get to that other one.  As the situation stands, the Wildcats will probably have to win at least one more game this weekend to feel comfortable with their chances at a bid.  And even though we get a bye through the first round, the two teams slated aren’t exactly teams we wanted to see.  The question now is, which would we prefer: Vanderbilt or Arkansas?

On paper, there’s no doubt that Vanderbilt is the worse team.  Kevin Stallings hasn’t been this disappointed since he dropped all that chili on his way to his desk.  The Commodores are sub-.500 at 14-16, and have an 8-10 SEC record.  But for some reason, they’ve given Kentucky heart attacks both times they’ve played them, losing two games by a combined total of six points.  They don’t do one thing particularly well, but Stallings is more comfortable playing against Calipari than Mike Anderson is, and has more tricks up his sleeve (like keeping M&Ms in a desk drawer).  Even though they wouldn’t be in their wonky, M.C. Escher-styled gymnasium/opera house, Stallings and Co. always find a way to get under our skin.

Arkansas, meanwhile, is both the better seed and, seemingly, the better team.  But nine of their ten SEC wins came at home, including the one against Kentucky earlier this month.  In fact, the Razorbacks have only won a single game away from Fayetteville all season, and that came against Auburn.  In road-and neutral site-games, they are a staggering 1-11.  So while their pressure and athleticism is something to look out for, and even though they did stomp Kentucky earlier in the season, is it really fair to be afraid of them in Nashville?  Vanderbilt wasn’t last month (even though they suffered a thumping the first time they played the Hogs), and walked away with a pretty solid win.

Arkansas is by and large the better team, but if we’re able to play them where they’re vulnerable, which is anywhere but home, they’ve shown all season that they’re likely not able to step up to the task.  Vanderbilt, meanwhile, has played us close both at home and in Rupp, and a Nashville game is essentially a second home game for them.  Should they beat Arkansas, we could expect to see them buy up a bunch of tickets to make sure their game against is plenty loud, and for all the wrong reasons.

That said, they suck.  Gimme Vandy.

Article written by Corey Nichols

31 Comments for Looking Ahead: Vandy or Arkansas

  1. Dumbledore
    9:02 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    nice M&C reference, Corey.

  2. Kristen Geil's Abs
    9:02 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I want Ar-Kansas. Let this team show they can beat them.

  3. Rockfield, KY
    9:08 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    We’ll outdraw any team we play, and that includes the fairweather Vandy fan base. Any game in the SEC tourney is home game for us.

  4. rick
    9:13 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll TAKE Vandy.

  5. Yeah But...
    9:14 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I would rather play Arkansas. It would look a little better beating them than it would Vandy, considering we are tinkering on the bubble. I feel like friday is THE most important game of the season! Cant wait!!

  6. Musehobo
    9:20 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Normally, I would rather play Vandy. But not in Nashville. I’d prefer Arkansas, but it’s close.

  7. Duke Sucks
    9:25 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Not even close has to be Arkansas! After dropping the ball at their place, if any of our players don’t want anther shot at them they don’t deserve to have Kentucky across their chest. If we can’t win at least 2 games we don’t deserve to make the NCAA!

  8. leftistsevil
    9:27 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Arkansas won games at home and lost away because their strategy is to foul every player on every possession. In that strategy, many fouls are called, but most simply cannot be. They tend to gain basketball advantage from “getting away with” so much. They get away with more at home, if the refs are weak and want to hear the crowd cheer rather than hiss, and so the results…

    Nashville is not Fayetteville. Arkansas has no chance to beat Kentucky in Nashville, but the Hogs probably won’t beat Vandy, either.

  9. catcrawler
    9:28 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Arkansas. Avenge that L they gave us and try to get a better seed for the dance.

  10. Revenge begins now!
    9:30 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Give me Arkansas, then give us Alabama in the title game! Then I hope we get Duke and Louisville in the dance to beat em when it matters to see all of their fans faces after their dream seasons are over. Wishful thinking

  11. True
    9:31 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    @8 good points. Vandy beat Ark by 22 in Nashville earlier this year? i think they will squeeze it out.. BUT what if we do play Vandy and barely win? We still remain on the bubble. Im nervous because either way I am starting to think we are going to have to win 2 games in the SEC tourney as @7 stated.

  12. Catpapa2525
    9:41 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Vandy played us too close twice. It is REALLY hard to beat a team 3 times in a season, especially one as inconsistant as this team. Contextual motivation is important to this team. I am totally with #7 on this one BEAT Arkansas and avenge a terrible loss. I hope we get a shot at TN for the title too!

  13. Amberbock
    9:42 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Bahahaha… two weevils..

  14. Catpapa2525
    9:43 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    “He who would pun would pick a pocket!”

  15. Amberbock
    9:45 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    And it doesnt matter which team we face, frankly. Neither are all that great, and we need to stomp the poo out of either.

  16. Tom Blevins
    9:46 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think we have a choice, here. We get to play the winner.

  17. BobKYCats
    9:46 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I want Arkansas; I demand reciprocity!

  18. RahRah
    9:48 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    If our guys come to play, we should have no trouble with either of these teams. That said, I’d love to beat Arkansas.

  19. Amberbock
    9:53 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Well said, 12. Wasnt it vandy that got us last year, third game? I think if I were going to be choose(y?) I would rather Arkansas. They beat us once, so I would like vengeance, and they will not affect our “home advantage” too much. Our players would play better for a predominately blue crowd.

  20. Piggies
    9:55 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee bring on the pork!

  21. Jezz
    9:56 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I’m sorry, what ?

    A revenge game should always be our choice. Let’s give it to these hogs.

  22. Bluekzu
    10:09 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Arkansas, definitely.

  23. Bluekzu
    10:11 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    And I hope we draw IU first round. Last year was fun, but sending them home this year in particular would be maybe the greatest thing ever.

  24. Guy From Red Dawn
    10:26 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Avenge me boys!!! avenge me!!!!

  25. WWMKGD?
    10:41 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    16 – Good job, good effort there Tom Blevins. Really, we get to play the winner????

  26. Rae
    10:53 am March 12, 2013 Permalink

    23. We won’t be lower than a 12 seed.

    I never feel confident against Vandy. Arkansas please.

  27. Chicago Chris
    12:34 pm March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I would say beating Arkansas would give us a better shot to make the tourny, even if we lost the next game, since it would avenge a recent embarrassing loss. Beating Vandy would require us possibly to win the next. Losing to either is a ticket to the NIT.

  28. Chicago Chris
    12:36 pm March 12, 2013 Permalink

    Also, we don’t need to lose to Vandy in the tourny two years in a row. God, I can’t wait until we’re awesome again. I thought we were done with this kind of speculation for a while.

  29. Chicago Chris
    12:37 pm March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I mean, I’m looking at incredible envy on teams predicted to get lousy #7 seeds in the NCAA.

  30. HicksPickSix
    1:02 pm March 12, 2013 Permalink

    I’d like to point out that Corey Nichols just said someone else sucks. Ah, hypocrisy.

  31. Jim
    5:40 pm March 12, 2013 Permalink

    If we can’t beat either team, we might as well
    stay home. We won’t beat anyone in the tounament
    anyway. If that happens wait’ll next year. Don’t
    get me wrong. I’d love to get to at least elite8,
    but I can’t see that happening.