The 2012-13 season is about halfway through, and just like in 1989 and 2009, the Kentucky Wildcats will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Set The Stage: Last week, Kentucky waltzed into Oxford and defeated the top 20 Rebels, 87-74. However, this was apparently not nearly as impressive as it first appeared. Since losing to Kentucky, Ole Miss has gone winless not counting the game against Mississippi State Wednesday. In fact, while the Cats were probably pretty impressed with themselves after edging the Rebels by 13, the Florida Gators one upped the Cats, by turning around and crushing Ole Miss by 14. And this isn’t an isolated incident for Kentucky, unfortunately. According to various statisticians on the inter-net, every single team that Kentucky has defeated this season has lost another game at some point. So let’s not go ordering those championship rings just yet, hmm?
*New Boy: In that win over Ole Miss, UK freshman center Nerlens Noel made history. And not the good kind, either. Despite logging 36 minutes, Noel tied an NCAA record by recording ZERO made field goals for the game. In fact, despite being almost 7 feet tall and extremely athletic, Noel hit as many shots in that game as I did. In the history of NCAA basketball, there have been a total of 494,102 games played.- And not once has someone hit fewer shots than he did against the Rebels. A stunning accomplishment, to be sure. No wonder so many folks were talking about Noel the next day.
– This is just a guess.
*Over There: After beating Texas A&M in overtime last weekend, UK was 4-1 on the road in SEC play. This does not bode well for Kentucky. NCAA Tournament games, as everyone knows, are not played on the road. They are played in neutral environments. Moreover, Kentucky will probably not be playing other SEC teams in the Tournament, at least at first. They will be playing teams from other conferences, so the fact that they can travel to hostile environments in league play and pull off tough wins means absolutely nothing. Consider this bit of data: The 2011 Final Four team made it all the way to the Final Four after being toughened up in league play by a 2-6 road record. Thanks to already winning twice as many away games as that team, the current Cats have already guaranteed they will not be able to replicate what the 2011 team did, and make it all the way to Houston.
* On this date: On this date in 2012, Kentucky fans were more interested in talking basketball than football. Thanks to 6 losses by the basketball Cats, things have changed.