The 2012-13 season is winding down, 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:
*Another Victory: The latest bracketology projections have Kentucky as a 9 seed vs. VCU in Dayton, and if that weren’t foreboding enough for Big Blue Nation, then UK’s 3rd round matchup is sure to be. If Kentucky somehow shocks VCU (unlikely, considering the Rams made the Final 4 in 2011), then they would next square off against the Indiana Hoosiers. As every Kentucky fan is well aware, the Cats have not beaten the Hoosiers in Dayton since 1975. This is a staggering streak that spans nearly half a century, which means Kentucky would not feel good about its chances going up against the practically undefeated Hoosiers, who have only lost thrice this year. To be fair, IU pretty much has UK’s number no matter where they play, as the boys in crimson and cream sport a sparkling .429 winning percentage against the Cats. Not too shabby, huh? If these projections hold true, then get your popcorn boxes ready.
*Ain’t No Half-Steppin’: The rosters for the Jordan Brand Classic game were announced this week, and 5 future Kentucky Wildcats will participate. Uh-oh. Bad news for the Cats. Since John Calipari was hired in 2009, 18 future Wildcats have been selected to play in this game. However, of those 18, a mere 6 went on to win a national championship. Next season, of course, Kentucky is expected to field a “dream team,” and everyone from message board posters to other people, probably, are guaranteeing that the Cats will cut down the nets in April of 2014. But with only 6 of 18 UK JBC game participants achieving this goal, this means that Kentucky only has a 33% chance of winning it all. You have to not like those odds.
*Word To The Mother (Land): Going in to the game against Florida, UK had reeled off 5 straight wins. This does not bode well for Kentucky. As evidenced by the 1996, 2003 and 2012 Cats, a team does not want to enter the NCAA Tournament on a long winning streak. The 2003 “SuffoCats” did just that, and promptly got waxed by Tom Crean and Marquette in the Elite 8. Conversely, the 1996 and 2003 UK squads shrewdly dropped a game in the SEC Tournament, and both went on to win the title. And if this weren’t a bad enough omen, the Cats lost to Florida this week. This does not bode well for Kentucky. The 1996 and 2012 UK teams swept the Gators, and they both won it all. However, several other UK squads have lost to Florida, and ultimately fallen short of the big prize. Will the same thing happen this year? I’m no fortune teller, but yes.
* On this date: On this date in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the defending champion was a team other than Louisville.