The 2012-13 season is winding down, and just like in 1989 and 2009, the Kentucky Wildcats will struggle to not make the NCAA Tournament. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*The Hammer Going Down: After the Cats’ humiliating beatdown last Saturday, UK fans everywhere were asking the same question: “Will Kentucky ever beat Tennessee again?” The numbers suggest no. The last 2 times UK has played UT, the margins have been UK by 10 and UT by 30. If this trend continues, and it certainly appears that it will, Tennessee will beat Kentucky by 70 points and 110 points the next two times these teams face off. And to make matters worse, beleaguered former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie never lost to Tennessee besides once. Things definitely don’t look good for the Cats. No wonder former Kentucky schoolboy legend Chris Lofton spurned Kentucky for the Big Orange.
*Run From Your Memory: It was announced this week that Arkansas has already sold out its tickets for the Hogs’ March 2 showdown with the Cats. It appears Razorback fans know something that Kentucky fans probably don’t want to admit: In the 110 year history of Kentucky basketball, John Calipari has never taken a UK team into Fayetteville and won. Never. Ever. And while Cal is winless in Bud Walton Arena, everybody’s favorite scapegoat, Billy Clyde Gillispie, is undefeated in that building in UK/Arkansas games. And you know who else holds that same distinction? Former UK standout John Pelphrey. I guess this is why Louisville coach Rick Pitino lobbied for Pelphrey to get the UK job instead of Calipari. The Rickster sure does know his basketball.
*Something Changed: In UK’s historic loss to Tennessee, Jarrod Polson earned plaudits from Big Blue Nation by scoring 11 points and snaring 4 rebounds. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Before the UT game, Kentucky fans assumed that Polson would return next year to provide a stabilizing presence on yet another roster full of unseasoned and unsure freshman. However, this no longer appears to be the case. Polson had more points and rebounds than Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress, both of whom are projected to be lottery picks. And if those two are lottery picks, then Jarrod Polson should go #1 overall.
* On this date: On this date in 2012, Kentucky had one loss and was ranked #1 in the country. They would go on to lose to Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament.