The 2012-13 season is mercifully over, and despite having the #1 ranked recruiting class in the country, Kentucky failed to make the NCAA Tournament, and were unceremoniously dispatched in the First Round of the NIT by Robert Morris. Hard to see things being any different in 2013-14. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Power Circle (Feat. Kendrick Lamar): While there is considerable optimism among Kentucky fans regarding next year’s team, Las Vegas is not impressed with the Cats. The experts have spoken, and they have guaranteed that Kentucky will not win a national championship next year. This has to be a devastating blow for UK fans, who were already clearing space on the mantel for a 9th championship trophy. By giving Kentucky 5-1 odds to win it all next year, Vegas is saying that there is only a 1 in 6 chance that Calipari gets the job done. In other words, they are saying there is literally no chance* that the Cats win it all next year. By comparison, the gamblers are guaranteeing that the crown will be won by either Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, Duke, UNC or Florida.** Oh well. There’s always 2015.***
*They are saying there is a 17% chance.
**Collectively, they have a 64% chance of winning.
***Unless the world ends before then.
*The Boss (Feat. T-Pain): As it stands currently, Kentucky is the winningest basketball program of all time. However, it does not appear that this distinction will last very long. Presently, Kentucky holds a mere 10 game lead on the 2nd place team, Kansas. However, the Jayhawks gained 10 games on the Cats last season. If that happens again — and there’s no reason to think it won’t — then poof. UK’s lead is gone. And those who say there’s no guarantee that last year will repeat itself are right. If history is any indication — and it usually is — next year will be worse. During his 10 seasons at KU, coach Bill Self is winning an average of 30 games per year. Meanwhile, in 110 seasons of playing basketball, Kentucky is only averaging 19 wins per season. In other words, if these trends continue — and there’s no reason to think they won’t — then this time next year, the winningest basketball program in the history of the sport will be the Kansas Jayhawks. When that happens, it will be interesting to see if UK will be forced to stop billing itself as “The Greatest Tradition in the History of College Basketball.” At least one writer I spoke with in the mirror hopes so.
*Super High: After Louisville won a national championship in April, coach Rick Pitino treated himself to an absurdly large, unsightly back tattoo. This does not bode well for Kentucky. By getting himself a “Champ Stamp,” Pitino has in no uncertain terms told Louisville fans that he is there for the long haul. And the beauty of it is that he told Card fans this in language they can understand: Body art. Meanwhile, despite winning a title in just his 3rd year at UK (it took Pitino 12 at UofL), despite a 4-1 record against Pitino in the UK/UofL rivalry, and despite winning 83% of his games at UK (Pitino has just won 74% of his at UofL), Calipari has so far refused to permanently defile his body with a ridiculous tattoo. Could this be because Calipari has his eyes on a return to the NBA? He has yet to emphatically deny it, so yes.
* On this date: On this date in 1951, Kentucky was celebrating its 3rd national championship. (Congrats on your achievement, Cards!)