The 2012-13 season is still a few months away. However, the guess here is that the Cats will not be able to improve upon last season’s performance, which saw losses to hated rival Indiana (which didn’t even make it past the Sweet 16 lol) and Vanderbilt (which is more known for its academics than athletics). To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*You Have Killed Me: ESPN’s Joe Lunardi recently released his initial “Bracketology” for the 2012-13 season, and Kentucky was projected as the #1 seed in the South. This is terrible news for the Cats. Research reveals that the vast majority of #1 seeds do not win the NCAA Tournament. In fact, of the 24 teams who were seeded #1 since 2007, only 5 of them — or a paltry 21% — managed to cut down the nets. Example: In 2011, Connecticut won it all, and they were a 4 seed. So not only is John Calipari faced with the challenge of coaching a team comprised almost solely of freshmen thanks to his controversial “one-and-done” rule, but he also has to overcome history, which says that almost 80% of the teams who earn a #1 seed end up losing in the NCAA Tournament. Sorry, Cat fans. It’s science.
*That’s How People Grow Up: In a poll that was released last week, 36% of anonymous college basketball coaches named John Calipari as the coach they most suspect of cheating. These results predictably caused a great deal of consternation in the Bluegrass State. Namely, among Louisville fans who couldn’t believe the number was so low. These fans were particularly vocal on message boards. For example, “MrsMangock” was incensed: “Thay no KKKALIPERRY be a cheeder!! Why that NUMber so low>.?! LwonCfor!” Also, “MARRASTRAIGHTBUTTER” seems to have a great deal of inside information: “man cheatapari pays players I know it lol I saw kyle wildjer in a range rover no way some dude from oregan or wearever can afford a pimp ride like that lol epsecially some idiot who go to cheatatucky lololol.” Lastly, “FiveCoreValues” was curiously angry that Rick Pitino and Charlie Strong were omitted from the list: “of course typical ESPN biased they have CALLIPAry on there that list but not COACJ PATINO or COCH STORNG man typical bias FIVECORPSEVALEUS buncha cheaters man I love weed GO CARDS FOREVER!!# 2006-2007 ORANGE BOWL CHAMPS SON WHAT WHAT WHAT!!!” So there you have it. At least one fanbase thinks the article understated the perception of Calipari as a scofflaw.
*First Of The Gang To Die: In April, UK won the national championship. This does not bode well for Kentucky. In the history of college basketball,* no defending NCAA Champion has ever advanced beyond the Sweet 16 the following year. Examples: The 2011 winners, Connecticut, lost in the 2nd Round in 2012. The 2010 winners, Duke, got beat by Arizona in the 2011 Sweet 16. The 2009 titlists, North Carolina, didn’t even make the Tournament in 2010. And so on. And to make matters worse, rivals such as Louisville, Indiana, Duke, etc., shrewdly lost in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, thereby ensuring that they will not fall victim to this curse. In fact, in a brilliant bit of gamesmanship, UofL coach Rick Pitino has avoided the jinx in each of his 11 seasons at Louisville, by never winning a championship. This is exactly why Louisville fans were so excited when they hired him.
* On this date: On this date in 2009, people were still laughing about the fact that Billy Gillispie told Perry Stevenson to block a free throw.