I’m sure you, like me, went to bed hoping you would wake up from a nightmare. A Kentucky loss in its first game of the SEC Tournament to Vanderbilt was as close to a worse-case scenario at that point in time as you could get. So many times the Cats have found themselves in “must-win” situations this season, it has become a painfully overused term. Last night was a “must-win” game if you wanted to feel comfortable heading into Selection Sunday. Fresh off a victory over No. 11 Florida, all the Wildcats needed to do was win a game to solidify its berth in the big dance.
Instead, the Big Blue Nation was treated to another embarrassing defeat to the hands of a sub-.500 team — the second time that has happened in their last three games. Losing to losing-record teams is not exactly how you want your team playing in March.
Alas, we will find ourselves holding our breath tomorrow evening as the Selection show gets underway. Godspeed, my friends.
— As if Kentucky’s loss to Vanderbilt wasn’t bad enough, Mississippi did the Cats no favors by knocking off Missouri in the night cap, 64-62. Ole Miss scored the winning basket with 1.1 seconds left as the Rebels battled back from 14-points down in the second-half.
— The one saving grace? All four teams that Joe Lunardi had listed as “last four in” going into Saturday night — La Salle, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky — lost. The NCAA Selection Committee has to fill the field of 68 somehow.
— Unfortunately, three other bubble teams earned big wins and picked up steam heading into Selection Sunday. The previously mentioned Ole Miss; Alabama, who knocked off Tennessee; and Maryland who shocked No. 2 Duke.
— Shifting gears to some good news: UK Hoops is receiving more national praise after senior guard A’dia Mathies was named one of the 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award. It is her second nomination in as many seasons.
— Back to the bad stuff… Basketball wasn’t the only team that fell flat last night. Kentucky baseball dropped its first SEC game of the season on the road at Florida. A seventh inning riddled with three errors doomed the Cats in front of 3,500 fans in Gainesville.
— It just wasn’t a night for Kentucky athletics, as the UK softball team also lost last night, falling to the LSU Tigers in its first SEC road series. The Cats took an early 1-0 lead but wasted it away, surrendering seven unanswered runs.
Stick around today, folks. I’ll try to find some good news, I promise.