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UK Fans of the Day Want 2 More Wins to Dance

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As much as any team I can remember in recent years, Kentucky’s status as a team on the bubble is one of much controversy. Part of that is because Kentucky is, well Kentucky. Fans across the nation either love or (more often) loathe the Cats and the media realizes that talking about the Big Blue ensures eyes on their stories. In one camp are those that think Kentucky will be fine, as it would be utterly impossible for the NCAA to leave out a 20 win UK team from the most high profile event in college basketball. On the other side are those that insist Kentucky is terrible and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the field, more because of how they compare to other UK teams of the past rather than to the other programs on the bubble. My take is actually in the middle. Kentucky could very easily be left out of the field, and it wouldn’t shock me one bit if we have a Selection Sunday without the Big Blue in attendance. But to leave them out, you have to give me 68 teams that can replace them credibly, and that is much easier said than done.

I spent a great deal of time today looking at the bubble, dissecting it and trying to figure where Kentucky stands, and I have come to this conclusion. Kentucky needs to win 2 of its next three games to make the Tournament. The Cats will play at Georgia, home against Florida and then in a first round SEC Tournament game (probably against Arkansas or Tennessee), and they have to find a way to win two of them. If they somehow lose to both Georgia and Florida, there may be another path (it likely involves UK as the #4 or #5 seed in the SEC Tournament and beating Missouri followed by Florida in the Semifinals), but that scenario seems much harder, and frankly unlikely, if the Cats finish on a three game losing streak. The reality is that the Cats most likely path means winning two of three, something that is doable, but by no means certain.

One major factor is working against Kentucky, specifically that UK has beaten almost no one. At this point, Missouri is the only Top 50 win on the schedule, and the wins next in line (Maryland, Tennessee and Ole Miss) are also competitors on the bubble, meaning their rise up the RPI doesn’t necessarily help the Cats. UK is a victim of a nonconference schedule that was actually strong on potential victories, but light on actual wins. Had the Cats beaten Duke, Louisville or Baylor, their position would be much better. But they lost all of them and now are left with a resume that looks weak in Top 50 wins next to virtually all the bubble teams.

Two factors however help the Cats, no real “bad” losses and fewer overall losses than most its competitors. The SEC stinks, but most of the other bubble teams already have double digit losses and will add more. Kentucky’s worst loss is probably the one at home to Texas A&M (and if UK doesn’t make the Tournament, that loss more than any other, will be the reason), but that still isn’t as bad as some of its competitors. Villanova lost to Columbia at home by 20, Indiana State has 7 losses in the Missouri Valley, Ole Miss lost to Mississippi State, Maryland loses to everyone, Tennessee was dreadful early and Lasalle/UMASS have sub 150 RPI losses. Everyone UK has lost to is still in the Top 100 of the RPI. While the Committee favors “who you beat” over “who you lost to”, this factor does matter and could be the tiebreaker for a final spot.

If the Cats can finish the regular season 21-10 (splitting Georgia and Florida) and then wins what will essentially be a “play-in” game in the first round in Nashville, UK should be dancing, probably in the play-in game in Dayton. If they lose both, a #1 seed in the NIT probably beckons, along with a game in Memorial Coliseum. Winning at Georgia and beating Arkansas/Tennessee on a neutral court is not too much to ask for a NCAA Tournament team. It is now up to UK to show they are that team.

Article written by Matt Jones

31 Comments for UK Fans of the Day Want 2 More Wins to Dance



  1. Stickman
    8:03 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    4, 2, 1, 3, 5

    And 4 is head and shoulders above the rest in the sexy dept.



  2. kramer
    8:03 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    I want Kentucky to be in the NCAA as much as anyone,I just can’t see them making any kind of run.This team just doesn’t have it, maybe they can magically turn it on, but I doubt it.It pains me to say this because more than anything I want UK to surprise people and make a run. This team has not shown anything , to me, all year though that they have it in them.



  3. butteredup
    8:11 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    each has their own opinion, but i think a 30 point loss to Tn was the worst. And as much as i’d love to see it, i just don’t see the Cats playing a way in to the tourney. I hope i’m wrong. i’m not complaining, #8 was sweet enough to last a while. Cal is due an off year and that’s ok by me, but it sure is more fun to watch when the Cats are in it to win it. Not happnin this time though.



  4. dave
    8:19 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    once again, maybe instead of comparing all of this year’s bubble teams with each other MAYBE you should look at the last 3-4 teams who made it in and the nit #1 seeds from last 2 years (only years 68 have got in) and compare UK to them.
    one quick look would tell one that no with a sub-53 rpi (49-53 all got at-large bids) got an at-large bid last year. and year before USC (67), marq (64), clem (57), FSU (55) all got at-large’s the year before.
    also, will/how many conf. winners take at-large’s away from the field?



  5. Mike
    8:19 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    The key phrase is “UK has beaten almost no one”…doesn’t that bake u all proud?? And to think…a Top 3 preseason ranking…what an implosion…this is NOT UK basketball.



  6. Wondering
    8:20 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Matt, I do hope that when this mess of a season is finally and mercifully over, you will give us a thorough and candid analysis of why the season and this team went so terribly off track.



  7. James
    8:22 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    The Brunette probably grows the patch down there, but the other four probably shave it. The Brunette is the hottest!



  8. Betty Crocker
    8:28 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    5 no, it does not “bake” me proud.



  9. Hey
    8:38 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Mike – Implosion is what I am doing with your mom right now while you’re still celebrating that title from 1986. Lmao



  10. coldspringmike
    8:41 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Not a easy first round SEC tourney game by any means.



  11. UKBlue
    8:48 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    The question we should ask: Do we really want to extend this season any further than necessary especially since as Cal said these kids have no fight & are soft? That picture of Cal turned around head down leaning against the scores table said everything. If this season goes any longer, Cal head might explode.



  12. Rae
    8:49 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    5. You keep harping on that preseason ranking, like we were really number 3 and regressed. We never played like a top team. It was clear early on that this was not a top 10 team. I wonder if people like you would have been less disappointed if there was not as much preseason hype, if this team had been fairly evaluated for what they are instead of “potential.” If they had started at say #20, which might have been more fair for a completely new and terribly young team, would you have been as angry? Or are you just angry that you expected these kids to meet incredibly high expectations of immediately being a top 5 team?

    Yes, they aren’t good. But why bring up that preseason ranking like it proves anything? The only thing it proves is there were too many expectations and too much hype. They never deserved to be #3.



  13. Hey
    8:56 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Rae – Mike is a UL fan and troll. He still lives in the basement and has signed life-sized cut out of Jeff Hall over his bed.



  14. NoNIT
    8:59 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    No NCAA = no postseason. Decline that NIT bid. Who would be really pumped to watch this spectacle of the BCG era anyway?



  15. Hey
    9:06 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    The one thing I cannot fathom is why we are so damning to these kids. True, they can not win a title. But we are UK and we have won 3, yes 3, national titles in the past 14 years and one of those just 11 months ago. I agree with those cannot stomach when a player takes for granted the uniform he puts in and plays with no heart, I’m talking to you AP, but these kind of years will happen when you rely on freshmen. In 10 months, UK will be a contender again, we will have defeated UL in football, and all is well. Relax. UK will always be the top program in the state and nationally.



  16. Mike
    9:09 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the men’s team had the turnover capability and defensive intensity that the Lady Cats have?? Will we end 1-2 or 0-3?..money on the latter.



  17. Jerry Poore
    9:18 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Not a good year,but there are not 68 teams better than UK. I would decline an invite to the NIT and I would decline a bid to NCAA if they want us in play in the play in game.



  18. iWantToBeTheDrewFranklin
    9:22 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    I still believe we can make the tournament. We will win at Georgia. The Florida game is at home, and it is senior day. We very rarely lose on senior day, but then again this team isn’t very good. 1 win in the sec tournament is doable.

    If we don’t get in, and we are offered an NIT bid, I hope Cal declines it. Would be a slap in the face for Indiana or Louisville to be playing in Rupp during the tournament while we play a few blocks away in Memorial for the NIT.



  19. Billy
    9:28 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Hmmm, Florida lost at Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee, yet Matt Jones in conceding the game in Rupp to the Gators?



  20. Brunette
    9:42 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    1,4,2,5,3



  21. BBN
    9:56 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    #5: Matt isn’t going to tell you what went wrong this season. To do so would require him to tell the truth. Sadly, Matt has become nothing more than a tool of Mitch Barnhart and the UK athletic administration. That has become obvious to everyone now.



  22. Wildcatsteeler
    10:05 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    This team doesn’t have it. Every team that makes the tourney will bring the same pressure and intensity that Arkansas brought. And our guards will wilt under it like they did. And we’ll get killed on the boards since Poythress doesn’t try for them and Wiltjer is just too frail.



  23. Canon vs Instagram
    10:37 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Are these beautiful young women blonde or just filtered to suit your tastes? Leave the internet for 1 day and see the world around you. It really is nice even when UK bb is just average.



  24. Mike
    10:51 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Trolling bakes me proud.



  25. DesignatedDrinker
    11:00 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    4,1,5,3,2



  26. Ukbradstith
    11:04 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Why would we decline an nit bid? It’s another tourney for the players to get more experience. Can anyone give me one reason to decline? Plus, everybody was excited after the game daty game, and you had to know we were pretty likely to lose at Arkansas. We need to beat Florida at home, that’s really what it boils down to.



  27. CATandMONKEY
    12:48 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    1 & 4. Repeat, ad infinitum



  28. Scottfromhistractor
    7:19 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    1,4,2,5,3



  29. Gary
    7:54 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    1,4…2…*drinks a couple beers* 5…………*shots of bourbon and waits until 3o clock or if 1,4,2, and 5 have said no* …3



  30. Flint
    10:32 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    1,1,1,1,1



  31. rocco
    1:31 pm March 4, 2013 Permalink

    1415231