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What Can Mizzou/Florida Teach Us?

Scottie doesn’t know, but he looks like a douchier Joaquin Phoenix.

Umm… that we’re boned?

If you didn’t catch last night’s Florida/Missouri game, then you really missed out.  It might have been one of the best SEC games so far this season, with the Tigers coming back from 13 down in the second half to win by three behind some tenacious guard play.  It was a fun game to watch, but if you’re like me, it’s not a fun game to think about.  Not because the outcome was bad, or the basketball itself was poor.  But because it likely means Kentucky’s road to the NCAA tournament is even harder than we thought.

It’s been said by a lot of folks who are paid a lot of some money to know, that for Kentucky to make the tournament, they’d have to go at least 4-2 over their last six games.  Many are saying that needs to be more like 5-1, with a signature win over either Florida or Mizzou, both of which are at home.  Well, if you were looking last night, you might have seen two teams that are just flat-out better than Kentucky.  Florida started out scorching lava hot, went Sharon Stone-cold, and then turned it back on again, like elite teams are able to do.  Mizzou dug itself out of a huge hole, and have the inside-outside duo (Pressey and Oriakhi) to give almost any team a headache.  So after watching the game, I’ll ask you:

Would you rather have one almost impossible game, or two pretty difficult ones?

The end of the season looked like it was going to be the former, with Florida steam-rolling every SEC opponent except Arkansas.  Now, things are looking more like the latter, with at least two very good teams left on the schedule.  And we need to beat at least one of them.  In a different year, this would be a great opportunity.  It would give the Cats an extra chance at one of those “signature wins” the committee folks are always talking about.  We already have one against Ole Miss, and maybe another against Maryland, but one or two often isn’t enough.  This year, though, the team hasn’t shown that they have the “will to win” difficult games, so putting two more on the schedule where only one once was is a pretty discouraging thing.  If only the committee looked at “pretty close losses,” we could count the Duke and Louisville games in our favor.  But I bet they won’t.

Bottom line, three of the six teams left on the schedule are Florida, and the two SEC teams that beat them.  We’ve got to win two out of those three games, and unless there’s been some drastic turnaround since Saturday, I don’t see how that happens.

So while I enjoyed last night’s game, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t scare me.

Article written by Corey Nichols

32 Comments for What Can Mizzou/Florida Teach Us?

  1. CaliSwag
    9:08 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    How to Duggie?

  2. Steve
    9:08 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    If the worst happens and Kentucky only has the NIT as an alternative, hope Cal has the team vote on whether they want the season to continue. If the majority says continue, then play the players that voted that way. Tell the others thanks for your efforts but you can clean out your locker. The year-end meetings with players will be held after the season is over.

  3. Hey
    9:09 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    So now we are scared to play against SEC teams? Do you see anything wrong with this?

  4. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    9:14 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    I hope that all of the UK players come out tonight, and the rest of the season ready to compete to win. If not, they should play intramurals.

  5. RICK
    9:15 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    You sound like a cry baby to me. Hell lets play the schedule we got and stop crying.

  6. ky_99
    9:17 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Need 3 tickets together for Saturday. If you’re selling email me at [email protected]

  7. Good Grief
    9:18 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Spare me with all of this decline the NIT. Play the games and enjoy the season as long as possible.

  8. Thrashitup
    9:20 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    One thing Matt Jones’ fantastic bracketology article taught me is that margin of victory is flat out not factored in. While that helps us with the blowout we suffered Saturday in Knoxville, it screws us in the duke/lville games. Bad news

  9. Dwb
    9:24 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    I have faith this team will be in the NCAA tournament I believe we will beat mizzou at home maybe not Florida but I still have faith and pride in this UK squad. Whatever the out come maybe, Go Big Blue!

  10. Bob Sugar
    9:26 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    “So while I enjoyed last night’s game, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t scare me.” You’d be scared to make a move on a girl you sit beside in home room, let alone an underachieving SEC newcomer that played desperate at home against a Florida team that’s only focused on their NCAA seed and the NCAA tournament.

  11. bosshog
    9:28 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    No need to get emotional about it or feel anxious, just reality….we got everything we’d hoped for last year and this year is just a bust, period. Even when we had Noel we were a very shaky team and would more often than not fold-up or at least partially collapse when pushed. Noel completely saved the game in Oxford, and we can see now that that victory didn’t really mean much. Without Noel this team is less than average, and prone to even bigger collapses. With Missouri’s strong guard play we really don’t stand a chance, so no sense in getting hyped up. Missouri is coming off a first-round exit to Norfolk St. and we’re coming off of our 8th national title. But we lost our whole team and had a rare (but complete) miss on the reload. Next year we will almost certainly have a very large, efficient and highly skilled backcourt with a lot of scoring pop. So, who cares if Missouri (or Florida) has a day in the sun….it certainly won’t last for Missouri, and Florida will never replace us as top dog. In basketball the SEC is still Kentucky, and everybody knows it.

  12. Hmmmm....
    9:29 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    So what you’re saying is that if we win out, we might win the SEC? Sweet……Go Cats!!

  13. Delk for 3
    9:30 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    I see this as a big opportunity for us. First though, let’s start tonight and beat Vandy. Go Cats!

  14. Hmmmm....
    9:31 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Joaquin Phoenix?? Not even close….you must be smoking something.

  15. jwmsix
    9:32 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    The gloom and doom crowd on ksr is over the top. Sky is falling over everything so just give up and move on, or shut up.

  16. Delk for 3
    9:33 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    I mean, you act like if Missouri didn’t win last night that they would have been a somewhat easy game for us. They are still the same team. They were going to be a tough win to begin with.

  17. Ugly muffin
    9:49 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Guys, are you not paying attention? We could lose every single game left on the schedule and it wouldn’t surprise me. We aren’t average and we aren’t ok, we suck butt. No hustle, no fire, and no answers walking through that door.

  18. my 2 cents
    9:52 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    reality is…. We couldnt have gone 5-1 with Nerlens. While Noel was gret on the defensive end, he added little to nothing on the offensive end, but even that little was 10 times more than WCS, who is one of the bigger hyped “projects” I ve ever seen. People have him as a second rounder, and this kid cant score, play defense and most importantly can run up and down the court twice without holding his shorts and asking to come out (and that was before his surgery).

    Wiltjer is playing way above his potential, as honestly he is a shooter and nothing else. Archie and Poythress are disgraces to themselves in the way they play, especially AG. His stubbornness, and selfishness has killed what could have been a really good team, but now theyre so down on themselves they cant play.

    Harrow is the enigma. he was supposed to be the man based on “having a full year under Cal, and getting to compete against Teague”. We heard all year about his ability to shoot, and get to the rim, just needed to get stronger to take the hits. He thought about leaving the team, and we honestly did OK without him (win over maryland, and narrown loss to DUke). He comes back, looks good and appears to be improving, and suddenly he’s horrible playing behind Polson, and if UK is really offering some unranked 5’10PG from Hazard KY, then he sounds to be transferring out. Something went really wrong.

    My opinion is Cal realized his talent just was not that high, and tried to bust thier ass into something they simply werent. In doing so, he killed Harrow, pushed Poythress into the “dont give a s&!t” attitude we see, and Archie is only out for himself. If these guys dont get drafted, I wouldnt be surprized to see the entire roster transfer. Wiltjer is likely realizing his dream isnt coming true, and is really close with hood and Polson who both graduate. Wouldnt be mind blowing to see him transfer back West. Just my 2 cents

  19. Alamo_CatFan
    10:07 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    18 – that wasn’t worth 2 cents, not even 2 cents from 100 years ago

  20. Alamo_CatFan
    10:09 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Damn, just realized that didn’t make a lick of sense. Oh well, good thing I’m no economist. 🙂

  21. David Bryan
    10:25 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    So Corey you are one of the many writers for the BBN, but you have no faith when we are down? Wow, would that make you a fair weather writer. Oh I guess you are just giving your opinion, right? Looks like you are showing your true colors too and it isn’t Blue!

  22. TJ
    10:30 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Remember: we get Mizzou at home…we have the opportunity to help ourselves. The Cats just need to step up. Avoid dumb turnovers, shoot well from 3 and play decent defense. Cal needs to play some zone too…

  23. EasyAnswers
    10:35 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    I think this team all comes down to one guy: Ryan Harrow. The team has looked terrible in just about every game he either has missed or played poorly (with Maryland and Duke being puzzling exceptions). It is just like the Washington Wizards without and with John Wall – point guard play makes all the difference.

    Figure out what happened to Harrow and the season turns around – again….

  24. papabear
    10:41 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Unlike Cal’s three previous teams, this team does not have mental toughness or the will to win. This has made the year very difficult for Cal to develop this group into a highly functioning team. Even though we were slowly making progress before Nerlen’s injury.

    There is no reason to believe that they will grow up in the next six games.

    It will be interesting to see if Goodwin and Poythress remain high on the mock draft boards. Both are skilled, but seem to lack the focus and coachability to play in the NBA without significant improvement on the floor. Harrow is too weak to play in the NBA and Stein needs to take another year to improve his basketball skills.

    Unless something drastic changes, they would not represent UK or the SEC very well in any tournament.

  25. WOW!
    10:47 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    A comment with 0 profanity or name-calling that simply states that someone’s opinion is pointless if they don’t know enough about the team to know that Hood and Polson are juniors and not seniors and will be graduating gets modded??? Looking at some of the stuff that doesn’t get modded and that makes no sense at all. This site is going downhill rapidly and the cliff that ends it all is getting closer every day.

  26. Greg
    10:56 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    That was good for us last night, boosts Missouri’s resume and gives us an opportunity to increase our standing. Florida is good – but same as last year if you stop their 3 point shots they can be beat. We ought to be able to do that with our length on the perimeter with Goodwin and Poythress if they will commit.

  27. Justlikearchie
    11:46 am February 20, 2013 Permalink

    One year of Archie has Cal going nuts. Just think what 4 years of Boynton has done to Billy D’s psyche! The guy is a senior taking awful shots at the end of the game.

  28. Corey Nichols
    12:03 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    21 – Grow up. Why should I blindly believe that this team can make the tournament? Being a “fair weather fan” has nothing to do with having a sneaking suspicion that we might not win as many games as we need to get into the tourney. I’m still watching this team, still going to games, and still hoping against all sense they can win. I’m just not willingly to start singing this team’s praises for things they haven’t earned.

    25 – A lot of those comments are auto-filtered, and I really haven’t figured out what the criteria are. Don’t take it personally; the filter just doesn’t like certain things.

  29. Jordan
    12:17 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    I graduated from UK but now attend Mizzou for law school so I was at the game last night. Mizzou is a good team and will obviously be tough Saturday but I am no more afraid of that team than I was before the game. Not only was that probably the best defensive performance under Frank Haith, but they haven’t been good on the road at all. They got blown away at UF and Ole Miss, and picked up their only win vs a pathetic Miss. St. squad. I’ll be making the trip for the game Saturday, let’s go pick up a win that now looks better for the resume

  30. WOW!
    12:31 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    28. The auto-filter must not like the truth.

  31. Electric Bugaloo
    1:13 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    This team does not have a good win. They are 0-1.

  32. kybigblue
    3:20 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    The first game Bowers missed after his injury Missouri was blasted by UF in Gainesville. Missouri’s play improved but was not consistent until Bowers returned. Last night with Bowers they beat UF at home. Much like Missouri without Bowers UK got blasted in their first game without Noel. Noel won’t be back like Bowers but hopefully we will see stead improvement in the remaining games.