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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: A Must-Win for UK?

Amongst fans, of course tomorrow’s game is wildly important.  This is the game for most fans they want to win more than any other.  But let’s keep in mind that for most of the Kentucky regulars, this rivalry is nothing more than another big game on the schedule.  No more exciting than playing Michigan State or North Carolina.  Hopefully they have seen from the fans that it might mean a little more to win this one, but deep down, I don’t blame the Harrisons for not seeing just how big a rivalry this is.

OK, so these kids might not see the history of the rivalry.  But I still think this game is vastly important for other reasons.  Reasons those kids can understand and respect.  Reasons that have implications for the rest of the season.  And for that, I think we are wandering to MUST-WIN territory for tomorrow’s game.  Here is why:

1. CONFIDENCE

-Who are Kentucky’s best 3 opponents at this point in the season?  Michigan State, Baylor, North Carolina.  All losses.  These are 18-19 year old kids.  There has to be some doubt if this team can win a big game against a big opponent.  So above all else it would be nice for these kids to feel how it feels to beat a good team.  Because they will certainly face some big opponents in March.

2. SEEDING

-Let’s be honest, if Kentucky doesn’t win tomorrow, they will have ZERO big wins in the non-conference.  I know Boise State and Belmont are probably going to the tournament.  Maybe even Providence.  But none of those teams will project BIG WIN come seeding time in March.  A 1 or 2 seed might already be out of the picture, except for a 17-1 SEC run.  But beating Louisville likely gets them back into a Top 3 seed picture.

3. BEATING GOOD GUARDS

-Look, NCAA Tournament’s are won by guards almost every year.  Without good guards you are toast.  But an inability to defend good guards can also kill you.  And at this point in the year, Kentucky has been less than stellar at shutting down good guards.  Russ Smith gives them a great challenge.  If they can bother Smith and lead him to a poor game, it will be a good sign UK will not be doomed by guard play.

4. GETS FANS TO RELAX SOME

-With such high expectations coming into the season, the 3-loss start to the year has panicked many in the fanbase.  And there is no doubt the players are feeling it too.  Beating Louisville would allow the fans to take a deep breath and also allow the players to not hear the criticism as much on campus and otherwise.  Would be nice to get a positive vibe going.

So what do we think?  Is this a must-win for the Cats?  I say it’s darn close, but maybe you disagree.

Follow me on Twitter: @BryantheIntern

Article written by Bryan the Intern

23 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: A Must-Win for UK?



  1. Do whut?
    9:33 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Finally a writer on this site sobers up enough to deal with the reality that the one seed ship has already sailed, circumnavigated the globe, docked and been decommissioned. Unfortunately it’s yet one more KSR writer concerned with seeding in DECEMBER!! Good grief.



  2. Mac
    9:33 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Absolute must win. The last grasp UK has of not getting a middle seed lie in this game, and a dominant conference run. 1 seeds are gone, and 2s are a distant reach requiring others to stumble hard. But, a 3 or 4 could be salvaged and protected.

    Still, I think UL is just better than UK, and will win. Sucks too.



  3. ad resides in VA
    9:33 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    This is not a win-or-go-home game. If the cats lose, the world is not over. This is a gut-check more than anything. How will the cats respond after a win? How will they respond after a loss? Will they play with a sense of urgency. This is a good test to see how far we have come, if at all. I don’t believe in moral victories, but this game is a test, and the first 4 minutes should be a good indicator of pass/fail.



  4. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    9:40 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    For UK to have a chance to get a good seed in the NCAA, this is a must win for UK.



  5. symphonist41169
    9:49 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Need the W to build confidence in the young guys and to get them out of AAU mentality. The One and Done policy (an NBA rule, NOT Cal’s or NCAA rule) has definitely hurt the college game but I think the rise of AAU ball has been worse. No regard for winning the game, only interest is padding your stats to get Div. I offers so you can spend one year being The Man then get drafted in the lottery to become a 19 year old millionaire. Does anyone really think Wiggins, Parker, Randle, etc. cares an iota if their “team ” wins or loses as long as they look good for the NBA scouts? That mentality starts when they’re 13 or 14 years old playing what is essentially semi -pro ball in the AAU.



    • niaps
      9:53 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      Wow did you ever hit the nail hard on that one. The system is a mess and Cal only wants these guys to do well enough to go make millions and care less bout UK.



  6. niaps
    9:50 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    This is a no contest for UK. No way no how do they win. Cards will smother them in the press and it will turn into a rout with the way the Cats turn over the ball. For the second year in a row the Cats are weakest at the point guard and that spells doom. Unless Young and Aaron have huge games this is a big time loss. Never been so disappointed in a Cal coached team as it has underperformed so much even in the wins they have. May not beat a ranked team the whole year.



    • Plenty
      12:54 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      You are the worst type of fan niaps, completely fair-weathered. I bet you were singing Cal’s praises the first three years he was here. Now, you are dogging him and thinking you are right. I hope you try to root for the Cats at the end of the year when we are making a run in the tournament, then get ridiculed for being a crappy fan. People like you need to put a sock in it, and never watch another game. You should be smacked like the little b**** you are. You are a bigger crybaby than any of the boys on our team ever thought about being. Hypocrisy at its worst. See you in the tournament when you change your tune, and then you will be called out. Little punk.



    • niaps
      1:00 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      Wow Plenty you did nothing to counter what I said and only called me names. Does that mean you cannot argue against what I said or that you are really afraid I am right. You really need to deal with your anger issues too. Attacking me proves nothing only a solid statement as to why I am wrong does. Grow up little boy.



    • Plenty
      1:27 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      You sound more like a UL fan than UK. Whatever happened to support your team no matter what. I see us winning this game in Rupp, by a dominant showing. Half the problem with this teams energy, is the fans aren’t into the games. Our guards will be too big for UL, our down low game will definitely dominate theirs. I am a little worried about Andrew, but hopefully he has his issues in check. If Russ Smith puts up 30, we still win because they have no other offense on that team. As far as little boy goes, I hope you call the wrong person that to their face, because this infantryman would make you eat those words. Go root for your cards, because no True Blue fan would ever act like you.



    • niaps
      2:24 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      Wow Plenty now you threaten violence to me. Gee what kind of BB fan are you that wants to beat up someone who disagrees with you. I called you boy because you went into a rant, calling names and making no points to my post. I am a vet of the Vietnam War so if beating up a 66 yr, old man makes you feel good you are no man. I have been a fan of UK my whole life but what has happened here since last year with overrated recruits caring so little about the name on the front makes me upset and if your not upset with how this has gone down so far then you were a Joker fan also. Quit drinking the Kool Aid and wake up.



  7. 29 fan
    9:51 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    How is it NOT a must win game would be a better question



  8. Who are we?
    10:00 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    How come every year before the season begins we are the best team ever assembled, then when we start to play we are 18/19 year old kids? Our team either needs to “man up” or we need a new approach.



  9. bung
    10:04 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    will these cats make the pass, give an assist, play D, rebound and run the break like they mean it?



  10. Cats/Cards by 9
    10:11 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    To say a game is a must win on Dec 28th is just stupid. What if they lose? Should they just forfeit the remaining 2/3 of the season in that case? Of course not! Of course we want them to win, and of course beating the defending national champions would be a great win for this young team, but nothing is a must win until the tourney. Win or lose the sun will come up tomorrow. As far as seeding goes I don’t think its too late for a 1 o 2 seed either, if they win this Louisville game that is. They still have a whole conference season to prove themselves worthy of a high seed, and all the other teams ahead of UK right now have plenty of rope left to hang themselves with too. So we shall see how it all shakes out, but for now let’s just cheer for our team and hope for the best!



    • Come on
      10:36 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      I’m with you. Good post.



  11. Larry
    11:25 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

    I’d say its a must win game for John Calipari and his experiment His first 3 years he had experience from players he would have never recruited. Now all he talks about is all the NBA players. A college basketball fan. I’m tired of worrying about beating Cleveland State and others. We UK fans give Pitino crap, but Pitino develops players. Don’t tell me that Cal would not love to have a kid like Russ Smith.



    • symphonist41169
      11:40 am December 27, 2013 Permalink

      Excellent points. Time to learn what it means to play for the name on the FRONT of the Jersey rather than the one on the back.



    • niaps
      12:15 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      BBN will never get it so forget it!



  12. niaps
    12:17 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Cal doesn’t need to be in the NBA as he is likely getting kick backs for all the talent he is giving them. The bottom line is where it’s at.



  13. UKBlue1!
    12:40 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    SEEDing. UK needs to be more worried about getting enough wins to qualify for the tournament. The SEC is horrible. UF, Missouri and Mississippi are the only other chances at quality wins. Thats 5 games after tommorrow. ANY loss to anyone else is going to be looked upon as a bad loss. I am a life long UK fan. 18 game SEC schedule is going to kill our RPI.



    • UK>UofL
      12:53 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

      10 straight games against church league teams, or community shelter level squads hasn’t hurt Ohio State’s, or Louisville’s RPI to start this season, why would a weak conference hurt UK’s? The key is to win the games. If UK beats everyone they play they will be fine, but if they lose to weak teams then their seeding will suffer. UK’s tough streach was pre-conference, but the SEC isn’t as strong as in the past, other teams have had a cake walk through their pre-conference, but their strength of conference is up. Those teams will be exposed when conference play starts and their seeding will fall accordingly. UK will still have their shot at a high seed, but like I said the key is to win their games, and that starts with tomorrow’s game!



  14. Soda
    7:01 pm December 27, 2013 Permalink

    Am i the only one who thinks that if the Cats lose THIS game, Callipari’s one and done program and his position as the UK will begin to be re-evaluated by fans? Not openly at first, but it will be a rumbling. And a loss here almost grantees a lackluster season, so the grumbling will become a lot louder by season end, putting Callipari in a less than comfortable position.