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SEC Basketball Weekly Roundup: The No Good, Really Bad Week

The College Basketball season is another week old, and the SEC consistently provides the sport with several talented players and teams. Here are the major storylines from this week of SEC action in the NCAA Tournament.

1. Kentucky’s Disappointing Loss

There are several candidates for the most disappointing loss in the NCAA Tournament this year, and the Wildcats’ loss to Kansas State on Thursday night ranks right up there with them.

Its of course a great accomplishment to make the sweet Sixteen. When the brackets came out on Selection Sunday many thought that Kentucky would be very lucky just to make it this far.

Nevertheless, UK did in fact get very lucky but that’s why this loss is so disappointing. The path to the Final Four and the Championship game couldn’t have realistically been easier than what it was, but the Wildcats blew their golden opportunity.

But a disappointing loss does not necessarily equal a disappointing season. The youngest team in college basketball is walking away with a SEC Championship and a Sweet Sixteen appearance. Yes, UK fans will be thinking about what could’ve been. But what they got this season simply wasn’t a disappointing result.

Now Kentucky plays their yearly waiting game as they wait to see which players declare for the NBA Draft. It seems that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox are virtual locks to leave and Hamidou Diallo will more than likely join them. Who else will declare or transfer is a complete mystery.

No matter who stays or leaves, this team was just successful enough to go down in the eyes of Big Blue Nation as another respectable Calipari team that surprised, but just couldn’t get past its freshman inconsistencies.

The future is still incredibly bright, but its back to the drawing board for Cal and the Wildcats.

2. The Wrong Texas A&M Team Shows Up to Play

The Aggies were an incredibly weird and perplexing team this year in the SEC and their performance in the Big Dance only reaffirmed their wacky regular season.

This season has been a constant battle between two versions of this team. Sometimes Texas A&M can walk onto the court and beat anyone they play as evidenced by their complete throttling of a good UNC team last weekend. But sometimes this undisciplined team will show up not prepared to play at all.

That was unfortunately the team that took the court against a red-hot Michigan team. The result was an absolute embarrassing 99-72 loss. If any UK fans out there are still upset about the Wildcats loss, just look at this final score and know that things could always be worse.

As their season comes to an end, I truly don’t know what to make of Texas A&M’s final product. Yes, a Sweet Sixteen appearance is always respectable, but this team truly underachieved. They lost their first game in the SEC Tournament, only had a .500 record in conference play, and they ended their season in an embarrassing loss.

With the overall talent that Billy Kennedy’s team had this season, they were better than all of those results. They had the talent to win the conference tournament and regular season championship, and they possibly should’ve been playing Loyola-Chicago in the Final Four.

For the Aggies the question they should ask their selves isn’t what could’ve been, but instead what went wrong?

3. No SEC Teams Reach the Elite Eight

In a way the SEC’s performance in the NCAA Tournament mirrored its regular season. The conference was extremely deep with talented teams. This showed as a record eight SEC teams made the tournament, and they got out to a blistering 5-0 start against similar competition.

However, the conference struggled all season with having truly dominant teams and that shows with the SEC being absent in the Elite Eight.

While that’s of course not a good look, the SEC was still one of the best conferences in college basketball this season. Take last season for instance. The conference luckily got three teams into the Elite Eight last season but the SEC was of course much better this season.

The NCAA Tournament is almost always incredibly wacky and hard to understand. Looking at how any one conference performs in such an unpredictable tournament and ignoring its entire regular season is just unwise.

In what is arguably the craziest postseason in college basketball season the SEC fell to some bad luck. It’s as simple as that.

Only next year will tell us if the conference will provide the sport with truly great teams. Until then, however, the SEC has more work to do.

Article written by John Reecer

38 Comments for SEC Basketball Weekly Roundup: The No Good, Really Bad Week

  1. Righteous1
    2:25 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    The 8 million dollar man comes up short once again!

    • catsarerunnin
      3:28 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      You come up short every day little man.

    • jim tom
      4:34 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Looks like Villanova is the so called gold standard of college basketball now

    • runningunnin.454
      8:23 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Sure thing, Jim t; Nova has 5 final fours dating back to ’39. UK has 17, and Cal has 6 final fours.
      How come you’re wrong about everything?

    • Flake
      9:35 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      I am tired of this garbage that the SEC was such a great conference this year. Yes the league got 8 teams in the tournanent-in a 14 team league. But based on how many of those teams had double digit losses, and how they performed in the tournament, with every team except Florida either losing to a lower seed or getting blown out when they lost or born, the league was better balanced, not better overall. Go back to the late 1990’s or early 2000’s, the SEC routinely got 6 teams in the tournament, with usually 3-4 top 4 seeds, in a 12 team league. I was at the 199 SEC tournament, that UK won. The league got 6 bids with a one seed, two 3 seeds, and a 4,6,and 9 seed. And there were several other years we got 6 teams in with 3-4 teams gettin top 4 seeds. So just because 8/14(57%) is a slightly better percentage than 6/12, don’t tell me the league was “better than ever” It was the best balanced it has been since in went to a 14 team league, but the overall quality was much better, particularly at the top, in the late 99’ and early 2000’s

    • henderblue
      9:45 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Flake, the league fared well. We won head to head match up with the Big 12. The NCAA tournament is a one game crap shoot.

    • Flake
      10:04 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Not disputing the league’s performance this year compared to the last 4-5 years, or over the last 10 years when sometimes we got only 3-4 teams in the tournament, but I went to as lot of games at Rupp in the 90’s and early 2000’s as well as some SEC road games, several NCAA tournament games and the 1999 SEC tournament, and the league, especially at the top, was much better then. Maybe it is more a reflection of the quality of college basketball in general, but when your regular season co-champ is down by as much as 40 to Clemson, and arguably your most talented team gets blown out by Michigan, even though they killed UNC, I don’t think that qualifies as faring well even if the NCAA is a crap shoot. Again, check the s records and the seeding of the SEC teams that got bids in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, usually 6 bid, lots of top 4 seeds, not many teams with double digit losses.

  2. jim tom
    4:45 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Wonder why ? Because they keep players around more than 5 months and actually develop them and have experience. Experience over talent any day in the tournament.

    • 4everUKblue
      4:20 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      They also haven’t won a title since 2008, which would be unacceptable by yours and the other banner counters standards.

  3. Righteous1
    4:54 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Another double digit loss team and no Final Four is on the menu for 2019. You have to love the UK Athletics merit system for mediocrity led by the 8 million dollar man.

  4. DennyC
    5:56 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    It’s not about wins in the tournament!!! It’s about getting these playground boys to the NBA!!!! 3 maybe 4 go this year!!! Cal is LIVIN’ THE DREAM!!!! Why is this so hard to understand??? Smh….

    • runningunnin.454
      8:27 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      The 2012 Banner is up…the 2013 is down.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:04 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      LOL! I’ve missed DennyC. He’s so mad.

    • ClutchCargo
      8:35 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      False, rg. The 2013 banner is non-existent. Wonder how much Crown it takes to give DennyC the courage to show up here and try to talk smack?

    6:13 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    I understand that KSR has to keep a good relationship with Cal. I also love Cal and do not want anyone else leading this team. that said, does a point come where maybe it is time to take a look at Cal’s in game coaching ability. I think it is a really good question to ask why we did not push the tempo in the K-State game. Why did we keep putting PJ on the block knowing he was going to be fouled and couldn’t make them. Why not try Know on the block? Yes, I know he never played with his back to the basket, but just to see if they would foul him same way. And yeah, does Cal get some kind of incentive for all the unused time-outs all year. I just think a hard hitting piece on some of this stuff needs to be done. In game adjustment by this team was non-existent all year. I think we totally blew the tournament this year due to coaching mistakes.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      8:47 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      There’s no need for rational thinking on this board. On KSR you’re either all-in on Calipari and everything he says or does, or you’re a negative troll.

    6:13 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Know not Know.

    6:15 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    And boy, Charles Matthew’s. I mean, even in games we are winning by large numbers, really only saw Cal’s boy come in the game late this year. Gotta develop some of these multiple year players.

  8. Righteous1
    7:46 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Notice that the Final Four teams have veteran players. You do not see position less Freshman on either of the 4 teams. The teams in the Final Four play to their strengths and not to the opposing team’s strengths.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:07 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Boy can’t get anything past you. You so smart. Are you a college coach?

  9. Righteous1
    7:49 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Matthews made a good move by leaving UK where he never saw the floor so NBA projects could get the minutes. Now he is the leading scorer on a Final Four team and the 8 million dollar man will not be in the Final Four for the 3rd consecutive year.

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      8:46 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Your boy K missed out on the Final Four again this year. It must be because he’s a terrible coach. I mean, how many #1 classes can he miss the Final Four with? They really should look into replacing him.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:06 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Last year K didn’t even get past the second game with all that talent.

  10. jim tom
    10:24 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Here’s the cold hard facts about cal and the final four
    UMass. Choked
    Memphis. Choked
    UK. Choked not once but 3 times
    U mad ksr fan boys ?

    • KYcats11
      12:56 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t bother mentioning the multiple times he succeeded in the final 4

    • catsarerunnin
      7:47 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      JT is a choking expert. Just ask his chicken.

  11. jim tom
    10:26 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    There serving cheeseburgers at mcdonalds all day every day. Keep eatin em boys

    • 4everUKblue
      4:22 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      They’re still serving education at many schools Jim Bob. Might want to start with high school first.

  12. henderblue
    10:59 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    What coach would you like to have at UK Jim Bob? You want the guy from Loyola? I know you don’t want Coach K. He can’t coach one and dones obviously.

  13. catman27
    2:50 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    All of you can’t see your shoes for your beer bellies. Cal is the right coach, he has been out recruited lately, but where is duke? Oh home! Imagine that!

    • 4everUKblue
      4:23 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      dUKe is home again this year again with the top talent in the country and that coaching god? How is that possible? Well at least he got them past the second game this year.

    • catsarerunnin
      7:49 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Please don’t feel sorry for dUKe. Like Jim Nance said after the loss they will be back next year…

  14. Jiminy Crickets
    8:55 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    The truth is Kansas was and is the only team in this tournament that could have beaten Duke, and even they almost couldn’t do it. I’ve never rooted for Kansas so hard in my life, now I’m a Nova fan.

    Calipari has literally lost 4 national championships because of poor FT shooting. I’m not counting this year as the FF was the peak for this team. Cal says he doesn’t care about FTs, says he believes his guys will make them when they count. He doesn’t force guys to shoot FTs, tells them to practice on their own.
    The only difference between coach Cal and Coach K right now? Poor FT shooting.

    • bluecrowe
      12:19 pm March 26, 2018 Permalink

      Do we think Cal means it when he says these ridiculous things, or is he simply trying to take the pressure off the players? Because if he believes this, it makes him sound like an idiot, which i know he is not. What they need is a shot doctor to work with the team all year long. i just cannot believe he truly in his heart of hearts believes this garbage. What does he think happens at the end of tournament games? The other team is fouling you! My experience is you do not want 18 year old children working on free throws on their own. You want someone there talking to them about their approach and finding a consistent routine which you can repeat over and over again, which gives you the best chance to make it. 18 year olds should not be sitting in a gym figuring it out for themselves, as they do not know anything! Cal’s attitude regarding free throws is mind numbing.

  15. Flake
    9:36 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    1999 tournament, and meant that as a new post

  16. SoCalCat
    10:00 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    For perspective:

    Each year, all but one college coach is a bum for not winning and/or not making the NCAA tournament;
    The one and done approach is not designed to win NCAA tournaments;
    You need talent to win the NCAA tournament;
    You need more than freshman experience to win the NCAA tournament;
    Talented people are in demand in the NBA that pays money.

    I don’t think there is a magic formula to win the NCAA tournament, other than in women’s college basketball where the talent level severely drops off and UConn has the market.

    If Cal could not coach basketball, his teams would not be successful. It’s not as if he inherited players that had been properly trained and his run of success faltered when they departed (unfortunately, see Tubby Smith).

    Where I see Cal fail is with players that do not literally have the one-and-done talent and his dilemma on how to handle that situation. He wants fresh blood every year despite his lament of it being hard to coach in that environment. His ‘drive the players at all costs’ doesn’t have a second gear for those that do not have the natural talent to be an instant professional. I think he likes improvement, so if I were Barnhart, I would challenge Cal to think about how to deal with that; it may bring him more championships.

  17. wes720
    10:00 am March 26, 2018 Permalink

    Cal is changing slowly just look how much zone we played this year and you know he hates zone. So maybe he will change his outlook on free throws too.