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BTI’s and Rants and Ramblings: Any Rematches in the NCAA Tournament Would Favor Cal

We’ve hit that point in the season where everybody is trying to project the NCAA Tournament and we have enough data to put some reasonable guesses out there.  UK seems to have a 2-seed pretty well secured at this point and would likely need some help, namely a couple wins over Tennessee, to sniff at the 1-seed.  But these kind of projections also lead to the conversations about who you do and don’t want to play in the NCAA Tournament.  And the general consensus is to avoid Duke.  Bad matchup and the taste of the beatdown they gave us in November might not ever go away.

I am here to soothe those fears.  I am not saying that Kentucky would beat Duke if they were to meet in March or April.  What I am going to say is that Kentucky would provide a MUCH tougher matchup for the Blue Devils than in March.  And that theory would go for any non-conference team that Kentucky would play again in the tournament.  In the Caliapri era, UK has played a team in the NCAA Tournament that they also played in the regular season.  Here are those 8 instances, ordered by length of time between meetings:

2012: 138 days, Kansas
1st Meeting: UK by 10
2nd Meeting: UK by 8 (National Championship)

2011: 129 days, UCONN
1st Meeting: UCONN by 17
2nd Meeting: UCONN by 1 (Final Four)

2011: 113 days, North Carolina
1st Meeting: UNC by 2
2nd Meeting: UK by 7 (Elite 8)

2017: 111 days, UCLA
1st Meeting: UCLA by 5
2nd Meeting: UK by 11 (Sweet 16)

2012: 103 days, Indiana
1st Meeting: Indiana by 1
2nd Meeting: UK by 12 (Sweet 16)

2017: 99 days, North Carolina
1st Meeting: UK by 3
2nd Meeting: UNC by 2 (Elite 8)

2012: 90 days, Louisville
1st Meeting: UK by 7
2nd Meeting: UK by 8 (Final Four)

2014: 90 days, Louisville
1st Meeting: UK by 7
2nd Meeting: UK by 5 (Sweet 16)

In the first meetings between the schools, UK went just 4-4.  In the rematch, they went 6-2.  Average margin in the first meeting was a UK win by just 0.2 points.  In the rematch, it was an average margin of a UK win by 6.  And most importantly, only once has UK won the first meeting and then been defeated in the 2nd meeting, and that was UNC in 2017, a team that won the national title and still needed a buzzer beater to take down the Cats.

If UK was to play Duke in the Elite 8, it would be either 144 or 145 days after the opening night meeting.  A Final Four meeting would be 150 or 151 days following the first matchup.  It would be the longest separation between two meetings in school history.  But if that was to occur, you have to think Calipari’s experience in those kind of rematches would bring some confidence to the fanbase.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

10 Comments for BTI’s and Rants and Ramblings: Any Rematches in the NCAA Tournament Would Favor Cal



  1. jfloyd
    10:15 am February 4, 2019 Permalink

    I forgot about that SI cover. Love that it’s an homage to the Antione Walker cover after ’96 title.



    • syrin23
      9:44 pm February 4, 2019 Permalink

      Hey, Antoine, why you shoot so many threes?



  2. KYjellyRoll
    10:23 am February 4, 2019 Permalink

    Odds favor UK. This is a whole different team than opening game. Duke played their best game of the year. This team has 110% more fight in them now. I think the close losses to seton hall and Alabama taught this team how to win in crunch time. Undefeated the rest of the way! Go Cats!



    • Aar
      12:34 pm February 4, 2019 Permalink

      Also factor in that they could look past the Cats due to how much of a mismatch it was. On the other hand, the Cats will be motivated like never before.



    • syrin23
      9:44 pm February 4, 2019 Permalink

      The refs are going to power rape us in Knoxville.



    • dballrb
      10:28 pm February 4, 2019 Permalink

      ?



  3. a21CATSfan
    11:49 am February 4, 2019 Permalink

    That’s because he just rolls the ball out. CATS



  4. BlueBanker18
    11:52 am February 4, 2019 Permalink

    We want Duke. I don’t know where you’re hearing otherwise from.



  5. Ridge Runner
    12:31 pm February 4, 2019 Permalink

    Agreed BTI



  6. dballrb
    10:27 pm February 4, 2019 Permalink

    Can’t be shy about playing Duke. Odds are that if we play them again it would be in FF or Chip game.Nice message to send our team….Come on!!….