I don’t see a way where this team isn’t going to give us all heartburn for the remainder of the season. Even in beating Arkansas by 15, the Cats fell behind 11-0 and appeared to have no energy to start the game. Even the wins have come the hard way and the losses usually come with tons of regret. But UK has been able to pull out two very important wins over the last week and things are certainly looking up for March.
I wondered if a strong regular season finish showed any correlation to the strong postseason performance. Below are the final five games record for each of the Calipari teams (this team currently 2-0):
2011-12: 5-0 (SEC Tournament Runner-Up, National Champs)
2014-15: 5-0 (SEC Tournament Champs, Final 4)
2016-17: 5-0 (SEC Tournament Champs, Elite 8)
2009-10: 4-1 (SEC Tournament Champs, Elite 8)
2010-11: 4-1 (SEC Tournament Champs, Final 4)
2012-13: 3-2 (SEC Tournament Quarterfinals, NIT)
2015-16: 3-2 (SEC Tournament Champs, 2nd Round)
2013-14: 2-3 (SEC Tournament Runner-Up, National Runner-Up)
I put the dotted line where I did for a reason. Every team that has won at least 4 of the final 5 regular season games has made the SEC Tournament final and at least the Elite 8. Of the three teams that didn’t win at least 4 of 5, only the 2014 squad made it past the 2nd round and only one won the SEC Tournament as opposed to 4 of 5 that did so above them.
With home games left against Missouri and Ole Miss and a road game against struggling Florida remaining, I think it is looking very likely UK can get at least two of those three games. I’m sure we would all like to see two halves put together like the one on Tuesday in the 2nd half but if the Cats are able to do that, all of the sudden a season that was on the brink all through January and early February appears bright headed into March.