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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The SEC Road Has Been Tough on the Cats

© Marvin Gentry | USATSI

© Marvin Gentry | USATSI

Kentucky heads into another, on paper, quite winnable game tonight against Georgia.  There is nothing that would suggest if the Cats don’t bring their “A” game they won’t win comfortably.  Georgia is not any threat to make the NCAA Tournament as Tom Crean tries to rebuild a program that used to be a Top 4 team in the conference.  But if recent history tells us anything, it is that Kentucky fans can no longer assume that ANY road game in the conference is a gimme.  Just a glance:

2016: at LSU 85-67
2016: at Auburn 75-70
2016: at Tennessee 84-77
2016: at Texas A&M 79-77
2016: at Vanderbilt 74-62
2017: at Tennessee 82-80
2017: at Florida 88-66
2018: at Tennessee 76-65
2018: at South Carolina 76-68
2018: at Missouri 69-60
2018: at Texas A&M 85-74
2018: at Auburn 76-66
2018: at Florida 80-67
2019: at Alabama 79-77

Since the 2016 season, UK is just 14-14 in road games in the conference.  And there is more to that record than meets the eye:

-Average margin of defeat in those 14 losses is 9.5 points.  The Cats are not just getting beat at the buzzer consistently like they were in the 2011 season.  They are getting beat comfortably.

-In 10 of the 14 losses, UK came into the game ranked and the opponent was unranked.  They are losing games to teams they shouldn’t.

-UK has given up 75 or more points in 12 of the 14 games.  They are often losing these games on the defensive end of the floor.

So while I think many people are overlooking the game tonight as an automatic win on the schedule, I think it will be a very telling game.  After the Alabama loss, a loss which looks worse and worse as the weeks go on, UK really needs to show up focused and hammer an inferior team on their home court.  No more slow starts.  No more offensive droughts.  No more defensive breakdowns.  Take care of business like a supposed Final Four contender would.

I think we have to start seeing some improvement on many fronts to think this team has any shot at a deep run in March.  And while it might not seem like it, I think the result of tonight’s game, and margin of victory, will be an important indicator of that improvement.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

13 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The SEC Road Has Been Tough on the Cats



  1. ArtSmass
    10:29 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    “There is nothing that would suggest if the Cats don’t bring their “A” game they won’t win comfortably.” <<>> shhhh…it’s the ever-elusive TRIPLE-negative. This beauty is almost extinct, probably due to its ability to kill readers’ willingness to keep reading almost instantaneously.



  2. The Big Lebowski
    11:59 am January 15, 2019 Permalink

    Kentucky fans can no longer assume that ANY road game in the conference is a gimme.

    Cal loses many of these games now that he is consistently being victimized by Coach K on the recruiting trail.



    • trumpetguy
      2:22 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      I bet BBN would have lost that bet if someone would have said UK is only .500 on the road in SEC play in last few years. These teams don’t fear the supposedly aura of UK. Road games very iffy in about all conferences!



    • RealCatsFan
      3:15 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      The fact is that very few Division I teams “fear” their opponent. These athletes have been competing at a very high level for most of their lives, mainly on the AAU circuit. You just don’t see the level of intimidation that you had 25 years ago when the cream of the crop were so much more athletically developed than the average players. Nowadays most of these guys are pretty even physically, and just about anyone can get hot on a given night. Factor in the home crowds who pack the stands and get the team riled up, and it doesn’t surprise me to see these upsets on the road.



    • trumpetguy
      3:29 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      100% agreed RCF. IMO, advantage UK has over most, not all, of their competition are players 3-9, and that is why UK should be very aggressive on both ends and let talent prevail. Slow paced games only benefit the teams with lesser talent. Read somewhere recently the recent UK/Vandy game was slowest paced game since shot clock era. UK FGA should be dramatically increased, unless coaches don’t believe they have advantage in 3-9.



  3. Righteous1
    12:55 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

    Put money on UGA to cover the spread.



    • RealCatsFan
      3:17 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Wouldn’t surprise me at all.



  4. BigolBlue
    2:32 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

    Good teams beat these teams on the road. Excuses once again.



    • RealCatsFan
      3:17 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Nope – good teams win the home games. Really good teams win most of their road games. And great teams make a run in the NCAA Tournament.



    • BigolBlue
      4:47 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Matt jones has seriously got you guys hypnotized in beleiving uk should accept mediocracy. Dont you realize he is just guarding his brand by sunshine pumping cal and these teams till the end? If he speaks the truth his brand will take a hit. Its a smart business decision, but you people follow his words likr he is your cult leader



    • catsarerunnin
      5:14 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      BigolBuffoon



    • J-Dub421
      8:58 pm January 15, 2019 Permalink

      Mediocricy is not a word.