I continue to not understand the storylines behind tonight’s game against Davidson. The matchup favors the Cats in almost all ways. If they defend the 3-point line well, I don’t see a way Davidson can win this game. I go into this game quite confident because I think the game rests entirely on if UK shows up. If they do, they will win no matter how Davidson plays. And if they don’t show up, then they can lose. Frankly, if they can’t show up for an NCAA Tournament game, they don’t deserve to get out of the 1st round anyway.
But the storyline that makes even less sense to me is the coaching matchup, which most give the advantage to Bob McKillop. You don’t have to look very hard to debunk the idea that Bob McKillop is going to coach the socks off John Calipari:
1st ROUND TOURNAMENT RESULTS AT CURRENT SCHOOL
Calipari (7-0 Overall and 3-4 against the spread)
2010: (16) East Tennessee St. (-18.5): WON and COVERED
2011: (13) Princeton (-12.5): WON and NOT COVERED
2012: (16) Western Kentucky (-26.5): WON and NOT COVERED
2014: (9) Kansas State (-6): WON AND COVERED
2015: (16) Hampton (-34): WON and NOT COVERED
2016: (13) Stony Brook (-13.5): WON and COVERED
2017: (15) Northern Kentucky (-20): WON and NOT COVERED
McKillop (1-7 overall and 4-4 against the spread)
1998: (3) Michigan (+15): LOST and NOT COVERED
2002: (4) Ohio State (+13): LOST and COVERED
2006: (2) Ohio State (+10.5): LOST and COVERED
2007: (4) Maryland (+6): LOST and NOT COVERED
2008: (7) Gonzaga (-1): WON and COVERED
2012: (4) Louisville (+6): LOST and NOT COVERED
2013: (3) Marquette (+3): LOST and COVERED
2015: (7) Iowa (+3.5): LOST and NOT COVERED
Bob McKillop teams have been a double-digit seed in each and every one of their eight tournament appearances. They have made it out of the 1st round just once. Kentucky has been a single digit seed in each and every of Cal’s 7 tournament appearances. They have made it out of the 1st round in all 7 years.
If Bob McKillop is such a genius, why can’t he get out of the 1st round? If John Calipari is such a bum coach, why can he get out of the 1st round every year?
The game tonight matches all of the matchups above. Why is it suddenly going to be different now?
Answer: it won’t.