Irony Anyone? UK at Risk of Missing Tourney While Louisville and IU Sit at 1 and 2
After watching Louisville confuse and then throttle Connecticut on the road Monday night, I became even more impressed with Kentucky's 3-point loss at the Yum! Center a couple of weeks ago.
Of course, Big Blue Nation would've liked for that to be a sign of good things to come in the near term rather than the long term. The 'Cats have since struggled to beat a lousy Vanderbilt team on the road and have lost a home game to a heretofore mediocre Texas A&M squad.
Yes, pundits are sounding the alarm that the possibility of Kentucky--nine months removed from the end of a 38-win season and a national title--missing the NCAA Tournament is very real. Now, these same pundits also believe that UK will get it together and make it into the Big Dance.
But the fact that the discussion is even on the table speaks volumes about the fact that it's been way more difficult for Coach John Calipari to get this team up and running than it ever has before with any previous team.
Fortunately, 'Cat fans are exhibiting patience.
I remember what happened at the end of Tubby Smith's tenure and then during Billy Gillispie's when UK lost a home game. A resounding chorus of boos would fill the Rupp Arena air. That has not happened this season in Kentucky's two home losses--to Baylor and to Texas A&M. (Maybe the 'Cats should just avoid teams from Texas.)
Hey, maybe this is a one-and-done calamity that fans are just discovering. Maybe having to recruit this way does lead to a 3-up-1-down pattern. Who knows?
I do know this. I can't help but notice the irony when I look at the top of the Associated Press college basketball poll. Three of Kentucky's hated rivals--Louisville, Indiana, and Duke--sit at #'s 1, 2, and 3 respectively. I'm not rubbing it in, nor would I. It's just interesting. That's all.
With UK's incoming recruiting class for 2013-14, many are seeing the 'Cats as a title favorite next season, while U of L, IU, and Duke will lose quite a few players.
The pendulum continues to swing.