The game everyone in the Big Blue Nation was dreading is finally behind them, yes I said dreaded, which is strange to say for any UK basketball team but painfully true for this team. While the game had its own peaks and valleys with some impressive runs by both teams within the 40-minute time frame, the bottom line is it ended with Florida pulling away to an ugly 84–65 thumping of the Cats.
Nothing else really needs to be said; the final score tells the story in itself.
Now the third part of each college basketball season begins, the part of each season that is remembered most, the post season or as it is affectionately called March Madness for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for all levels of basketball and for both genders. Normally in most years this means everyone has a little more pep in their step when the sun comes up each day and the talk around the office water coolers is always about basketball, usually UK men’s basketball.
This year you can expect some added conversation about the UK Women’s Hoops team, the EKU men’s team, and dare I say the University of Louisville. But you can count on most all the conversation’s to start with everyone’s opinion of Coach Cal’s Cats and how they can correct Cal’s problem’s and right the sinking ship.
It’s simply a time honored tradition, we are the only state in the union that has all walks of life that no matter what your intelligence level is of basketball, no matter what your education level is or even if you have experienced a classroom, no matter your financial status, no matter what your political or religious beliefs are, it’s simply amazing that every breathing, living citizen in this Commonwealth has their own opinion of how they can do a better job as President of the United States and also help whoever the basketball coach is at UK and if there are any left unaccounted for you can probably cruise through Louisville and spot them drawing out a better game plan for U of L’s coach.
Last week, Matthew Mitchell and his UK women’s team jump started their post season run with another impressive showing at the SEC tournament only to come up one point short in the championship game to their old nemesis the Lady Vols, but the confidence gained with their solid play should be invaluable when the Women’s NCAA tourney begins next week. This week Coach Cal’s Cats get their crack at regaining some confidence with their own run at the men’s NCAA tourney title. The men’s tournament is at the Georgia Dome and the first game of the first session begins wednesday night at 7 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC network until the semi finals on Saturday and championship game on Sunday which are all televised on the ABC network.
UK earned a double bye with the second place finish in the regular season standings and the Cats begin play Friday night at 7 p.m. against the LSU–Alabama winner of Thursday night.
Most feel the Cats have earned the right to be included in the NCAA tournament field no matter the outcome of their play in this week’s SEC tournament, but a couple wins or at least one may help the cause for a No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the Big Dance instead of a No. 10 or No. 11 seed.
At this point of this season with this particular team your guess of how they will perform is as good as mine and there is simply no sense in trying to compare, contrast, or assume anything.
The very popular NCAA men’s selection show will air this coming Sunday night on CBS from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and that is when UK, Louisville, and EKU will all learn their first round opponent and destination of their second round games. There is no real close second round site geographically for any Kentucky teams, but my money is on the NCAA committee placing some traditionally strong basketball schools like UK and Louisville down in Orlando, Fla., where football is king year round. That should boost ticket sales along with the other obvious No. 1 Florida Gators being involved. Also, don’t be shocked if EKU isn’t placed as a first round opponent with the Gators, Cats, or Cardinals.
You can go online at www.combsbrothersonkysports.com for more coverage of UK basketball and football as well as KHSAA basketball and football.