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Believe it or not, Kentucky’s tournament hopes aren’t dead yet

Mar 7, 2013, 9:16 PM EDT

Jarrod Polson Julius Mays Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Here’s the good news for Kentucky: even though they have now lost two games in a row that they probably couldn’t afford to lose, the Wildcats still aren’t eliminated from NCAA tournament contention.

In fact, after losing at Arkansas on Saturday and then losing at Georgia 72-62 on Thursday night, Kentucky still may be in the exact same spot that they were last week: beat Florida, don’t suffer a bad loss in the SEC tournament, and lace up those dancing shoes.

That’s how week the bubble’s cutline looks right now.

Because everyone that’s there with Kentucky keeps losing, too.

Virginia lost at Florida State tonight while UMass lost at home to Butler. Maryland lost to North Carolina Wednesday night. Tennessee lost to Georgia on Saturday. Ole Miss lost to Mississippi State after losing to South Carolina. Arizona State collapsed. Iowa never made their run. Akron lost, and then lost their starting point guard.

And so here we are, with the Wildcats, who just suffered their first sub-100 loss of the season on Thursday (something that cannot be said about most of the teams on the bubble), needing to beat the SEC’s best team on Saturday to keep their hopes alive.

This is where it gets tricky: the last place you want to be heading into Championship Week is anywhere near the cutline. Not when teams like Northern Iowa are streaking as they head into Arch Madness against the likes of Creighton and Wichita State. Not when USC is peaking as they head into Pac-12 tournament play. Not when Southern Miss and BYU have the talent to make a run through Conference USA and the WCC, respectively.

Bid thieves abound during Championship Week, and the last place Kentucky wants to be is where they’re at risk of seeing their at-large bid get swiped.

Unfortunately, after tonight, they may have to resign themselves to that fate.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. massivedick - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    glad to see a system built entirely around the one and done concept fail miserably

    • billytaylor1 - Mar 8, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      The system at Ky has a Sophmore that was apart of a championship team last season A Jr: that was Mr basketball in Ky A Sr: transfer that is an excellent shooter with the young freshman talent

      Last season they had 1 Sr 2 softmores and won the championship with the group,not alot of difference

      The problem is not the system it is a different set of players that will not buy into what Coach Cal and staff have laid down.Let me mention the same set of coaches that set down the play and coaching for the final8 final4 and Championship games the past three seasons are now coaching this team and next season will be coaching that team and they will buy in.

      Noel/Whiltjer/Mays/Wcs bought into the system but sadly Noel got hurt and left them 3 that had bought in.You need 5 players on the floor bought into the coaching system and at least 1 to 2 on the bench to win.Ky dont have that this year and that is the problem,not the one and done concept you speak of.

      Watch Ky: next season again and see that 4 of years the system will work.Also be reminded no one in Ky believes in the one and done system thats the Nba & Ncaa mightys that are to blame for this not Cal or Ky

      You dont know anything.

  2. florida727 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Even though I’m a Florida fan, I have a great deal of respect for what Kentucky has done throughout history, and as a result I’m always erring on the side of caution with these guys… always waiting for them to go on a roll and live up to their potential/hype and just beat the you-know-what out of someone. I’m finally at the point where I think if they lose to Florida on Saturday, and/or don’t at least get to the semis of the SEC tournament, then they’re done for this year. The NIT will however gobble them up and they’ll host games all the way before the final four in MSG, because their fans are so fiercely loyal it’ll guarantee sellouts, something the NIT doesn’t experience much of. They still scare me though.

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