Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kentucky gets Commodored

For those of you who are relatively new to this blog, let me inform you that my wife is a fan of Kentucky basketball. She's also a fan of Bama football. No, I've never understood the Kentucky thing. She's from Alabama, so she gets a pass on the Bama football thing.

We Tivo every Kentucky basketball game, mainly so that she knows when it comes on and can watch it. Kentucky started the season pretty roughly, but they have been surging lately, winning 5 straight games, some of them against very good teams. Last night was a hotly anticipated contest with Vandy, a good dynamic team.

It was ugly. I turned it off and went to bed with just under 10:00 left in the game, after Vandy took out all of its starters. Vandy was winning by about 40 at the time. The game ended 93-52. I'm here to tell you it could have been worse. Kentucky had 11 points at halftime, and was losing by 30. The opening minutes of the second half were no better, as Vandy quickly built its lead to 40, and just cruised that point on.

I think Vandy could possibly be criticized for not calling off the dogs early, but until they built up the lead to 40, I could do nothing but think of how that Kentucky team came back from 31 down against LSU about ten years ago. I know this year's team isn't nearly as dynamic on offense as that Kentucky team (which hit 3-pointer after 3-pointer), but I can't blame Vandy for having that on their minds. They finally fully called off the dogs 3/4 of the way into the game.

The good news is that despite the large margin, it only counts as one loss. The bad news is that Kentucky is a bubble team, and the selection committee will be mindful of two embarrassing losses when making their selections: the early season loss to Gardner-Webb and the late-season blowout to Vanderbilt.

Granted, Vandy is a very good team, and they were playing at home. This is definitely not the football Vandy, who is a traditional doormat. The basketball Vandy has a pretty good history of playing quality basketball and has some very good players. There's no shame in losing to Vandy. And while you don't ever want to get beat quite like that, it's not like you can't recover from it and move on.

The NCAA tournament may well be out of reach, unless Kentucky can win the SEC tournament, but the way they were playing before last night, they could very well be a threat to win the tournament. Luckily for us, we get them next. It should be a fun day in the GeauxTuscaloosa household.


Jason said...

Hmm...this Pittman claims to be an SEC fan and yet calls VU a football "doormat." Ask South Carolina if Vandy's a doormat. Ask Ole Miss or Georgia. Did you know that with 3 weeks left in last season Vandy was still in contention for the SEC East?

And all the while without recruiting thugs and sub-morons who can be kept eligible by alternate track academic programs...

Richard Pittman said...

Yes. Yes. I am aware that Vandy has had a couple of years of relatively better football play. If you go back over my pre-season posts, you can see how high I was on Vandy. Even so, they were still one of only 2 SEC teams not to be bowl-eligible last season, and they haven't been bowl-eligible in approximately 1 bajillion years. It remains to be seen if they will be able to maintain even THIS relatively modest increase in success, because they lose several of their best players to graduation this year.

I'll tell you what. If they can get bowl eligible for 2 years in a row, I'll stop calling them a doormat.