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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:51 PM

Is Kentucky headed to the NIT this year???

Kentucky was the final team into this week's bracket, the defending national champions ignominiously scheduled to begin their title defense on a Wednesday night in Dayton. For all the possible promise of this season's batch of Kiddie Cats, they have not yet delivered anything close to a substantive NCAA tournament profile, unless you count competitive losses as a plus. Right now, Kentucky is carrying an RPI in the high 60s, with a win over Maryland (itself falling out of this week's bracket) as its only top-150 victory.

For all the faux-gnashing of teeth about the Wildcats' positioning in mid-January, there is some legitimate reason for concern. The SEC is decidedly mediocre this season, with only Florida and (assumedly) Missouri available as truly quality conquests in league play. Kentucky doesn't play either of those teams until Feb. 12, when it visits the Gators, and gets both of those teams at Rupp later on. With only one nonconference win likely to even end up in the top 200, this has the smell of Billy Gillispie's first season in Lexington in 2007-08, when the Cats ultimately squeezed in as an 11-seed.

Given the massive turnover from last season's roster, this isn't entirely shocking. In fact, in the early entry era, it's not a stunner for the defending national champion to miss the NCAA tournament entirely the following season. Just in the last five years, it's happened to North Carolina (2010) and Florida (2008).

I'd expect Kentucky to scrape through enough SEC games to make it into the eventual Field of 68, but its margin for error isn't great. Another couple of surprises like Texas A&M walking into Rupp and walking out with a win, and the Cats could be gunning for a different type of title come March: The NIT.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20130115/bubble-watch/#ixzz2I5xB37rs

Haven't heard much from the Sports Group UK fan! Wonder if he changed his avatar? Louisville Cardinals this year for him??



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Reply Is Kentucky headed to the NIT this year??? (Original post)
madinmaryland Jan 2013 OP
WilmywoodNCparalegal Jan 2013 #1
KamaAina Jan 2013 #2
Condem Jan 2013 #3
JonLP24 Jan 2013 #4
Liberal_Dog Jan 2013 #5

Response to madinmaryland (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:41 AM

1. I think they are still trying to gel as a team

Last year's Kentucky team was an anomaly in my opinion. This year's team is showing signs of improvement and a better definition in their roles. The chemistry seems a little off, but I think they will make the tournament probably because of the reason you mentioned (that is, the SEC being a little weak).

This is the conundrum with recruiting one-and-dones - if the following year's crop is not an instant gel, then the 'growing pains' will be evident.

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Response to madinmaryland (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:53 PM

2. Of course, because the SEC sucks so hard this year,

UK probably won't have much trouble winning the SEC tournament and grabbing the automatic bid.

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Response to madinmaryland (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:59 PM

3. What the hell happened to Era Veteran???

It's been months since I've seen his Kentucky loving ass on this site.

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Response to Condem (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:07 PM

4. I saw him post not long after Louisville defeated Florida

I think he said, "Lousville still sucks" or something to that effect.

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Response to Condem (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:55 PM

5. I Checked Era's Profile

His last post was six days ago.

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