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99% of you couldn't care less about this entry
back dat ass up
soopageek
After Texas' defeat at the hands of Kansas State earlier in the week, Kentucky enters Rupp Arena this afternoon as the only undefeated Division I team in the country. Barring the unlikely occurence of a loss at home to Arkansas today, they will certainly be ranked number 1 next week.

ESPN is airing the game at 4pm EST. They are also doing their College Game Day broadcast at 11am live from Rupp Arena. Knowing Kentucky fans, Rupp will be packed just for that.

Hopes are high for another title. It's been a milestone season already. A new coach, a phenomenal recruiting class. The only undefeated team, soon-to-be ranked #1. Being the first team in history to break the 2,000 win barrier.

Thankfully the conference will provide ample opportunity for this relatively inexperienced squad to continue growing as a team. As strong as the SEC is this year, it's not likely that Kentucky will make it through the conference and its tournment without a couple of losses. Kentucky will have to face #8 Tennessee twice in a two week span, the only team to give Kansas a loss so far this season. If that's not enough, Ole Miss has been in the Top 25 all season long and Mississippi State crept into the bottom of the AP Poll for the first time last week. And don't discount Vanderbilt. Vandy is hot right now and could give both Tennessee and Kentucky trouble at home next week.

The bottom line with this Kentucky team is whether or not anyone in the country can contain John Wall, which no one has figured out how to do yet. Even the teams that try to doule (triple) team him fail because he'll find the open man. He's already broken the school record for single game assists. As long as Wall is healthy and in the lineup; any team in the country will be hard pressed to beat Kentucky. If that's not crazy enough, Kentucky also has the best power forward in the country, hands-down, in Patrick Patterson. Bledsoe has finally started coming into his own in the past couple of weeks as has Cousins.

That's not to say that Kentucky is unbeatable, far from it. But Kentucky is perfectly capable of defeating any team in the country. What I'm worried about the most is what seems to be Kentucky's inability to kill. How many times this season has Kentucky blown a 15-20 point lead and then it feels like they're just holding on at the end? Too many times than I care to think about. I have a hard time believing them to be a serious contender for another National Championship unless they can find that focus in February. Kansas and Texas both already have that level of experience and focus, and they're only getting better. Kentucky may make it to the Final Four, but if they can't develop that killer instinct in the coming weeks, Kansas or Texas will eat them alive in March. That said, I'll offer one more prediction: Texas won't make the Final Four. Rick Barnes is a great coach, but historically speaking, he usually fucks it up in March.

I actually sort of hope that Mississippi hands Kentucky their first defeat, at Rupp, on February 2nd. It's just the sort of kick in the pants this team needs and it'd light that figurative fire under their ass early.

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I am, however, pleased that you said "...couldn't care less...", rather than the usual Americanism, "could care less", which makes no sense at all.

Heh, well to be honest, in actual conversation, I've been known to use the incorrect phrasing just because it comes out that way. I suspect that Americans are notorious for misusing it simply because it rolls off the tongue easier to not use the contraction. We don't have time for all those extra syllables if peopleget our meaning anyway, we got shit to blow up and things to build.

Oh, how I love being a 1 percenter...

A few things:

1. No one can contain John Wall. It's impossible. If he were on a team with fewer weapons, it might be possible by double and triple teaming him, but as you point out, he'll find the open man.

The best option is to run a zone, which is what most teams have been doing, forcing lanes to close and getting UK and Wall to beat you on the perimeter. Problem is: they shoot 39% from out there and their bigs are so incredible at rebounding that you're going to give up a ton of offensive rebounds by zoning.

Only John Wall can contain John Wall. You can't contain him, you can only hope for an ACL injury (KNOCK ON WOOD, KNOCK ON WOOD!!!!)

2. The best big man in the country is DeMarcus Cousins. I have no question about that at all. He's unbelievable. I haven't seen anyone dominate the way he has every second he's been on court. He's so big and so long that he absorbs every rebound into his form, like a big black Borg cube. He has NBA level offensive moves, and he's matured by leaps and bounds this year. Should he find a way to stay on the court for more 5 more minutes a game, watch out.

3. Kentucky's inability to kill is more of a concern for me in the remainder of the regular season than in the post-season for two reasons. First, the reason why they're doing this is because they are so young. I think they'll learn to stop doing it by march. Secondly, the stakes are so much higher in the postseason that it will prevent them from losing focus. I don't think any one is going to eat this team alive in march. Also, they beat the living shit out of Arkansas yesterday for 40 minutes, so they may already be coming around.

4. Bledsoe is a future NBA player. He was hampered by a persistent ankle injury earlier in the season, and now he's back to 100%. The kid is as tough as they come and if he has a great tournament, we may be looking to replace him and wall next year. Hilariously enough, we just might be able to do that (Josh Selby and Brandon Knight. Names to remember).

5. Beating vandy at vandy, Miss. State at Miss. State, and Tennessee at Tennessee will be the toughest remaining games. I can't see winning all of them. I'm not worried about Ole Miss. They have no inside game.

I don't think we're going to lose at home this year. Our loss or losses will be on the road. And I do believe we will lose 1 or 2, but I would spontaneously combust if we went undefeated. I'd have to kill myself as a sports fan, because it will never get better than that. Nevertheless, we will be a 1 seed, and one of the favorites to win the whole thing, and ultimately that's what I care about most. Good times.

Final Note: John Wall will redefine the point guard position and will end his career as one of the 5 best basketball players of all time. Mark it down.

Re: Oh, how I love being a 1 percenter...

Oh, and guess who has tickets to the Final Four and the Championship Game!?!?

ME! I DO! ME!

I really might implode on myself if we win and I'm there for it.

Re: Oh, how I love being a 1 percenter...

That is awesome. I think your chances of imploding are very high.

Re: Oh, how I love being a 1 percenter...

I disagree with you on Cousins. He's way too green to to be "the best big man in the country". He's impatient, rash, and makes poor decisions. I agree he COULD be, but he lacks the consistency of performance and the experience to actually be it.

For my money, the best big man in the country is Luke Harangody at Notre Dame. That kid is unbelievable. He's reminds me a lot of Teyshaun Prince: he can handle the ball, has a sweet hook shot, and can hit the three.


Re: Oh, how I love being a 1 percenter...

For pure offensive firepower, I'll take Harangody. But overall, he wouldn't even make my top 5 as far as big men are concerned. He's a solid, but not great rebounder and an underwhelming defender. I'd take Cousins, Pittman, Aldrich, Patterson, Favors, and Davis over Harangody. I like my big men to be enforcers, and for all of Harangody's talent, an enforcer he is not. As a step out 4, there's no one better offensively than Harangody, though.

I would have agreed with your assessment of cousins over the first 10 games of the season, but he's matured drastically over the course of the year. He's now passing out of double teams, turning over the ball far less, blocking more shots, grabbing more rebounds, and despite getting hacked and provoked in every game since Louisville, he has yet to retaliate in any way. He averages 15 fewer minutes on the floor than harangody and he still grabs nearly the same number of rebounds and blocks twice as many shots. He grabs rebounds that I don't think anyone else in the country could get.

He's the most efficient big man in the country and the only way people have found to stop him is by fouling him (he is the 3rd most fouled player in the country per minute played.) He's averaging a double double over his last 6 games while averaging only 20 minutes per game. That's insane, and it's also a sign of consistency. At the beginning of the season, I would've traded Cousins for Harangody and all of the other guys I listed above. Right now, I wouldn't trade him for anyone.

oh thanks to our lovely # 21 University of Connecticut Huskies upsetting the crap out of # 1 Texas, your Kentucky team will be # 1 this week. your welcome lol

Oh, we were assured of the #1 ranking already since Kansas State beat 'em earlier in the week. Tough week for the Longhorns, going from a perfect record to back-to-back losses. I imagine Texas will drop to #3 and Kansas will rise to #2.

It makes me feel good to know that a team we already defeated this season can beat Texas. ;-)

you're more then likely right that it was gonna happen after the Kansas State loss but the Uconn loss just seals the deal. hell it shocked me cause Uconn has NOT been performing well at all this season. funny Coach Calhoun takes a Medical leave and suddenly they win 2 after losing 3 straight. hate to say it but might be time for Calhoun to retire.

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