Updated: Feb 12
Coming into this game, Kentucky was listed on the 'First Four Out' bubble on ESPN's Joe Lunardi's bracket expectations, with a full understanding that you cannot lose this game today. With seven remaining games on the schedule, you must win five or more to feel confident about making the tournament. Well, an awful offensive performance, backed by a mid defensive performance, allowed Kentucky to drop this one, losing in Athens back-to-back for the first since 1989-90.
Cason Wallace did not score his first points until .52 seconds were left in the matchup and, if it wasn't for Antonio Reeves scoring twenty, this one would have gotten out-of-hand for the visiting team. Oscar had the same amount of points, but most of Reeves' points came when Kentucky was fighting a four-point deficit, trying to keep it from becoming seven or eight, keeping them just in range throughout most of the afternoon.
Only six Wildcats managed to score a basket versus the Bulldogs. Here are the full stats from the game:
This leaves Kentucky with essentially very little hope to make the NCAA Tournament. Definitely not deserving, but a win-out through the regular season might keep you in the conversation, just because your name is "Kentucky." What I mean by that is that, if we're on the edge of making it, and a smaller school like FAU (just an example) has the exact same resume, I could see where Kentucky would get the push, because UK will sell tickets and put fans in the seats. Going off that same standard, you ARE Kentucky Basketball. You should not be in this position to start with. This season has been unacceptable after what the prior two seasons have showcased and if Kentucky was to somehow make the tournament, I do not know if they would even win the game. I hate to be saying this, but what have you seen that would make you think otherwise?
Kentucky has just six remaining games left which include at Mississippi State, home versus Tennessee, at Florida, home versus Auburn, home versus Vanderbilt and on the road at Arkansas. After that, the SEC Tournament.
Let's take this game by game at a must-win cost.