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Kentucky’s Lost To 6 Unranked Opponents This Season

This is an ugly stat but it’s one that has to be addressed. After Wednesday night’s loss at LSU, it marked the Wildcat’s sixth loss this season to an unranked opponent. Yes, throughout all of College Basketball you can find almost this same statistic for just about every team that’s been consistently ranked all season but it definitely doesn’t ease the pain for me at all.

I had mentioned in one of my articles a few weeks back that the sport is going through an ugly transition phase right now resulting from the immediate transfer portal route and the NIL options being spread through many programs, a phase that has been going on for a handful of years now. So times are weird, things are happening over and over again that use to never happen, but they are reality and we must treat them as so.

Sitting at 18-8 overall, Kentucky has lost to No. 1 Kansas at a neutral site, UNC Wilmington at home, No. 6 Tennessee at home, on the road at Texas A&M, on the road at South Carolina, at home against Florida, at home against Gonzaga, then in last night’s trip at LSU. Six unranked opponents beat Kentucky with three of them coming on your home floor. I’m having a hard time even writing out that the most winningest program of all-time is having that issue, but they are.

I can remember the days where elite teams took care of business and very rarely got upset. It use to take a lot of things going right for the superior team for that to come close to even happening. It seems like nowadays any top-ranked team can lose at any moment and the playing field seems as even as ever across the sport. It’s just really odd to me. I’m not sure how you avoid it either. During this weird transitioning phase this will continue to happen and it worries me because if you want to win in March you need to have consistency as your strength. Otherwise, you’ll play to the randomness of the “Big Dance” and can be at risk of losing in any round. I just don’t like having that feeling around Kentucky especially in a year that needs to have a deep postseason run for the sake of the fanbase and its support towards the head coach.

With 5 regular season games remaining, it feels like you must do everything in your power to just win games no matter how they look because otherwise you’ll add an extremely tough tournament path to go on top of this ugly phase. We’d like them to look efficient and dominant, but I’m not sure if we’re going to get that anymore. Just win and do whatever it takes.

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