For two days now, we have put up with all the negative stories, all the funny pictures, all the crap that attends a big loss. We have handled it mostly with class and aplomb, but there comes a point at which I can no longer restrain myself, and must stand up for my team, my school, and my fellow fans.
We have suffered through a long and often difficult season so far, but a lot of basketball remains to be played. Yet apparently, according to this author over at the Bleacher Report, there is really no need to play it:
It would be difficult--downright impossible--for the selection committee to overlook this bad of a loss so late in the season.
Kentucky has several ways into the NCAA tournament, not the least of which is to win the SEC tournament. The author also fails to note the fact that we defeated this same Vanderbilt team in Rupp Arena, something I'm sure the committee would take into consideration as well. Every team throws in a clunker every now and then. Should Florida be doomed because of their shellacking at the hands of Arkansas at Arkansas the other day? What about the beat-down Florida gave Vanderbilt in the O-Dome? It seems the author has only a selective consciousness when it comes to such things, and no sense of proportion. I'm not surprised, but it is this the best the Bleacher Report can do?
Apparently not, because they also have this guy, who has written his own piece about the game:
This success for Vanderbilt will only be fueled by last night's victory over Kentucky and the fact that they have won five out of their last six games against the Wildcats.
Look for the Commodores to present a serious threat down the stretch as they might possibly be the biggest sleeper, not only in the SEC tournament, but much more so when March Madness rolls around.
As for Kentucky, look for them to just keep sleeping, at least for the rest of this season.
But why should we expect Kentucky to fail because of one bad loss? Up until the other night, as both authors note, UK had been on a roll. Why, after one game, must we give up and resign ourselves to, at best, an NIT berth? Quite frankly, this looks more like wishful thinking on the part of both authors than actual analysis.
Could Kentucky collapse and wind up in the NIT or lounging at home in March? Absolutely, but at this point in the season and given their relative success in the SEC, it seems like malpractice of reasoning to impute such failure now. If the Cats wind up among a number of at-large teams under 20 wins hoping for a bid, this loss could well be a negative factor, but one that could easily be overcome by a strong finish to the season. Implying, as both authors do, that UK should just mail it in now is absurd.
And for all you other Philistines out there, just remember -- pretty soon, we'll be writing stories similar to the above about your favorite team, only unlike you, we will actually apply some semblance of logic, reason and propriety instead of rumor, innuendo, and witlessness.