Looking through teams was the worst fear for Wildcat fans with Kansas on the Horizon.
The Kentucky Wildcats entered Tuesday nights game against the Tennessee Vols with the knowledge of this weekend match-up against the number two ranked Kansas Jayhawks. The Volunteers were just above .500 and looking for a relevant win to build off of at home, especially with a 6-3 record at home.
The Wildcats did just that, looked right through a dangerous opponent and failed to turn a should win, into a win at all.Now they stare at their toughest test of the season and are not riding any momentum.
Their young talent, Malik Monk couldn’t limit turnovers and went 7 for 19 from the field and 3 for 13 behind the arc. Edrice Adebayo was hot going 7 for 8 from the field and 7 for 8 at the free throw line. However, it was not enough.
Coach John Calipari however was glad they didn’t come back to win. It would rob his players from this opportunity to grow and become better.
"The worst thing that probably could have happened last night is us come back & win that game & not get (the players' attention." -Coach Cal— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 25, 2017
Coach Cal must get his team back on track for a game against Kansas, who will be looking to get back on track themselves after their ugly loss on Tuesday to West Virginia. You can most certainly expect them to come out swinging with senior guard Frank Mason III leading the way.
This young Wildcats lineup will face an upper class team with Mason, junior guard Devonte’ Graham, and senior center Landen Lucas leading the Jayhawks into Rupp Arena. However, they must not look through teams when tougher opponents are on the horizon. It is how great teams fall from the top.
After the Jayhawks, they will see the Georgia Bulldogs for the first of two match-ups. The Bulldogs are similar to the Tennessee Volunteers. They are also trying to find their way into late March with a quality win against a ranked opponent. Then will head to face another top 25 team in the Florida Gators.
The Wildcats are among the most talented teams in the nation, but youth and immaturity in big moments could hurt them. It is important to put themselves in a position to ride a top seed into the tournament and possibly a path of least resistance in getting to the elite eight, or even final four.
However, looking through teams like Tennessee could come back to haunt them, if they don’t refocus. Luckily, this is their only unranked loss of the season and have proven to bounce back in big ways after their losses to UCLA and Louisville.
Lets just hope this is not a habit.