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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Visiting Vanderbilt Edition

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Kentucky takes the short drive down I-65 to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores in an attempt to extend their winning streak to seven games. Looks like a trap to me.

Kansas v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

My, my, what a difference a month makes. Kentucky, after being doubted and to a lesser extent shamed by some in the sports media after getting drubbed by Duke and playing a lackluster November slate, found themselves being counted out early after an early December last-second loss to Seton Hall in New York.

But something strange happened on the way to the metaphorical guillotine. With their backs against the wall, the Wildcats defeated North Carolina in Chicago and Louisville at the YUM center, demonstrating they had not quite decided to pack in all the early-season expectations. Dropping a last-second game at Alabama generated a few see-I-told-you-so’s, but a six-game winning streak including victories over three straight top-25 teams has silenced that criticism for now.

Somewhat surprisingly to me, the pendulum is starting to swing the other way, even though more than half the conference season remains. The Wildcats have worked their way gradually back into the top ten at #7 in the AP Poll (#10 on KenPom) and now have some buzz about them. So much so that Sports Illustrated sees them pushing for a #1 seed, although not quite there yet.

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Kentucky needs some offense to go with that. Defense and rebounding can win (Michigan St. has proven that over and over) but this Kentucky team should be much better offensively than it is.

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I hate to say this, but Kentucky is ripe for an upset in this one. It won’t happen if they come to play, but I’ve seen a lot of Kentucky teams over the years fall in the state of Tennessee after a nice streak: 2017, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2004 just to name some recents. Near misses also in 2018, 2012, 2010.

Plus, Herro’s shooting so poorly right now, I’m not sure you could even call him a shooter and be accurate except in terms of potential. But he’s finding ways to impact the game, and that’s what players who want to be great do.

Sometimes writers just look way too hard for catchy headlines.

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