It is amazing to watch the emotions of the Kentucky Wildcats fanbase ebb and flow. With every win, the team is a national title contender. With every loss, the sky is falling and Coach Calipari’s system is no longer working.
Thankfully, this week only featured victories.
National polls and rankings are much less cynical. In an oddly calm week in college basketball, with few major upsets, there was little movement in any of the polls. However, for many times (Kentucky included), no movement can be good movement at this point of the season.
The newest AP Top 25 Poll has Kentucky checking in at No. 13. Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas, San Diego State and Florida State make up the top five.
The Wildcats stand pat at No. 18 in the CBS Sports Top 25 and 1. In fact, there was few changes in those rankings over the weekend. Any games that may have impacted the list earlier in the week were already reflected in that last edition, and none of those teams lost over the weekend.
“Nick Richards finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds in Saturday’s 76-74 overtime victory at Texas Tech,” Gary Parrish of CBS wrote of the Wildcats. “Kentucky is 7-1 in its past eight games with wins over Louisville and Arkansas.”
The latest Andy Katz Power 36 has the Wildcats up to No. 11.
KenPom now has Kentucky ranked 25th overall, while their next opponents — Vanderbilt and Auburn — are 183rd and 33rd respectively.
The ESPN Power Rankings are updated weekly. So the Wildcats had the opportunity to jump Butler and move up to No. 14 from No. 15 last week. This is what ESPN’s Jeff Borzello had to say about the Wildcats:
“Kentucky didn’t play anything close to a perfect game on Saturday against Texas Tech, but the Wildcats showed toughness to come out of Lubbock with a win — something no nonconference opponent of the Red Raiders has done since 2013. And as it has been more often than not lately, it was the Immanuel Quickley (21 points) and Nick Richards (25 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks) show. The one concerning element from that matchup, however, was Kentucky’s lack of discipline late in the game. All three guards — Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey — made questionable decisions down the stretch. It didn’t end up costing the Wildcats a W, but it is something that has popped up before — and did again — against the Red Raiders.”
Likewise, Kentucky moved up a solitary spot in the NET Rankings, which is the list that really matters. Going from No. 22 to No. 21 is great, but the Wildcats still have work to do. They travel to No. 20 Auburn on Saturday, and that has the potential to be one of their best wins of the season.