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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Vanderbilt Commodores Edition

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Kentucky has a dangerous road trip tonight to Nashville to play an improving Vandy team in one of the toughest gyms in America for opponents.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

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

Tonight, the Wildcats take the short trip down I-65 to Nashville for their annual unlubricated rectal exam down at Memorial Gymnasium versus Vanderbilt. If the previous sentence gives you the impression I hate to go down there to play basketball, then you read it correctly.

The fact is, Kentucky is way overdue for a loss to Vandy judging by 21st century standards, and the seven-game winning streak against the Commodores is the longest since an 18-game streak between 1993 and 2002, and the longest in this century to date.

That makes me nervous. It shouldn’t of course, given that Vandy’s best player is out for the season, but somehow long winning streaks in gyms with a strong home-court advantage just don’t give me the warm-and-fuzzys.

It also concerns me that Vandy has been playing better. They played us tough in Rupp Arena, played Florida tough at home, beat LSU (the league leader at the time, by the way) in Memorial and staged a strong comeback only to run out of steam at Mississipi State.

Stat-wise, Kentucky looks good in this one, especially since the Commodores are shooting so abysmally from three, only 25% in league. But they bombed LSU out of the gym making 12-30 just a week ago, so this may be coming around, and if it does it will happen at home. They still have to figure out how to defend Nick Richards in the post and keep our guards out of the paint, but if they can get Richards in foul trouble, we have seen how UK struggles to go inside.

After winning two impressive victories in a row, this is the perfect opportunity for a young team to take their foot of the gas and try to coast a little. That would be a mistake. Vandy is dying to give their fans something to cheer about, and nothing will fill that bill better than sending the Wildcats home with their heads hanging.

This may not be a “trap game” in the classic sense, but it has that feel and my senses on red alert.

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Sounds right to me.

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