Following Kentucky’s loss at Tennessee on Tuesday night, head coach John Calipari questioned the fact as to why he played star freshman Tyty Washington who was coming off an injury just three days ago. While it may have seemed short-sighted to play Washington, it was indeed the right call. Kentucky needed to win Tuesday night’s game to control their fate for seeding in the SEC Tournament — a tournament that’s now suddenly three weeks away.
With the loss to the Volunteers, Kentucky and Tennessee now hold identical 10-3 conference records. The Wildcats will finish the year hosting Alabama and LSU then at Arkansas before hosting Ole Miss and traveling to Florida for the season finale. The Volunteers wind down their regular season with a trip to Arkansas and Missouri then back home for a premier matchup vs. Auburn before hitting the road to Georgia and back home vs. Arkansas again.
If both teams manage to win out, the Volunteers will secure the No. 2 seed for the tournament. This of course implies Tennessee knocks off Auburn at home next Friday, a game in which ESPN’s Basketball Power Index favors Auburn on the road at 69.2%.
Tennessee controls their fate, but will they capitalize? Both teams have “losable” games on their schedule — Tennessee more than Kentucky. However, both teams have proven they can hang with and defeat some of the best in the country this season. We’ll find out soon enough when the season ends in 17 days.
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