Sunday, February 21, 2016

SEC Update

Just about everything possible went wrong for UK yesterday on their trip to Texas A & M. 

First, it was the ESPN game of the week -- the second time in the last four Saturdays that the Cats have been the guests on ESPN's game of the week.

Second, Derek Willis -- who just made seven three-pointers against Tennessee -- suffered an ankle injury and may be out for awhile.  (He joins Alex Poythress, who is also injured.)

Third, Marcus Lee fouled out.

Fourth, with 9 seconds to go, and UK defending a 1-point lead in overtime, Kris Humphries grabbed a huge rebound that looked as though it would clinch the game for the Cats.  Humphries was fouled and was headed for a chance to give UK a three-point lead.  But Humphries, in his excitement, threw the ball on the court.  Technical.  Humphries's fifth foul.  A & M made both their technicals to take the lead.  Skal Labissiere, who makes 69.8 percent from the line, made only one of the two free throws that Humphries would have taken.

So the whole game was tied at 77 and the Aggies had the last shot.  You knew, even without watching, that A & M would miss, but without Humphries, or Willis, or Poythress, or Lee, someone for the Aggies would make a put-back at the buzzer to win, and that's exactly what happened.  It was UK's second loss in overtime as part of an ESPN special, and the second of those two games that featured extremely questionable officiating.  No wonder Trump finds it so easy to convince people that the system is rigged.

Ken Pomeroy still has the Cats ranked number 8 in the country, but UK is very banged up and they have four extremely tough games left:

2/23:  Home to Alabama
2/27:  at Vandy
3/1:  at Florida
3/5:  Home to LSU

To be honest, they could win or lose any of those games.  Pomeroy thinks they'll go 3-1 down the stretch and win the SEC with a record of 13-5.  That would be quite an accomplishment for a young team with so many injuries -- but it probably means they won't get a very favorable seed in the NCAA's.

It is so, so hard to win these games.  No wonder we all get so nervous.

8.  Kentucky:  10-4

22.  Texas A & M:  9-5
57.  S. Carolina:  9-5
65.  Louisiana St:  9-5

29.  Vanderbilt:  8-6
38.  Florida:  8-6

72.  Alabama:  7-7
79.  Mississippi:  7-7
82.  Georgia:  7-7

86.  Arkansas:  6-8
92.  Tennessee:  6-8

84.  Mississippi St:  5-9

196.  Auburn:  4-10

174.  Missouri:  3-11