Category Archives: Ron Hamblin

UK in Final Four …. AGAIN!!!!

Since Calipari has arrived at UK, he has made it to the Final 4 three of the last four years and also throw in an Elite Eight. Last years debacle not withstanding, the Calipari led Wildcats have made it deep in to the NCAA Tourney every year.This years team was supposed to go 40-0. At seasons end, they were thought to be an early exit. Unfortunately for most people filling out their brackets, Kentucky has managed to bust everyones bracket. It took awhile, but these young Cats have rounded in to form and look like a favorite to win another Title. UK will face a good Wisconsin team and have eyes set on a Championship game against either UConn or Florida. How sweet would it be for the Cats to avenge three losses to Florida this season with a win in the National Championship game over the Gators? Apparently the SEC isn’t as weak as most experts thought. All three SEC teams made the Sweet 16 and two made the Final Four. GO BIG BLUE!!!!!

UK looks to win yet another National Championship
UK looks to win yet another National Championship

 

UK to face Louisville in Sweet 16 in Indianapolis

UK was the team that was supposed to be undefeated going in to the NCAA Tournament, not Wichita. UK was supposed to be the favorite this year, not Wichita. After a so so season by Kentucky standards, the young Wildcats appear to have hit their stride after beating Kansas State Friday, then defeating #1 seed and undefeated Wichita State in a thriller.

UK fans are hoping for another win over Louisville
UK fans are hoping for another win over Louisville

UK will continue the gauntlet, called the Midwest Region by taking on in State and bitter rival, Louisville in Indianapolis next weekend. In what has been the worst Region seeding in a long time, the Midwest was loaded with such powers as Michigan, Duke, Louisville, Kentucky, Kansas State, Undefeated Wichita State and a red hot Tennessee squad.

For UK to make the Final Four, they will still have to beat Louisville and either Michigan or Tennessee. Kentucky fans are ready for another run to the Final Four and it will have to continue by beating the hated Cardinals.

NCAA Seeding Slams Kentucky Teams

The NCAA must have been spending a lot of time recently in Colorado in a weed shack. I don’t disagree with the UK Wildcats getting an 8 seed with their 10 losses. They will be playing in the MidWest Region with their first game in St. Louis, Mo. against Kansas State. If they win, the would likely face South #1 Seed and undefeated Wichita State. Louisville, a 4 seed in the MidWest as well. Should they win their first two games and UK wins their first two, the two Kentucky powers would have to play each other.

James Young - Photo by Steve Harp - East KY Media
James Young – Photo by Steve Harp – East KY Media

Louisville is 29-5 and ranked number 5 in the AP poll. Kentucky is 24-10 and dropped out of the rankings. By contrast, Duke was unbelievably ranked #7 with a 26-7 record and an absurd 3 seed, also in the MidWest Region. Kansas was a 2 seed in the South with a record of 24-9. Again, the people doing this years seeding have got to be Colorado High. The selection committee did get the #1 seeds right with Florida, Virginia, Arizona and Wichita State.

NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET

This year’s selection committee proved there is a love affair with Duke and Kansas and an innate hate for UK and Louisville. My hope is the Wildcats continue to keep their momentum and or Louisville remains hot and one or the other brings the NCAA Title home to Kentucky for the 3rd straight season.

Hey Selection Committee, ease up on the Colorado Purple Passion, Your seedings lead me to believe you may be high.

 

From UK Athletics:

Kentucky Makes Record 53rd NCAA Appearance

Wildcats, seeded eighth in the Midwest Region, to face Kansas State Friday

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the 53rd time in program history the Kentucky Wildcats are among the field for the NCAA Tournament, it was announced Sunday evening. Kentucky claimed an at-large bid following a 61-60 loss to No. 1-ranked Florida on Sunday in the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship.

Kentucky, seeded eighth in the Midwest Region, is set to travel to St. Louis, Mo. and will take on ninth-seeded Kansas State in the second round of NCAA Tournament. The game is set for Friday, March 21st. Time and television information will be announced later in the evening. The winner of the UK-KSU matchup will play the winner of No. 1-seeded Wichita State and the winner of the 16-seed First Round play-in game between Cal Poly and Texas Southern.

Series History

Kentucky is 8-0 all-time against Kansas State, with two postseason meetings. UK downed KSU 68-58 in the national championship game in Minneapolis, Minn., to claim the program’s third NCAA title. The two schools also met in the 1976 NIT, where UK pulled out an 81-78 win.

UK has never played Wichita State, but the Wildcats own an 11-4 record all-time against Missouri Valley opponents. Kentucky has also never played Cal Poly and is 1-0 against Texas Southern, with an 83-35 win in 2007.

NCAA Tournament History

  • Kentucky is 42-10 in tournament openers and has won 20 of its last 21 second round (previously first-round) tournament games. The Cats won their opener during the 2012 title run against Western Kentucky, 81-66.
  • UK has claimed a 14-5 record in the second round since 1992.
  • Since 1992, UK is 107-31 (.781) in postseason play (SEC, NIT and NCAA).

40 and 0, YEAH RIGHT!!!

Before the season started, everyone in the nation who did their preseason polls, had UK 1 or 2 and some had UK even going 40 & 0 with a National Title. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Despite having the best recruiting class ever, at least on paper, & despite having Poythress and Cauley-Stein coming back from a disappointing season last year, UK has fought to be mediocre by Wildcat standards.

James Young had a miserable night vs Florida. Photo - Steve Harp - East KY Media
James Young had a miserable night vs Florida. Photo – Steve Harp – East KY Media

UK has 9 losses, that include two spankings by Florida, a home loss in overtime to Arkansas, disappointing road losses to Arkansas and South Carolina. In the Florida loss Saturday, a must win for UK, Wildcat players stood around for what seemed like several minutes, as the ball was passed around the perimeter. With players like Randle, Johnson and Cauley-Stein down low, it is amazing UK simple does not feed the post every trip down the court. This team has entirely too much talent to have more than 1-2 losses, yet they find themselves looking at a 7-12 seed depending on who you ask.

USA Today, has UK as a 7 seed in the East playing a 10 seed. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, the bracket guru, has KY as a 7th seed in the South at Raleigh North Carolina. The unfortunate part is that he also has Florida as a #1 in the South as well as Michigan, Cincinnati and #2 seed Virginia. UK could make it to the South Region Final and possibly avenge two beat downs to Florida.

The only thing that will be considered a saved season will be a Kentucky run to the Final Four. Without it, this season will be considered on of the worst UK has seen in some time, even eclipsing last seasons debacle. Only time will tell, but believe this, BIG BLUE NATION is not happy with this years team. Maybe some of the players

 

Where was Julius Randle in North Carolina loss??

By Ron Hamblin – Let’s face it folks, the Cats are a work in progress. They have played five really tough teams, Michigan State, Baylor, Providence, Boise State & North Carolina. They lost to Mich. St., & Baylor on neutral courts, and lost to N.C. in their first true road game. The defeated Providence on the road and beat a solid Boise State team at home. Should we really be worried about the North Carolina loss? Not really. The UK Wildcats are finding out just how tough it is to have a team filled with promising stars.

UK vs NC PHOTOS

 

UK vs NC - Julius Randle - Photo by Michael Huang - East KY Media
UK vs NC – Julius Randle – Photo by Michael Huang – East KY Media

Kentucky will go as Julius Randle goes and let’s face it, he did not show up at N.C. No one can deny Randle’s heart. It just seems that he is letting opponents double and triple teaming to cause him to fade in to the background. He has been steady in his offensive numbers since being in beast mode to begin the season. Against North Carolina he was a no show compared to games past. There is no doubt U.K. players will start to jell sooner than later, they are too good not to. Julius Randle should touch the ball 2 out of every 4 trips down the court and with the Cats other talented players coming together, should ease the double and triple teaming of Randle.

Julius Randle Game by Game Stats
Julius Randle Game by Game Stats

A look at Kentucky’s schedule so far shows they have been in every game and with a few free throws and about 4-5 fewer turnovers, the young Wildcats are still number 1 in the nation and undefeated, but that is why we play the games. Against Michigan State, they were dominated in every category, yet only lost by 4 points. Against Baylor, they blew a late 9 point lead only to fall by 5 points. At North Carolina, in what I still think was the worst officiated game in recent memory and with no Julius Randle, U.K. loses by 5 on the road.

UK SCHEDULE

No one will want to go near the Wildcats in February and March. Kentucky may lose another game or two but rest assured, they will be the favorites when March Madness rolls around.