UK Keeps Lock On #1 Host Tarheels Saturday In Rupp Arena

uk ballBy – Ira D. Combs – Tri State Sports Media Service Inc. 

The latest Wildcat winning streak put together by Coach Cal and his uniquely talented hoopsters should be holding at 10 once the Cats paste Columbia at mid-week and then march into the 2nd weekend of play in December with another top 25 battle awaiting this Saturday in Rupp Arena against the North Carolina “Tarheels” at 12:00 (Noon) on CBS . 

Already on the Cats NCAA resume are wins over (#5 Kansas , #6 Texas , and #23 Providence) so even the most novice mind of the NCAA selection process will tell you that UK is setting in pretty good shape to get one of those coveted #1 seeds and in the lead for the overall #1 which should put them in a 1st weekend setting at the Yum Center in Louisville , Ky. where I’m sure tickets will be at an all time premium .


The trick now for Coach Cal is to keep this team engaged daily with an eye on the prize at the end of the season next March in Indianapolis .


Actually , that shouldn’t be very hard for the remainder of this month anyway with upcoming saturday prime time nationally televised games against North Carolina , UCLA , and the annual Battle of the Bluegrass with the Cards . If the winning streak continues on thru December and the Cats are setting at 13 – 0 on New Years Day and with the SEC being as putrid as it is then Cal may have a challenge on his hand keeping these young minds from wavering into mindless thoughts instead of the task at hand or heaven forbid having to deal with the old annual nemesis of years past the ( January Shooting Slump ) of the Joe B. Hall & Eddie Sutton eras . Don’t laugh you old school Wildcat fans it could happen and maybe already has to a degree . The last (3) games UK has went inside the last 5:00 minutes of each game 0 for every how many attempts they took behind the arc but was bailed out each game before the final horn .


But then again we or I may not be giving this team it’s just due in being more mature mentally and emotionally than what we think they are . I simply just still have a hard time labeling this a veteran team when it has no seniors who play actual minutes , I guess I just can’t get out of the old school mind-set .


On the other hand at the end of the day or in this case the season what better way is there to keep today’s young and mega-talented players like Cal has engaged and energized at tip off every game when they have a prize lying in front of them of an undefeated season but let’s wait at least until mid January before we start talking about what everybody wants to talk about but won’t and you know exactly what I’m talking about .


One thing I do like about this team is the fact that it has already proven it can win a big game against a solid ranked opponent without shooting the ball well from the perimeter both in front of and behind the arc . Proved that against both Providence and Texas but both those games were in the friendly confines of Rupp Arena when Big Blue Nation had the back .


Now the next question is can they survive a poor shooting night and win on the road because remember all NCAA tournament games are on a neutral court .   


  Press Row Notes & Tidbits


# 1 – Did you know that U Pike Univ. has scored more points on UK to date than any other team when they posted (68) on the scoreboard back on Nov. 1st .

# 2 – First it was Alex Poythress who missed back to back games with sickness then Tyler Ulis got the bug against EKU and now Coach Cal has left Rupp Arena early (2) games in a row .

# 3 – UK has now hit at least (1) 3 point shot 909 games in a row which puts them in 2nd place among NCAA Div. 1 schools behind only UNLV .

# 4 – After this Saturdays game against North Carolina there will be a (24) day stretch until Jan. 6th that UK will not play a game in Rupp Arena , the longest in recent memory .

# 5 –  CBS will televise both the North Carolina & UCLA games but ESPN2 will televise the Battle of the Bluegrass on Dec. 27th .


You can go online to for more coverage of UK basketball and football as well as KHSAA football and basketball .

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