Kentucky Wildcats' Remaining Schedule Looks Daunting: Is NCAA Tournament Slipping Away?

By Taylor Sturm
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats started the season ranked at No. 3. After an early string of losses (5 at this point in the season which is almost triple the amount of losses from last season), Kentucky dropped from the rankings and have skirted the edges ever since. Many expect that the Wildcats will still make it to the NCAA tournament. One look at the schedule, however, will change that outlook.

The Wildcats have remaining SEC games at Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida, Texas A&M,  Arkansas, and then home games against Missouri and Florida again.

The first thing that comes to mind when seeing the list of opponents is: How can Kentucky survive against such a daunting remaining schedule? Kentucky must play their game. Kentucky must stop trying to be national champions and just think about being Kentucky. One win against Florida and Kentucky will be fighting for seeding, not fighting just to make it to the tournament.

The second question is: Why did you list Arkansas as a threat? Because Kentucky only beat Vanderbilt by bad refereeing (see the shot clock violation no-call) and Arkansas beat Vanderbilt 51-33. Arkansas is an up and down team, but a legitimate threat for upsetting major teams in the SEC.

The final question is: How can you even suggest that Kentucky Wildcats who are coached by THE John Calipari will not make it to the NCAA tournament? The Kentucky Wildcats may have only lost 5 games, but they lost every game against decent opposition. The only notable win so far this season was the win against Maryland at the beginning of the season. If the Wildcats win nineteen games, but do not win against Missouri, Ole Miss, or take one of the games from Florida, the Wildcats will not make it to the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats’ resume is too weak to this point in the season.

Kentucky needs to get it together, because March Madness without John Calipari would be like good commentating without Dick Vitale – it doesn’t seem right.

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