The nation is as blue as it is big after the Wildcats' devastating loss at home to the Florida Gators on Wednesday night. Florida She responded to her January 6 loss to Kentucky in Gainesville by traveling to Lexington to return the favor, spoiling all the fun at Rupp Arena with an overtime victory.
The 94-91 score was extremely disappointing, given the excitement and expectation surrounding this Kentucky team and the fact that Kentucky had already beaten Florida on Odom earlier this month. To add to the embarrassment, Kentucky won the game in regulation but did not make a close free throw or commit a foul on the other end to achieve the victory. There were still three, a routine practice decision could have changed the outcome, but the Wildcats allowed it Walter Clayton Jr Another drain on the outside tied the game and sent it to OT where the Gators eventually prevailed.
While we wait John CalipariCOMMENTS FROM THE SCENE Here's what the loss means for the SEC race, the NCAA Tournament picture, the rivalry and the most passionate fan base in college basketball.
Further exit from SEC competition
With the crushing loss at home, Kentucky lost its third league game, falling further out of contention for the SEC regular season championship. With two games against Tennessee, one against No. 1 Alabama, and a trip to Auburn yet to come, maybe we can bid farewell to the regular season trophy and No. 1 seed in Nashville. Barring some magic in February, the Wildcats will likely fall short of the top spot in the SEC for the fourth straight year.
Looking at the current SEC standings, Kentucky has fallen into a tie with the Gators and Ole Miss for fifth place before the halfway mark in conference play.
Another blow to the NCAA Tournament resume
Kentucky fell out of the top 20 in net ratings With last week's loss at South Carolina. The No. 23 ranking will only get worse when we wake up to the new update as the Wildcats lost their first game in Quad 2 this season, falling to 3-1 in such games. Kentucky now has as many Quad 2 and Quad 3 losses as Quad 1 wins. Kentucky is 2-3 in Quad 1 games.
Florida line cut
Until the loss to the Gators at Rupp Arena, the Wildcats had dominated the head-to-head series in recent years, winning all but one game (Senior Day 2021) since the 2017-18 regular season sweep of Florida. Kentucky had a five-game winning streak at the end of that 2021 home loss, and had won 10 of its last 11 games before Wednesday night's debacle.
Low fan morale
Kentucky still has fan favorites Red Shepherd And Rob DillinghamAll-American candidate in Antonio ReevesAnd many other lovable wild cats throughout the list. So, no one in Big Blue Nation is turning off the TV for the season because of the chaos that occurred in late January. The Wildcats are still an exciting team with high expectations later in the year.
However, the current chaos has disappointed the fanbase that expected a young team and America's No. 1 offense to take the gas out of Cal's camp with its full complement of players. Losses on the road are one thing, even when they happen twice. The SEC is grinding. But there's a longstanding expectation that Kentucky rarely loses at Rupp Arena, especially to a mid-pack conference opponent with an 0-6 record in Quad 1 games. It was a game Kentucky shouldn't have lost but did. Now we, BBN, are wondering what to do with the team when fifth-ranked Tennessee comes to town, coming off an upset loss at home, presenting a more significant challenge than the one the Gators brought to Lexington. Kentucky will also need to bounce back after a short turnaround due to Wednesday's game this week. Right now, there's not a lot of confidence going forward.
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