Just a few random notes on the New Year's holiday as I sit here and watch college bowl games that unfortunately don't feature the Wildcats...
As expected, Kentucky moved up to the #2 ranking in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and the AP poll. Syracuse has a serious lock on the top spot, but the Wildcats still garnered one top vote in the Coaches poll and five in the AP poll. North Carolina, Baylor, and Duke round out the top five in the AP poll and the same three teams fill out the top five in the Coaches poll, albeit in slightly different order.
Mississippi State is the only other SEC team ranked (15 AP, 16 ESPN/USA Today) while Indiana, the only team to beat the Wildcats, rose to 12 in both polls after knocking off the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday in Bloomington. For anyone that cares, Louisville dropped to 10 in the Coaches and 11 in the AP poll following their losses to Georgetown and Kentucky.
In other news, Coach Calipari made a comment to the media in Louisville today that while UK would like to continue playing a game in Louisville each season, the "fans need to fill the place." Now, with all due respect to Coach Calipari, I would respond back that UK needs to start playing somebody in Louisivlle each year, and there would be no problem with filling Freedom Hall. The opponent this year is Arkansas-Little Rock, and in 2009 it was UNC-Asheville. Granted Notre Dame played there in 2010 as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge, but prior to that one has to go back to 2007 to find even an Alabama-Birmingham and 2004 to find Indiana. Now I'm as big a fan as anyone, but I'm not sure I would pony up $35 a seat to watch UK beat up Arkansas-Little Rock in Louisville. I'm guessing this will probably be a pretty ugly game wedged between the Louisville game and the start of conference play anyway, so I would suggest UK start scheduling the game in Louisville like they did in the old days when Notre Dame and Indiana were regular opponents, and even Alabama paid a visit one year.
There's a lot of chatter about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist being the Player of the Year in college basketball, and I have to agree that he has to be in the discussion. His ability to take over a game and carry his team as he did on Saturday cannot be understated, and I suspect we will see that happen a few more times this season. I grant that there are other candidates who have great seasons going as well, but right now I'm hard pressed to put anyone over MKG. What say you?
I hope all of our readers here at the Big Blue Lowdown have a great new year, and I look forward to the start of SEC play this week-the real season finally begins!go back