They needed that.
Really that is all you can say after Kentucky got a hard fought win over hated in-state rival Louisville.
Saturday's big win was also evidence that Kentucky can win an important game without Julius Randle playing his best.
When the Harrison twins and James Young play well, there is no limit to what this team can do. UK has the horses inside, able to throw big athletic bodies at opponents in waves. But the attitude, hustle and consistency of the backcourt is what has been a question mark up to this point.
Seeing that element of Kentucky's game is a positive sign.
The reality of the NCAA tournament resume is that Kentucky needed a signature win vs a top 10 caliber team, and beating the defending champs is about as good as it's going to get the rest of the way.
The SEC is weak this year and opportunities for precious top 50 rpi wins will be slim. Two games with Florida and road tilts with Arkansas and Missouri are perhaps the only matchups left that have the potential to look impressive down the stretch.
Thankfully, Kentucky has played a very difficult non-conference schedule, and though the impressive wins havent been plentiful, the overall slate is not bad. When all is said and done, out of conference wins over Providence, Belmont, Boise State and Louisville against close losses to Michigan St., Baylor and UNC makes for a solid, if unspectacular, preseason.
But the truth is Kentucky will need a top-notch conference run (probably 14 wins or more) to attain a top 4 seed.
If you had asked me last week whether or not a top 4 seed was attainable, I probably would have said no. But there is too much talent on this roster to rule anything out. If Kentucky can build off this win and get consistent production from its young guards, the sky is the limit.go back