Do the Kentucky Wildcats realize how crucial December 29th really is?

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Dec 15, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Peyton Siva (3) controls the ball against the Memphis Tigers during the second half at Fed Ex Forum. Louisville won 87-78. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

I knows that John Calipari is fond of saying how Kentucky is every teams’s Super Bowl, but do his players really realize how important their December 29th matchup at Louisville is to their season? For several reasons, the Louisville game has become a “must win game” for the Wildcats and become somewhat of a ‘Luxury win” for the Cardinals, which is quite a reversal from previous seasons.

For one, it’s obvious that the pollsters are not keen on UK this year. After a week in which they blew out two cupcakes last week, Kentucky fell in both of the polls last week. In the AP, they fell from #26 to #28 and from a total of 186 points to 44 points. In the USA Today poll, UK fell from #19 to #22 and from 196 points to 125 points. Keep in mind, this fall occurred when Kentucky won games to the tune of 88-56 and 74-46. Most schools stay put in the standings when waxing cupcakes by that margin, not drop drastically.

Secondly, the SEC is pretty average this year. As of now, the conference has a 77-44 record thus far. After Louisville, Kentucky will not face a ranked team until close to Valentines Day and they have just three games against ranked SEC teams. And as of now, Kentucky has not beaten a notable opponent on the season. A loss to Louisville will keep them out of the polls for quite a while while a win will probably put them back in at the #16 – #18 spot and they can work their way into the top 10 be going undefeated in the early part of the SEC schedule.

Granted, John Calipari knows the importance of the December 29th game.  That is why the team is up at 8:00 AM practicing.  Let’s hope they catch on and realize how important this game is this year.

Dec 15, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts in the game against the Lipscomb Bisons in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Lipscomb 88-50. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari will be home for the Holidays and getting up at 8AM with his team the next couple of weeks. Calipari said that yesterday would be his “last day on the road so I can spend time w/ my team.”  Calipari ended up going to New Jersey yesterday (and not watching Andrew Wiggins) and took in Karl Towns as well as several other members of the  Wilbraham & Monson Academy.  Personally, I would not make too much of the fact that Cal did not visit Wiggins.  Yesterdays visit seems to be a “several birds in the hand” type of trip rather than going just for Wiggins.  UK was still represented by Coach O at the Wiggins game.

One election is over and it’s time to vote again. This time for your NBA All Stars and there will be quite a few UK names available. Go here to make your voice heard.

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