Kentucky Wildcats need perfect January in SEC Basketball race

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Jan 2, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Eastern Michigan Eagles forward Glenn Bryant (23) blocks Kentucky Wildcats forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) in the face during the game at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

With Wednesday’s 90-38 beatdown of Eastern Michigan and the close game against Louisville, the Kentucky Wildcats look primed and ready for the SEC play. Kentucky, at 9-4, is in the unaccustomed spot of not being nationally ranked and the SEC will not offer up a ranked opponent until around Valentines Day. That said, Kentucky needs to take care of business on their own and get off to a solid start in the SEC. There are seven conference games in the month and UK, in reality, should win all of them. Nothing against the rest of the SEC, but Kentucky needs to be on a mission to start a long winning streak and get back into the polls.

I took a look at Kentucky’s January SEC opponents and how they have fared so far this year. So you can compare how UK stands up, I submitted all the teams to the same criteria, so here is Kentucky’s information and then that of the seven SEC opponents. Ratings info are from ESPN and I considered a “good win” against a school that should be in the NCAA Tournament or at least in the NIT. I made a “bad loss” a loss by 14 or more or a loss to a team that is from a much smaller confererence or will not be in the tournament discussion come March. Here is Kentucky’s resume:

Kentucky Wildcats (9-4)

KEY STATS
POINTS PER GAME: 79.2 (24TH)
REBOUNDS PER GAME: 39.8 (34TH)
ASSISTS PER GAME: 16.2 (31ST)
SHOOTING: 49.2 (14TH)

GOOD WINS: Maryland (72-69)

BAD LOSSES: Notre Dame (64-50)

Here is how the opponents stacked up using the same information:

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