Since commandeering the helm of the greatest college basketball program of all time, John Calipari has steered through the rigors of coaching in the SEC against the likes of, sometimes perennial power house, Florida. And through his first seven (7) games, he’s had decent success, posting a 7-2 record (Including the SEC Tourney). His teams have averaged 73 PPG while allowing Florida a scoring average of only 68 PPG, hence winning 7/9.
These games always have so much intrigue because these are the SEC’s two elite programs and the games are always physical and testy, if not instant classics (for somebody) but typically the fate of the regular season SEC is pending the outcome of this game. That is clearly not the case this season. Since we lost at Georgia last night, our ONLY hope of an At-Large bid is to beat Florida. To retain some of the respectability we had with Cal’s former teams. The fire and drive that set them apart even during the struggles.
And while the fate of the SEC regular season crown isn’t up for grabs Saturday, something of significantly greater value sure is…Kentucky’s slimmest hopes of an At-Large invite to the NCAA Tourney. Since they lost to Georgia last night, it will most certainly take a Florida victory at Rupp or UK winning the title to see the NCAA Tourney. I don’t see either happening. And since the picture is so bleak, I call you back to nostalgia to a time when Kentucky Basketball was kicking ass and taking names. And Florida…you’re up.
Let’s start with Calipari’s first game against Donovan’s Gators on 1/2/2010 down in Gainesville. You remember they had that John Wall kid and DeMarcus Cousins. Yeah those were the good ole days.
Now let’s fast-forward to the following season where the basis for the 2012 National Championship was formed and forged. As iron sharpens iron, the vets honed Lamb and Jones into a dangerous weapon.
And college basketball hadn’t seen a team the likes of this Kentucky team since the Kentucky Wildcats of old…or 1996. Now THAT was domination.
I can say with certainty that typically the historical past is often not a reliable predictor of a future outcome because so many variables factor in, but the likelihood of UK pulling out a victory against a Top 10 team with an NCAA Tourney berth on the line is very, very slim. And that’s terrible.
John Calipari’s UK record against Florida (Including postseason)
UK @ Florida: 89-77 (W)
UK vs. Florida: 74-66 (W)
UK @ Florida: 70-68 (L)
UK vs. Florida: 76-68 (W)
UK vs. Florida in Atlanta: 70-54 (W)
UK vs. Florida: 78-58 (W)
UK @ Florida: 74-59 (W)
UK vs. Florida in Louisiana: 74-71 (W)
UK @ Florida: 69-52 (L)
UK vs. Florida: TBD