Another game, another must win for these Kentucky Wildcats. And sad though it is, Vandy is who we must go do battle with. It’s not that I think Vandy has much of a chance to beat us, but IF they were to pull off the miraculous, it would be extra salty for the Big Blue Nation.
Of the legitimate rivalries Kentucky has in the SEC, it brings me great pleasure when we beat the hell out of them every game. Now understand when I say “rivalry” I am thinking of Florida and Tennessee because though Calipari has dominated them since he took over at Kentucky, they are quickly catching up and even winning a game here and there. But even with the elation that always follows hanging a “L” on either of those teams, it is nothing compared to beating Vanderbilt. I don’t know what it is, but Kevin Stallings has been a cry baby as long as he’s been the coach at Nerd University, yet he typically he has one or two legitimate players on his squad. This season he has none, no one who can play anywhere after they graduate, save for the local rec or YMCA league. Yeah they’re that bad.
Yet no matter their record, anytime UK comes a calling, Vandy comes a playing and to be fair Kevin Stallings has them on a bit of a run right now, especially knocking off Arkansas last night. Also to be fair, the last time we faced Vandy three times in a season was the 2011-2012 season where we fell 71-64 in the SEC Championship Game after sweeping the season series. You’d think Vandy won the National Title the way they reacted and since Kentucky has won more SEC titles than the rest of the league combined, we don’t much care about them. We gifted the nerds some self-respect.
So how will we fare tonight when we take on the Commodores at 7:30 PM? Will we be able to pull off the incredibly difficult 3-peat, as it were, and take Vandy out? I say yes but not because Vandy is terrible.
We will win tonight because we must. This is exactly the same scenario we faced against Florida to end the regular season: A Must Win.
This would qualify as a “Bad Loss” in the eyes of the selection committee and rightly so. And we seem to play our very best when we ABSOLUTELY have no other option. Every game from here until the SEC Tourney ends is that scenario.
I believe that Kentucky will beat Vandy tonight 73-68 to set up a rematch with either Mizzou or Ole Miss.
And for the numbers people out there:
John Calipari’s Record Against Vandy
2/20/2013: 74-70 (W) @ Rupp
1/10/2013: 60-58 (W) @ Memorial Gym
3/11/2012: SEC Championship 71-64 (L) in Baton Rouge
2/25/2012: 83-74 (W) @ Rupp
2/11/2012: 69-63 (W) @ Memorial Coliseum
3/1/2011: 68-66 (W) @ Rupp
2/12/2011: 81-77 (L) @ Memorial Gym
2/20/2010: 58-56 (W) @ Memorial Gym
1/30/2010: 85-72 (W) @ Rupp