Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cats Castrate Crimson, Kentucky 78- Alabama 53

We got destroyed, again, by a much better team.  I would like to say that it was expected, margin of victory doesn't matter, and this doesn't really hurt us, but I don't honestly believe that to be the case.  We had a great opportunity on national television, on the road against one of the most talented teams in the nation, and we laid a big, fat egg.

Other than Retin, who did all he could scoring 29 points, nobody else could put the ball in the basket against Kentucky.  Justin was our next highest scorer with 8 points, and frankly, he took some God-awful shots, including a couple of air-balls, and really did not take good care of the basketball.

Credit to Kentucky, they had 4 guys in double-digits including, once again, Poythress with 14, who we didn't even expect to play.  We were competitive early, but once they got the lead to double-digits we seemed to panic and things snowballed from there.  We missed several bunnies close to the basket, but even making those would have merely made it somewhat respectable.

They played a man to man defense against us and we couldn't find a shot.  We played tight on offense, passed up the very few good looks we had, and couldn't stop them on the other end.  Retin was literally our only player who had a decent game, everyone else struggled with some, if not all, aspects of their game.

Congrats to Kentucky.  They were coming off of a tough loss, and they asserted themselves as kings of the league.  They are what we, and everybody else in this conference, aspires to be.  We aren't even close right now, but based on what I've seen throughout the year, we can get there.  Still, tonight was embarrassing, but we need to just forget about it and move forward.

In theory, it's a road loss against a top 25 RPI team, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but this game was on national TV, and I'm sure when the selection committee is deliberating, there's a good chance some of them saw this performance.  At this time of the year, it's important to at least be respectable in losing efforts, and we failed miserably in that tonight.  It hurts us in the "eye test" category if nothing else.  It's not the end of the world, we have 3 regular season games left, and if we go 2-1 we have at least a 50/50 shot of seeing our name on selection Sunday.  Win three and we are almost certainly in.  

Up next, auburn comes to Tuscaloosa for a 4 p.m. start Saturday.  It's a must-win, and is a sell-out, mostly because the Iron Bowl trophy will be presented at halftime.  I think this is a stupid, out-dated tradition that is disrespectful to basketball, but whatever.  Our basketball fans haven't been showing up in the first place, so maybe our football fans can be convinced to stick around past halftime and support this team that is so desperately trying to do everything in their power to put us on the national basketball map.  The game will be televised on SEC Network.  

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