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Quick Takes: Kentucky rebuilding its resume

Dave2015Two months ago, when the preseason bracket was posted here at Bracketville, Kentucky opened as the No. 1 seed in the South Region.  The Wildcats were second on the initial Seed List.  Then came the 34-point opening-night loss to Duke … and we all took a step back, wondering what to expect from this year’s mix of fresh faces and returning talent.

Saturday’s win over rival Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center gave us a glimpse that the length and athleticism we lauded in October might still come together as expected.  Since their drubbing against Duke, the Wildcats are 10-1, including back-to-back victories over North Carolina and the aforementioned Cardinals.  Their lone loss in that span is a one-point overtime defeat vs. Seton Hall, who, by the way, handed St. John’s its first defeat yesterday.  With a favorable opening slate in the SEC, Kentucky is in position to rebuild its resume and continue climbing the Seed List.

More Quick Takes …

  • Wisconsin was rather unBadger-like in a loss at Western Kentucky, allowing the Hilltoppers to shoot 55 percent from the floor and outscore them at the free throw line.  Currently, it’s a Group 3 loss.
  • Western Kentucky has one of the goofier profiles … Wins include Wisconsin, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Saint Mary’s.  But their losses include Belmont, Indiana State, Missouri State and Troy.
  • Arizona State laid the proverbial egg by losing at home to Princeton.  So much for using that win over Kansas as a springboard.
  • And if the Pac-12’s non-conference record wasn’t already bad enough, UCLA added a home loss to Liberty to the list; it was the Bruins fourth straight defeat, too.  Overall, UCLA is a three-point win over Notre Dame from being 0-7 against Group 1/2 teams in the NET rankings.
  • On a positive note, how about Seton Hall? As noted above, the Pirates knocked St. John’s from the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday.  Their six-game winning streak includes W’s over Kentucky, Maryland, and now the Red Storm.
  • Florida pounded Butler in Gainesville, paying back the Bulldogs for a loss in the Bahamas. It was the first Group 1/2 win for the Gators (NET).
  • San Francisco added a not-so-good loss to its resume by losing at UC-Santa Barbara; made worse because of an NC SOS in the upper 200s.
  • It was also a tough resume day for Furman (lopsided loss at E. Tennessee St) and Fresno State (loss to Utah Valley).
  • Toledo hasn’t really tested itself, but the Rockets blasted a decent Penn team by 32 points; the same Penn team that upended Villanova.
  • Nevada remained unbeaten after its victory at Utah. The Wolfpack open Mountain West play Wednesday against Utah State.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Expect a new bracket for New Year’s.

 

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