By LARRY VAUGHT
John Calipari was talking Final Four, not NIT, after Kentucky’s loss at Auburn Wednesday night — Kentucky’s fourth straight loss in SEC play and ninth loss on the season with five more regular season games to go.
“We get on a run and we go to the Final Four this year, it doesn’t change me, but I’ll tell you what. It helps these kids. We go the wrong way and we don’t get it going it’s affecting these kids,” Calipari said after the 76-66 loss.
It’s not easy to write off Calipari’s Final Four talk. No one really believed his 2011 team could make the Final Four. Remember, it was lucky to beat Princeton in the first round of the NCAA. But it made the Final Four.
Same with 2014. That team got beat at South Carolina and at at Florida to end the season. It looked in disarray but made the national title game.
However, those two teams were never in danger of missing the SEC Tournament. This team is.
Kentucky is 6-7 in SEC play. Kentucky is in seventh place in the SEC. The Cats already have nine losses. They are not ranked in the top 25.
So does Calipari really believe a Final Four run is possible because I don’t think many UK fans believe that today?
”Yeah, I do. I do. You saw that team out there. If that’s a No. 1 seed (Auburn) and we’re on their court and we got a four or six-point lead with a chance, but everybody’s gotta play for us,” Calipari said.
“And again, the other thing, we gotta make some shots. This is the game of basketball. When you’re wide open, if you don’t think you can make a 3, make a 2. We just gotta do that.”
Sounds good. But for this Kentucky team, nothing has come smoothly and right now UK better just be talking about making the NCAA and not worrying about the Final Four.