By LARRY VAUGHT
If Kentucky had won at Tennessee and then closed out the Southeastern Conference play with two more wins, many believed that would have been enough to earn UK a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Instead, UK got trounced Saturday but UK coach John Calipari isn’t worried about the impact that might have on a potential No. 1 seed.
“No, because other teams have lost, and they have moved up in the poll,” Calipari said.
Calipari also doesn’t worry about his team “regressing” because of the loss.
“This is one game. They have not lost here in two years. For us to win without Reid (Travis), we were going to have to play one of our best games in the past 10 years. As soon as I saw how it started and when P.J. (Washington) got his second foul, I was like, ‘Okay, how do I make this close.'” Calipari said.
“I was angry because it was a 14-point game and we had three possessions. We had a chance to get the lead down to seven or eight. There was only one guy thinking we could get it down to seven or eight. Me. I asked them way they would think that way. Turnovers, P.J.threw one in the seats.”
Calipari also knows the doubters will return and the noise will start that UK is not as good as some thought.
“Tennessee deserves this. It was a great win on national television,” Cailpari said. “It’s amazing, now they will say that we aren’t that good. When we beat them, they said they weren’t that good. When they beat us on their court where they haven’t lost in two years, now we aren’t that good.
“This is college basketball. When you are playing freshman and sophomores, you have games like this. These kids are not machines. They are not robots. Sometimes, they play bad and sometimes the other team is more inspired to play and they beat you.”