The Kentucky Wildcats, like everyone in college basketball this season, are trying to find that groove that will have them peaking at the right time come March. Not surprisingly, there have been some bumps along the way. In their first true road game against the UCLA Bruins they faced a team who was bent on nothing but pure payback.
Mission accomplished, UCLA settled the score and purged the pain of being down 41-7 at the half (83-44 at game’s end) in their match up last year with an 87-77 win on Dec. 3.
Now, as the late great yogi Berra said, comes the deja vu all over again. Kentucky hits the road to play the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Everyone remembers how UK dismantled KU 72-40 last season. Kansas would love to get that bad taste out of their mouths just like UCLA did.
On the flip side, the Cats have a couple of scores to settle when it comes to historic Allen Fieldhouse. Their last two trips to Lawrence have been disastrous. There’s just no other way to describe it. There was the infamous 150-95 drubbing back in 1989. Fast forward to 2006, UK fell 73-46.
It will be surprising if it gets out of hand to that extent this time around. It is not going to be easy, it rarely is for any team that plays at Kansas. The Oklahoma Sooners went in there on Jan. 4 and played lights out for 55 minutes and still came up just short.
Buddy Hield did his best Jodie Meeks vs Tennessee impersonation in that game.
Kentucky has their work cut out for them for sure. A couple of weeks ago it would have been difficult to foresee them being able to come with the intensity and execution necessary to give themselves a chance to win. However, they have made strides of late in their wins over Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Missouri.
Kansas has come back down to earth a little bit having lost three out of their last five games.
It’s going to be a good game in an extremely tough environment. Could there be issues with guys not showing up? Yes. Could things go bad on the road once again as they have earlier in the season? Yes, it’s definitely possible.
However, it is really good to see them playing well and trending in the right direction. If this continues at Kansas that’s great, if not there’s still time to recapture it going forward.