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Kentucky Basketball: Revenge Games Have Yielded Mixed Results, Still Opportunities on the Horizon

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Kentucky Basketball: Revenge Games Have Yielded Mixed Results, Still Opportunities on the Horizon

The Cats need to head into Athens looking for revenge. Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

The Kentucky Wildcats have grown accustomed to being the team that everyone wants to get revenge against. When you’re the all-time winningest program in college basketball history, this comes with the territory.

Yet there are times when Kentucky has to be out for revenge themselves. This has been the case on a few occasions this season. Kentucky’s revenge games could be divided into to two different categories: carry over revenge games and regular revenge games.

The carry over revenge game is a game that Kentucky lost to an opponent last season and then had a chance to turn around and play them again this season. The regular revenge game is a game where Kentucky gets to face a team they had already lost to this season for a second time.

The Cats’ results have been mixed in these types of games.

This season’s carry over revenge games didn’t work out the way Kentucky hoped they would have. After falling to both UCLA and Kansas on the road last season the Cats came up short in their attempts at pay back against the Bruins and Jayhawks in Rupp Arena earlier in the season.

There could be a match up with one or both of them once again shortly down the road in the NCAA tournament. That remains to be seen.

This is almost a certainty when it comes to Louisville too. The committee loves putting the Cats and Cards in the same bracket. So there’s a chance for an amped up, regular revenge game against them too, or we may have to wait for the carry over revenge game next season at Rupp Arena. To be honest, there haven’t been many revenge games of any kind against the Cardinals.

Kentucky got regular revenge against Tennessee in emphatic fashion with resounding 83-58 victory in their most recent outing. It was another step in the process of showing that the “reboot” is trending in the right direction.

Their next opportunity for regular revenge will come on Saturday Feb. 25 when the Florida Gators roll into Rupp Arena. The Cats were mired in their slump when they went to Gainesville and suffered their lone lopsided loss of the season.

However, I think Kentucky needs to treat this next game against Georgia in Athens as a regular revenge game. The Dawgs came to Lexington back on Jan. 31 and raced out to a 12-0 lead before Kentucky knew what had hit them. The Cats scrapped and clawed to tie the game at 29 at the half and 76 at the end of regulation before finally securing a 90-81 win in overtime.

Feeling as if they let one slip away in Lexington, Georgia will undoubtedly be out for some regular revenge of their own. That said, Kentucky should put a bull’s-eye on the Bulldog’s backs as well.

If they build on their last performance against Tennessee, they should be just fine.

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