Hello, Morgantown. It’s killing me not to be at this game! Especially in a year where West Virginia hoops is having a great season, despite their recent loss to TCU. Please believe, the Wildcats are entering the toughest environment they will see all season. Period. WVU Coliseum (clever name) will be blowing the roof off in primetime.
I don’t say the word “hate” a lot. But I do hate Bob Huggins. No tangible reason other than I hold him personally responsible for the missing 2010 national championship banner. I thought the stomping we gave Huggy Bear’s team during the 2015 NCAA tournament would lighten my grudge. It has not. Nothing would be sweeter than to smash the Mountaineers on their home floor in the SEC/Big 12 challenge. For all the fans traveling to the game, I commend you. I grant you full imunity to behave abnormally energetic. The BBN salutes you! Be safe in there. GO BIG BLUE!
Photo Credit : Wikipedia
In October very few people expected Kentucky to enter this game unranked while West Virginia sits in the top 10. They will obviously drop in the polls after their 83-72 loss to TCU on Monday. But the Mountaineers are a force at home. Even though he is not my favorite person, Bob Huggins has won 835 games. Legendary. That wind-breaker pull-over thing has seen some things. The attention of Calipari coming to town coupled with a recent loss, will add extra emotion to this one.
Pressure. Attack. Yell. Kick. Scream. Bite maybe? It will be ball denials and in your grill defense all night at WVU. As we have seen, there is no telling how these young Cats will respond. There really is no way to simulate how this will go down. Shai/Quade have to play strong and under control. PJ needs to remain in beast mode. Everyone must be tough.
Paging… Nick Richards. Paging.. Nick Richards. Come on, big guy. We could really use you in this one! 💪
Here is something you do not typically see in a pre-game analysis. Watch out for Coach Calipari’s demeanor. How will he choose to handle the inevitable spurts of adversity in a wild road atmosphere? How will his team respond to his choice of methods? We have seen the Cal that buries his hands in his face, and the Cal that beams positivity. We are also aware of this year’s team looking awful at times and elite at times. Coach em up!
The way this game is officiated early will be crucial. Calipari always emphasizes keeping defenders hands off his players. If the referees allow WVU to be overly physical, I worry. You can count on Coach being in the ear of the officials in an attempt to prevent this.
Photo Credit: Lexington Herald Leader
Best Case Scenario: Kentucky puts on a show in the spotlight game of the evening. We also look good doing it. Maybe, a Hami top ten play is relived on ESPN all weekend? We move past the devastating home loss to Florida and regain our spot in the top 25. An impressive showing in Morgantown will erase a lot of concerns the BBN have been vocal about this week.
Worst Case Scenario: The wrong squad shows up and past issues continue to haunt us. We cannot deal with the pressure of WVU. Lack of toughness and continuity break the Cats down. Thus, we are ran out of the gym. Jay Bilas roasts us. The BBN breaks the internet. John Calipari ages one year in one night. We have to maintain focus or this could get real ugly.
Most likely: I expect the Cats to hang in there and not back down. It will be a game of runs and who can better withstand them. But ultimately, WVU’s pressure will prove to be too much. It will be a considerable upset for Kentucky to win in Morgantown. But, if we can just play together and improve, a loss will not be season altering. Vegas has us as the underdog in this one. Some have us losing by as much as 10. That is a lot of points! ESPN match-up predictor has WVU as an 82% lock to win.
WVU – 78
UK – 72
Photo Credit: ESPN
Photo Credit: ESPN
#25 Bender gets dunked on. Someone dunk on him!
Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez
#50 Konate does NOT get dunked on! Maybe, just lay it up. Amazing video clip.
These 2015 highlights should really get you in the mood for the game. Remember when that entire week the media was hyping WVU to beat UK? 😂