Sidelines with John Clay

Several experts believe Kentucky should have dropped from AP Top 25

After Saturday’s 84-83 overtime loss to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden, Kentucky dropped from ninth to 19th in Monday’s Associated Press college basketball poll.

There were several national experts who believed Kentucky should have dropped out of the Top 25 completely.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports wrote this Sunday:

“Duke blasted Kentucky by 34 points in the season opener. And though it’s true that the Wildcats won their subsequent seven games, it should be noted that all seven were home games against grossly inferior opponents — four of which are ranked lower than 275th at KenPom. What that meant is that Saturday was always going to be Kentucky’s first test away from home, first test against a top-75 team, since that embarrassing performance against Duke. And the Wildcats lost the game 84-83 in overtime — meaning they’re now 0-2 away from Rupp Arena, 0-2 against top-75 opponents and without a single win over an at-large candidate.

“Nobody with a resume like that is in the Top 25 And 1.”

The Cats dropped out of Andy Katz’s Top 36 power rankings for NCAA Madness.

“Kentucky will find its way back in the Power 36, possibly as early as next week. But the Wildcats weren’t able to close out Seton Hall and needed a crazy mid-court 3-pointer by Keldon Johnson to send the game into overtime. Kentucky doesn’t have that high-profile win on the schedule yet.”

[Oh well, Dan Dakich was wrong again]

Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk wrote that UK should not be in the Top 25.

“ ... the bigger issue here is that Kentucky has not actually looked all that impressive in the games they’ve actually won at home this year. They struggled with Southern Illinois. They struggled with VMI. They needed a late run to make the win over UNC Greensboro look respectable. They’re allowing opponents to shoot 40 percent from three. They have three five-star point guards on the roster and still manage to turn it over on 20.8 percent of their possessions.”

Kentucky is nowhere to be found on Jon Rothstein’s ballot.

Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News and Observer kept the Cats in his Top 25. Barely. Luke gave UK the final spot on his AP ballot. “Kentucky hangs on by its fingernails, clearly with top-25 talent but with little to show for it so far. Consider the Wildcats on double-secret probation.”

[It’s too early for bracketology, but here’s where UK is seeded]

And Rick Bozich of WDRB has Kentucky at No. 19 with a word of warning. “Some voters have bounced the Wildcats from their ballot. Too soon.”

[John Clay’s columns page]

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