It’s only the first week of December and it’s already been a crazy start to the college basketball season. UK had a great season opener as the No. 2 team in the country defeating No. 1 Michigan State in Madison Square Garden. We then lost to an unranked Evansville team at home in one of the worst losses in UK Basketball history. No one saw it coming.
We have also had a rough start to the season with Nate Sestina, Dontaie Allen, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery all suffering various injuries. EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards were both out temporarily with ankle injuries. They both missed a few games and are now playing. Dontaie Allen is expected to be cleared soon after an ACL and collarbone injury. Nate Sestina broke his wrist this week over Thanksgiving and is out for at least a few weeks. Sestina is an integral part of the team, suffering the worst injury yet.
After we lost to Evansville, No. 1 Duke then lost to an unranked Stephen F. Austin team at home. There have been three No. 1 ranked teams lose already this season, mostly in an embarrassing fashion. It is only December. This says that there is not a team in the country that is clearly the best. Everyone is beatable. Even blue bloods. March is going to be crazy. It’s not called March Madness for nothing.
Although it has been a rough start to the season, it’s still early. March is a long time away. It’s not as bad as it looks, especially if you look at the rest of college basketball. UK is still a serious title contender this year. We can still win in all, we just have to stay healthy. I project at least a Final Four appearance, if not a National Championship. We’re still in it. We are still the same team that beat Michigan State. Cal still has a few months to whip the team into tournament shape. This is going to be one of the best NCAA Tournaments ever, and do not be surprised if it’s UK bringing the National Championship trophy home to our Old Kentucky Home. I still believe in this team.