Jarrod Polson Julius Mays Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Believe it or not, Kentucky’s tournament hopes aren’t dead yet


Here’s the good news for Kentucky: even though they have now lost two games in a row that they probably couldn’t afford to lose, the Wildcats still aren’t eliminated from NCAA tournament contention.

In fact, after losing at Arkansas on Saturday and then losing at Georgia 72-62 on Thursday night, Kentucky still may be in the exact same spot that they were last week: beat Florida, don’t suffer a bad loss in the SEC tournament, and lace up those dancing shoes.

That’s how week the bubble’s cutline looks right now.

Because everyone that’s there with Kentucky keeps losing, too.

Virginia lost at Florida State tonight while UMass lost at home to Butler. Maryland lost to North Carolina Wednesday night. Tennessee lost to Georgia on Saturday. Ole Miss lost to Mississippi State after losing to South Carolina. Arizona State collapsed. Iowa never made their run. Akron lost, and then lost their starting point guard.

And so here we are, with the Wildcats, who just suffered their first sub-100 loss of the season on Thursday (something that cannot be said about most of the teams on the bubble), needing to beat the SEC’s best team on Saturday to keep their hopes alive.

This is where it gets tricky: the last place you want to be heading into Championship Week is anywhere near the cutline. Not when teams like Northern Iowa are streaking as they head into Arch Madness against the likes of Creighton and Wichita State. Not when USC is peaking as they head into Pac-12 tournament play. Not when Southern Miss and BYU have the talent to make a run through Conference USA and the WCC, respectively.

Bid thieves abound during Championship Week, and the last place Kentucky wants to be is where they’re at risk of seeing their at-large bid get swiped.

Unfortunately, after tonight, they may have to resign themselves to that fate.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.