When Selection Sunday rolls around next month, Kentucky might find itself much more nervous thanks to its — there’s no other way to say it — awful loss at Tennessee on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats (16-6, 6-3 SEC) blew a 21-point lead in Knoxville to lose their second straight, and coach John Calipari was steaming afterwards.
“We had ’em down 21 and they came back and beat our brains in,” Calipari said. “They ended up beating us by 30 in about 25 minutes. And it could’ve been 50.”
The loss came three nights after Kentucky failed to hold a last-minute lead at No. 4 Kansas.
“We’ve got a ways to go,” Calipari said. “I was worried about this game coming off the Kansas game. Then, the way it started, I thought, ‘Okay, we’re gonna be fine.’ We had ’em ready.”
The coach added his staff will do some “soul searching … but we are what we are right now.”
Kentucky gets three days off before hosting Florida on Saturday (4 p.m. ET, CBS).
With the conference schedule winding down, the ‘Cats find themselves 1.5 games behind Texas A&M in the regular season title race.
Until they catch up, we’re likely to see more yelling from Calipari on the sideline.
“I’m just trying to demand that they do it the right way,” he said, “and I’m asking them, ‘Why would you do that? Why didn’t you do what we’re teaching? Why are you trying to break off?’ When they do the same thing three times, then I get a little more aggressive. Obviously, you’re not hearing me, so I’m going to say this louder and a little closer to your face.”