New York City Bureau
|Rick Pitino and John Calipari/Slate|
While the Wildcats continue to lose as most young teams do with inconsistent play, Louisville has no such excuse. The Cardinals came into the year as a favorite to win the Big East and to contend for the national championship. They have an outstanding guard and player of the year contender in Peyton Siva. They have a veteran coach in Pitino. Yet as soon as the Cardinals achieved the #1 ranking, they lost to Syracuse and followed that with Wednesday's loss to a Villanova program that has been reeling since their final four appearance in 2009. It was foul shots that did the Cardinals in against Villanova. Louisville shot 50% from the charity stripe (12-24). With this loss, Louisville falls two games behind Syracuse in league play, and long term will be looking at a lower seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals need to right the ship fast, or else they might be the most disappointing team in the country.
If the Kentucky Wildcats don't get their act together soon, it will bring new meaning to the state song, "My Old Kentucky Home", because they won't be traveling anywhere for a postseason tournament. They don't have one victory this year that they could use on their tournament resume. Coach Calipari has never been known as a patient man, and he has the #1 ranked recruiting class coming in next year. If the 2012-13 Wildcat players don't show some improvement, they might end up on the end of the bench, or elsewhere next year.
These are trying times for both coaches who are accustomed to success. Kentucky has a slightly longer leash with their fans due to recent success and great recruiting. Rick Pitino has been a lightning rod at Louisville, and a disappointing showing in the Big East and the NCAA's might have consequences at the end of the season. Like Louisville's most favorite native Muhammad Ali once said, "It ain't bragging if you can back it up."
There is nothing to brag about tonight in the state of Kentucky.