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When Alabama and Kentucky square off on the hardwood on Saturday, it will pit two of the best men’s basketball programs in the country against one another. Both teams were (and are) legitimate national title contenders and the sold-out crowd at Coleman Coliseum will be rocking.
It is going to be electric.
However, it is not a Top-25 matchup. The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 7, but the Wildcats are unranked.
John Calipari’s team is 10-4 with losses to Michigan State (in double overtime), Gonzaga, UCLA and Missouri. It barely escaped with a three-point win over LSU on Tuesday.
The fourth of four losses might be concerning, as Kentucky should not lose to Mizzou. It also should have handled business in Baton Rouge earlier this week.
The other three loses to were NCAA Tournament teams. Not that big of a deal.
All of this goes to say that even though the Wildcats have had some struggles in 2022, there is no reason to hit the panic button in Lexington. It’s still early in conference play and a 10-4 record is better than most.
And yet, Kentucky fans are distraught.
Some of them are even calling for Calipari to be fired. Here is just one of many examples:
Nate Oats, the head coach at Alabama, doesn’t understand what all of the fuss is about, but understands the reaction. He is familiar with their attitude.
They’re spoiled. It’s probably like Alabama football fans, to be honest with you. We’re not in the College Football Playoff, and everybody’s upset and acting like it’s a bad year.— Nate Oats discussing discontent Kentucky basketball fans
The comparison is spot-on. Both programs have “Championship or Bust” mindsets and when that mark is not met— all hell breaks loose.
Fire Nick Saban! Fire John Calipari!
It’s all the same.