It's been a dismal year for Kentucky basketball. Like, historically bad. Those who follow college hoops know the Wildcats will need to win the SEC Tournament to get into the Big Dance and keep the madness alive in March.
No one expects Kentucky to win the conference and earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, but that may be why coach John Calipari has promised to reach deep into his bag of tricks for the conference tournament.
“There will be no pitchers left,” Calipari said during a teleconference Wednesday. “I’m using every pitcher I can. The knuckle-baller. The curve-baller. The fast (ball) pitcher. The middle reliever. The last-pitch (closer).”
He later added that the Wildcats will "leave nothing on the table."
Kentucky enters SEC Tourney play with a 9-15 overall record, including an 8-9 conference mark. It will have to win four straight to earn the automatic bid to the NCAAs. Otherwise, the disappointing season will be over for the Wildcats.
This season's NCAA Tourney will already be missing Duke, another traditional power. The Blue Devils, who stand at 13-11, had a member of the program test positive for COVID-19 after winning their first two games in the ACC Tournament. So their season has most likely reached an end.
Now, the same may be true of Kentucky, but for very different reasons. The Wildcats have just one last chance to show they belong in college basketball's biggest event. If they end up getting there, well, it truly would signify madness in March.