RTC Live: Alabama @ Kentucky

Posted by jstevrtc on February 9th, 2010

Tonight we return to one of the hallowed buildings of our sport.  Rupp Arena sits at the edge of what is right now a snowy downtown Lexington, but we bet it’ll be warm inside, because the importance of this one is surely not lost on either squad.  Alabama is fourth in the SEC West but only a game and a half behind Arkansas (yes, Arkansas), and Kentucky is only a game ahead of Vanderbilt and Tennessee in the stacked SEC East.  These guys know that every win is vital, especially heading down the stretch.  We’ll be having a little bit of extra fun with this, too; DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most efficient players in the nation, largely because he’s fantastic at taking contact (of which he takes a LOT) and getting to the line for a traditional three-point play.  We’ll be counting those for DeMarcus tonight.  Interestingly, Alabama hasn’t trailed at halftime in any of their SEC games this year, so we’ll see what Kentucky thinks of that.  This one starts at 9 PM ET on ESPN-U, and we hope you’ll tune us in and tell us what you think.  See you then!

jstevrtc (547 Posts)


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2 Responses to “RTC Live: Alabama @ Kentucky”

  1. K Dawg says:

    I like RTC, it’s a vey good blog, maybe the best for College Basketball. One thing, though…, not big on how you all disrespect Kentucky. First, the 1995-1996 Kentucky Wildcats is THE best team ever assembled in the History of College Basketball. Without question. Secondly, I know Kentucky struggled in the latter parts of the 2000’s, but they were the #1 Overall seed in 2004, and were a Keith Bogans sprained ankle away from making the Final Four. This team was also the second SEC squad to ever go undefeated (16-0) in conference play.

    Thirdly, the 2002-2003 team was also a #1 seed, and although they did lose to a game UAB sqaud in the second round, they were very good. Fourthly, the 2004-2005 Kentucky Basketball team had a great array of talent, in Rajon Rondo, Randolph Morris, Kelenna Azubuike, Chuck Hayes, and Patrick Sparks. The first four all currently play in the NBA (Rondo, Azubuike, & Hayes are regular starters on their respective teams). Sparks has played professionally in the Ukraine and Spain. He was one of the most clutch players in UK Basketball history, and also Top 5 in many 3 point categories. They also were VERY close to the 2005 Final Four. Hayes got into foul trouble, and the game extended into 2OT. I still believe if Hayes had not gotten into foul trouble, Kentucky would’ve pulled it out. Maybe they dont deserve to be in the Top 10 Teams of the 2000’s, BUT, they should at least be mentioned. I have a hard time understanding that. The University of Kentucky has the Greatest Program in the History of College Basketball. You’d have a hard time noticing that reading this blog, though…

    This isn’t a personal opinion, I’m getting this from PURE stats…, again, I enjoy reading this blog.

    /rant over.

  2. jstevrtc says:

    K-Dawg:

    Thanks for the kind words. We’re glad you’ve enjoyed the site, and we appreciate that you’d take time out of your day to read our site and to leave a comment. We feel that way about all of our readers, and about all of the comments we receive, good or bad.

    I have to take issue with you as far as your accusation that we disrespect Kentucky. Look back at almost everything we at RTC have said about that team this season. Seriously, scroll back and look at all the posts. Because they’ve been in the top four almost the whole year, we’ve extolled their virtues in every relevant After The Buzzer feature that we do nightly. We’ve talked up John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and tried to remind people about Patrick Patterson, since he seems to be kind of a forgotten man on that team. This year, we’ve done pieces congratulating them on being the first program to 2,000 wins, and we even called that a no-contest early in the year with yet another separate article. We pumped them up — deservedly so — around the time that John Calipari engineered that incredible $1M fund raising effort with his Hoops For Haiti initiative. We’ve taken the comparatively unpopular tack of reminding people that Calipari has never actually been found to be guilty of anything, even though most followers of college basketball — including several in the Bluegrass State — automatically assume he’s an unsavory character. The queue of tents for the Midnight Madness tickets (or Big Blue Madness, whatever) was such a great spectacle that we even had a guy there covering it specifically, and we didn’t even send anyone anywhere else. Where is this disrespect?

    It seems like you have an issue with the fact that we didn’t include Kentucky in the series of posts we did in the off-season recounting the ten best programs of the 2000s. All I can say is that we stand by our analysis. Go check out the table that we included with each of those posts, and put Kentucky’s stats into it. If you want, write back to let me know you’re still reading, and I’ll do it for you if you don’t want to. I think what you’ll find is that Kentucky’s stats just didn’t stack up with those other teams for the ten year period included in the 1999-2000 to 2008-2009 interval. We’re quite aware of the level of pride that Kentucky followers have for their program, and how that might not be easy to hear. But the numbers don’t lie. You even say this yourself, noting that “Maybe they don’t deserve to be in the Top 10 Teams of the 2000’s [sic], BUT, they should at least be mentioned.” Our series of articles was on the top ten programs of the given ten-year interval. Why would we mention a team that did not fall into that category? Just because they’re Kentucky? The fact that we didn’t mention them is not a slight or an insult to the Kentucky program, and I wish you wouldn’t take it that way. I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about us not mentioning a program that didn’t fall into the top ten programs of the decade, when the whole idea of that series of posts was to recount the top ten programs of the decade.

    Yes, we’re certainly aware of the greatness of Kentucky’s 1996 championship team. You’re right — it was one of the most fearsome squads ever to take the floor. They lost two games (ironically, one of them to John Calipari’s UMass team), but they deserved their spot in the Final Four in the all-time tournament that we did last year. Did you see that? Also, in most of your analysis, you make reference to what COULD have been for a couple of Wildcat teams. But that’s not how you measure greatness. Greatness is measured by what actually HAPPENED. As for which program is the “Greatest in the History of College Basketball,” as you put it, that is an ongoing discussion, a topic on which we know there will never be a consensus. You may be right, maybe Kentucky has the best program in the history of the game — but what standards are you using? Your emotions? We’re going to need more than that. We want to know what your criteria are for greatness. We know there will never be full agreement among college basketball fans, but that’s the fun — having the discussion.

    Again, thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll be back, both as a reader and a commenter. I’d love to hear what you have to say to this response to your message.

    John Stevens
    RTC

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