The Cats make the tournament in 2008 as an 11 seed in the West Region. A 12-4 run in the SEC regular season makes it possible.
First opponent: Marquette. 2:30 EDT in Anahem, California
UK has met Marquette in the NCAAs 9 times. This will be the 10th. Marquette has won the last two meetings with UK in the tournament. The last being the year that Dwayne Wade showcased his NBA Superstar potential and Bogans broke his ankle in the Wisconsin game. I haven’t seen any Marquette games this year. But from all I’ve read, UK is a slight favorite for an upset bid in round 1. If UK loses this game, it will be the first 1st round loss in over 15 years.
From the UK presser today, an interesting tidbit. Perry Stevenson was asked about UK fan expectations. Here’s the quote:
Hilarious and a nugget of truth as well.
“We became a blue-collar team,” Stevenson said. “We come out and scrap and fight.”
As you can see, Perry Stevenson is UK’s shot blocking phenom. Here’s to him swatting a dozen or so Marquette shots today. His emergence along with Jasper and Ramon Harris are the reasons that UK can still win minus Patrick Patterson. Perry really picked up his play though. A fairly amazing transformation from his Frosh campaign.
Perry has benefited from the loss of Patrick Patterson somewhat. Pat being out has given Perry room to grow and experience this year. I don’t think he would have been forced to grow as much if Pat was still in the game. Next year should see those two wreaking havoc down low and inside/out on teams. With the additions coming in, I think UK will be in fine shape for 2009.
But first this season must be played out:
GO CATS!!! BEAT MARQUETTE!!!
For all of you doubters, I’ll leave you with this:
“He just had so much belief in us,” Bradley said. “It was hard to doubt ourselves.”
Ramel Bradley on Coach Gillispie
I say the Cats advance in a bruiser. Final Score: Cats – 56 Golden Eagles – 50