By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer
Until Saturday night, a UK team, coached by John Calipari had never lost three consecutive games, a record that UK fans and coaches have spoken about freely with pride. Well, that talk and pride has ended, and this team has joined the ranks of 14 other UK teams over the last 89 seasons who have experienced a losing streak of 3 games or more.
The concern now shifts from preserving the aforementioned 2 game maximum losing streak, to watching this current 3 game losing streak grow to 4 games, and perhaps even more. Six UK teams over the same 89 years have lost 4 or more consecutive games. For the record, during this period only two teams have lost more than 4 in a row. In Sutton’s last season, the 1989 team lost 5 in a row, and in Pitino’s first season (on probabion), the 1990 team lost 6 in a row.
Tonight, the Cats will face a very good Auburn team in Auburn, Ala. A loss to Auburn will put this team into that rare category of at least 4 losses in a row.
Auburn currently leads the SEC with a 10-2 conference record, and overall Auburn sports a 22-3 record. The three losses have been to #90 Temple by 14 points on a neutral court in the third game of the season. Then after winning 14 consecutive games, the Tigers fell at arch-rival #44 Alabama by 5. Finally, Auburn fell for a third time one week ago at home to #22 Texas A&M by 1 point. Auburn’s most impressive wins have been by 10 at #11 Tennessee and at #31 Missouri by 18.
Auburn’s 22-3, 10-2 record has produced an ANE of 0.235 ppp (#13) by playing a schedule with a strength of 0.059 ppp (#55). The Cats’ 17-8, 6-6 record has produced an ANE of 0.173 ppp (#38) by playing a schedule with a strength of 0.099 ppp (#10). The ANE analysis gives the edge to Auburn by 10 points, 81-71, in a game played at a pace of 77 possessions. Pomeroy has the Auburn favored by 8, 84-76 with a pace of 73 possessions. Vegas opened today with Auburn a 8 1/2 point favorite.
Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:
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