The Upcoming Week

The Wildcats enter a big week of basketball ranked eighth in both major polls. First, Kentucky opens its SEC schedule at home against a tough South Carolina team. The weekend will then be capped off with one of the national highlights of this basketball season, the Wildcats against the Jayhawks of Kansas.

South Carolina (8-3), currently unranked, has prepared for its opener with Kentucky (9-1) by playing away at two top ten schools, Kansas and Pittsburgh. Although the Gamecocks walked away with two losses, the Jayhawks and the Panthers both went away with sweaty palms. South Carolina led at halftime during both games, falling just short in both. The other loss came as a heartbreaker with a one-point defeat to Clemson.

Kentucky's other opponent, Kansas (9-0) has been involved in some close games against lesser teams; however, they still enter Rupp Arena undefeated. Their schedule so far is highlighted by another close win over a good Georgia Tech team. Currently ranked as high as number two in the country, Kansas will be the greatest test for the Wildcats since an early season defeat to the North Carolina Tar Heels. There are two main differences for the Wildcats in this game. One, Kentucky has now seen good competition and has been able to play together as a team. And two, Kentucky will be playing this one on their home floor.

Possible outcomes abound this week for Kentucky and its fans. The message boards are buzzing with all of the scenarios that could work themselves out, and it would appear to some that Kentucky's fans are more nervous than the players.

"What if we lose big? What if we get embarrassed? We could drop out of the top twenty with two losses!"

"What if we win both of them, and we make it into the top five? The last thing I want us to be is overrated."

One can only believe that Kentucky going 2-0 this week will only mean they deserve the more inflated ranking. Questions surround Kansas' Wayne Simien, the big man who may or may not be back from injury in time for the Kentucky game. Questions surround Randolph Morris, the Kentucky center who has shown flashes of brilliance but has not shown the consistency needed to be a dominating center. One thing is for certain; the painted lanes in Rupp Arena should be among the most interesting places in the country this upcoming Sunday to college basketball fans since what happens inside of them likely decides the outcome of one of the biggest games of the year.

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