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Author Topic: Did Kentucky ultimately win in this year's SEC Tournament?  (Read 179 times)

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Did Kentucky ultimately win in this year's SEC Tournament?
« on: March 17, 2019, 08:29:01 am »

Will Kentucky ultimately win in this year's SEC Tournament?

Auburn plays Tennessee for the SEC Championship today.

If the Vols win, some bracketologists project that they will obtain a number one seed in the ultimate contest, The NCAA Tournament. The bragging rights and accomplishment for a beloved group of players will stand out in program history.

For Bruce Pearl, a victory will keep his team on a roll heading into Tournament play. The coach is transparent in the desire for his players to get a win over a program like Tennessee who rejected them when they were being recruited and ultimately rejected him. For Auburn, this will be their fourth game in about 72 hours.

Kentucky saw their string of SEC Tournament championships snapped and loyal fan base trying to unload the last ticket in their book to a hopefully new demand created by Tennessee and Auburn fans migrating that way. The scene was reminiscent of a cultural phenomenon.

In 2000 a new game show debuted in prime time.  Hosted by "Rock and Roll Jeopardy!"'s Jeff Probst, "Survivor" cast a diverse group of participants into a game of withstanding the elements and each other with the twist of contestants generally eliminating competition one by one. At first these eliminations revolved around who was being the biggest pain with respect to the discomfort they experienced living in a camp on a beach with strangers.

The final three featured the heel Richard, who was playing chess while those around were picking up checkers. We would call him by what should have been his nickname but he was too busy exposing that element. Kelly was the white meat baby face who had enough savvy to get this far.  Rudy was the curmudgeon and veteran who would likely win the popular vote of the disgruntled cast off contestants, if he had the stamina to withstand the final challenge.

The three were assigned to simply place their hand on a single poll. If you took your hand off for any reason you were out. The contestant with the last hand on the poll got to select which of the other two were out of the game and would be one of the voters to determine the $1,000,000 prize winner. Who wants it the most?

Richard surveyed the situation and immediately took hand off the poll and sat in the shade while the other two spent hours standing in the hot sun. Rudy had a lapse of concentration and took his hand off. Kelly started counting her money as she pictured going to a final "Jury" before her "friends" against the Dastardly Dick.  Rudy, who might be a sentimental favorite, had to be sent packing.

What was Richard thinking? This guy had been going against convention the entire season beyond his need for exhibitionism and to tell everyone how smart he was. He persuaded his peers to share who they were voting for to be ejected from the game. If they allied to vote out the same person, they could secure their place. This set the pattern for "reality-based" game shows into the future. He also went against convention in the final contest. He lost on purpose and spent the afternoon resting and perhaps visualizing his closing argument in comfort. Why did he do it and why did he succeed?

He was a overwhelming underdog and he needed some luck but he had to lose to ultimately win.  If he outlasted Kelly and won the challenge he would have to be the one to eliminate Kelly or Rudy.  Rudy had already pledged allegiance and told him that if Hatch eliminated Rudy, Hatch would get a visit from some of Rudy's Navy Seals buddies. Rudy said this with gravity. If he eliminated Kelly, he would get skunked against Rudy. He took the loss in what appeared at the moment to be the all-important "conference tournament semi-final", things fell into place, he won $1,000,000. He preceded to fail to pay taxes and spent time in the pen.

A segment of Kentucky fans cannot get season tickets to Rupp Arena and there is an increasing number who are giving up their birthright due to Kentucky playing competitive non-conference games against marquee teams on neutral floors. The Rupp Arena schedule is starting to not fit the value equation. There is a contingent, you can see them on TV or live in attendance, who choose to make the SEC Tournament their season ticket. They have elevated the importance of this tournament for the program.

Like Richard, especially if you eventually draw the Thursday game in the NCAA Tournament, you would like to just put in an appearance and come in rested for the games that count. But if you disappoint that fan base, ol' Rudy could cut your throat.

While certainly not intentional, to lose in what the fans' minds was a controversial finish is not that bad, even desirable.  The UK fans get make a little off that last ticket and feel righteously indignant.  The UK players will be over at Cal's watching the selection show while Grant Williams and The Admiral are getting out of an ice tub and may be on a bus heading east on I-40, win or lose.


Re: Did Kentucky ultimately win in this year's SEC Tournament?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 06:04:47 pm »

Joe Rexrode
‏Verified account@joerexrode

This is why conference tournaments just aren't worth it ...

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Re: Did Kentucky ultimately win in this year's SEC Tournament?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 05:24:19 pm »

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