Game postponements are the last thing the University of Kentucky needs as it tries to make a push for a postseason bid.
That’s what you would think for UK, since it is still climbing out of a sub-.500 record hole, and it is needing wins where it can get them.
A win seemed certain for UK with a woeful Texas A&M coming to Rupp Arena on Tuesday, but that game was postponed because of a COVID-19 situation in the A&M program.
To keep playing would also be good from the standpoint of this small but growing momentum shift that UK seems to have found.
The Wildcats won their third straight game, and by far most impressive, with a 70-55 beating at Thompson-Boling Arena that certainly got the attention of some coaches in the SEC and beyond.
“I mean, that’s huge for us, especially with everything we’ve been through already this season,” UK guard Davion Mintz said. “To kind of go on the road, especially at this time right now, that’s huge. It’s exactly what we needed heading to March.”
The latest NET rankings didn’t think much of UK’s win, keeping it at No. 64 in the latest ratings through Sunday.
The Wildcats definitely have some work to do, as they are ranked lower than Alabama (8), Tennessee (17), Arkansas (26), LSU (27), Florida (29) and Ole Miss (62).
You see, the Wildcats are far away from being in the conversation for the NCAA Tournament. The only for-certain way they’ll get in the NCAA is to win the SEC Tournament.
They are trying now to move up the ladder in the SEC standings, searching for that magical double bye that would keep them from playing a Thursday game in the SEC Tournament.
They are 7-7 in the SEC, 8-13 overall, and have made some progress, but they don’t have many regular-season chances left to make up more ground.
Picking up wins in the two-to-four regular-season games UK has left is vital in trying to break that top four.
The Wildcats took a significant step Saturday in Knoxville. The push they were getting seemed to be real.
But, before Saturday evening rolled around, it was in the air that Tuesday’s game against Texas A&M would be called off.
The Wildcats likely won’t play again until Saturday, when Florida comes to Rupp Arena.
Then the game on the schedule, for now, will be at Mississippi on March 2.
It hasn’t been set yet, but UK would now have two games to reschedule during the window the SEC set up for the first weekend in March.
UK coach John Calipari said Saturday that his team might need a break this week because of “the gauntlet” it has been through recently.
That could be true, but the real gauntlet UK may be facing starts March 10 at the SEC Tournament in Nashville. UK would much rather be starting on Friday, March 12, which is when the top four teams will open play.