There were a few calling for the possible upset, but No. 2 Kentucky easily handled former UK star John Pelphrey’s Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday afternoon.
Everything expected was carried out to the T, and the Kid Cats looked like the top team in the country, even though they’ll have to wait until Sunday’s new rankings come out.
Kentucky will be ranked No. 1 for the first time since March 17, 2003, when they received all but one first-place vote. Not to mention, they are playing great basketball too.
Freshman guard John Wall is as quick as they come, shoots the lights out, and hustles every second he’s in.
Even better, freshman guard Eric Bledsoe plays just as hard and, at times, outshines Wall.
The combination of the two freshmen guards along with fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins down below has coined the nickname “Kid Cats.”
Cousins is a monster at 6’11” and showed his ability to score and rebound with another double-double Saturday.
His 14 rebounds led the Cats’ overwhelming difference on the boards. Kentucky out-rebounded Arkansas 54-33.
To add to the Razorbacks’ offensive woes was nine blocks by Kentucky in a game that, at times, looked like an And 1 mix tape.
Freshman forward Daniel Orton has a resemblance to Jarvis Varnardo of Mississippi State. Not only are his long arms stopping opposing players from the front, but he is able to get blocks from behind, which is Varnardo’s specialty.
By the way, Orton comes off the bench.
Junior Patrick Patterson, the only upperclassman in the starting lineup, quietly contributed a solid nine points and seven rebounds, which he has done all year.
Patterson, who considered the NBA last year only to return to school, is scheduled to graduate in the spring with a degree and a possible national championship ring.
With all that aside, John Calipari’s team is really starting to take off.
Kentucky commits a lot of turnovers, although many of them occur from the highlight reel plays they are attempting.
The attitude and toughness this team flaunts is similar to 2006-07 Florida Gators. The Kid Cats are mean and constantly hustling, knowing one thing of Calipari: if you don’t hustle, you don't play.
In under a year, Calipari has turned an NIT team into a favorable national championship team and the No. 1 team in the land.
Come Sunday, Kentucky gets that bullseye back.