Kentucky Wildcats will be fine

No, they aren't last season's title team. But they could still be very good

Updated: November 30, 2012, 12:57 PM ET
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus
Jerian Grant, Julius MaysAP Photo/Joe RaymondKentucky had a hard time scoring on Notre Dame on Thursday night.

Last night, Kentucky lost 64-50 to Notre Dame in South Bend. The Fighting Irish did what we usually expect them to do, winning at home in a slow-paced (57-possession) game that made their opponent look really bad. (Although I'll grant that wearing uniforms with quite literally illegible numbers was a new touch.)

If it can happen to a team as good as Syracuse clearly was last season, we shouldn't be terribly surprised to find it can happen to a young group like this season's Wildcats, right? Be that as it may, at least one UK fan overreacted in a major way by posting a "Might Be NIT Bound" thread on a UK message board.

The good news for Kentucky fans is that this team is not NIT-bound. (Going way out on a limb here, I know.) The bad news is the Wildcats are not going to be as good as they were last season (another big surprise).

Saying Kentucky's performance will fall somewhere in between the NIT and going undefeated in the SEC, however, is a little too broad for my tastes. So let's look at the Wildcats' performance to date and see if we can't zero in on exactly how high the expectations should be for this team.