Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:31 AM
It would be intellectually dishonest to even suggest Kentucky-the all-time NCAA leader in basketball wins with 2,107-has always conducted itself in an honest and pure way. There was the point shaving scandal of 1951 that made the NCAA suspend the Wildcats' 1952-53 season and the embarrassment in the late 1980s of a player was accused of cheating on his SAT examination and an assistant coach was caught sending $1,000 in cash to the father of a recruit.
The latter two things almost brought the death penalty to Lexington.
Kentucky has always been a win-at-any-cost school and even though the Wildcats are the defending national champions-a team that went 38-2 last season-they are on the verge of paying a big price for that philosophy and it is all because of the presence of coach John Calipari, a man who has made a career of twisting the rules and who has walked the fine line between right and wrong.
The NCAA wants his head and will go out of its way-if it has to-to make certain Kentucky does not make it into the field of 68 that will play in the NCAA Tournament.
The ruling body of college basketball wants Calipari and they want him badly.
Kentucky knew what it was getting four years ago when sold its soul to Calipari, a very good coach with a very big shady past who knows he is drawing $5.3 million a year in salary, plus bonuses, to win NCAA championships. The folks in Lexington wanted a man who understood the win-at-any-cost rule and they got him.
They knew when they gave him the Kentucky job. It was all a matter of public record.
He was hired off an outstanding stint at Memphis which, after he left the team was put on probation and had a 38-win Final Four season nullified for major NCAA rules violations. In his previous college job before Memphis, he had built Massachusetts into a national power and after he left there the school was put on probation for severely breaking the rules.
On both occasions, Calipari denied any personal knowledge of the violations and walked. He is a man most wanted by the NCAA-a coach who has gone 119-22 at Kentucky and has a lifetime success record of 564-162
The Controversial One-And-Done Program
As was his history, Calipari started bending the rules this way and that to reach the ultimate goal of winning national championships. The bottom line was simple:
- Go after only the best players in the nation.
- Tell them that after one season in Lexington they will be well prepared to go right to the NBA and claim the millions of dollars it offers.
- Tell them you want just one season from them before they move on to that money.
- At Kentucky it will all be about one-and done.
That philosophy has seen Kentucky go to three Elite Eight rounds and back-to-back Final Fours. In the process he has seen 15 players from those teams play a single season in Lexington and step right into the NBA, including last year's Player of the Year Anthony Davis who was the number one player taken in last year's pro draft. Also going in the last year's first round was Terrence Jones.
Losing four players from the national championship team to the NBA meant nothing in Lexington. One-and done ruled the day and Calipari again brought in the best players in the country to represent Kentucky this season.
It was on to a second NCAA title.
Kentucky Will Have To Win Out
Kentucky (17-8) takes the floor at Rupp Arena tonight as a double-digit favorite over a young, rebuilding Vanderbilt (10-14) team and faces the task of having to win out to get to the Big Dance-something that is unlikely. With the NCAA all eyes, the Wildcats set themselves up for this scenario in their last two games, getting blown out at Florida, 69-52, and at Tennessee, 88-58.
The folks in the home office in Indianapolis are salivating and high-fiving.
At last they will get even with Calipari.
After Vanderbilt, which Kentucky is no cinch to beat, let alone cover against, comes Missouri and Mississippi State in Lexington, road games at Arkansas and Georgia and a rematch with Florida in Lexington.
Give me the right price and I'll bet Kentucky beats only Mississippi State.
Bettors have to decide whether Kentucky, which just lost it best player to a season-ending injury and which has no point guard of any quality, can trump its lack of talent with the incentive factor.
Again, I am voting against it.
100-Unit NBA Win Follows 100-Unit College Victory
I snapped a two-game losing streak with my 100-unit college plays last night as San Diego State (-11) buried Wyoming by 28 points, 79-51, to push my record in these games to 16-7-1 for the season and tonight I am coming right back with a 100-unit knockout play in the NBA. But before addressing that, I want to share with you the exact way I released San Diego State last night. I do think you will learn from the remarks.
Here is how it went down last night.
SAN DIEGO STATE (18-7) -11½ over Wyoming (18-7)
Prediction: San Diego State by 19-20
Played at Viejas Arena (12,414) in San Diego, California
RPI Ranking: Wyoming 64th of 347 teams. San Diego State 33rd of 347
Strength of Schedule Ranking: Wyoming 100th of 347. San Diego State 33rd of 347
Starting Time: 10:05
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNetwork
Comments: The only thing these teams have in common is their 18-7 records. After that, it's all San Diego State. The Aztecs are one of the most talented teams in the country and have been compromised only because of injuries. Their last three losses have all come on the road, and by a total of 11 points-72-70 at UNLV (19-7), 66-60 at Colorado State (21-4) and 70-67 at red-hot Air Force (15-9). The fact San Diego State has lost its last two games puts it in double bounce-back mode and is positioned at home, where it is 11-1, to crush a Wyoming team that is struggling after opening the season 13-0. That means the Cowboys are 5-7 in their last 11 games and their last three wins have come at the expense of three very weak teams-at home to Fresno State (8-16), 55-51, Nevada (12-12), 68-48, and at CS-Riverside (10-16), 61-53. The good teams they have faced of late have buried them. Tonight they will be at a tremendous disadvantage across the board since the Cowboys will be again be missing leading scorer Luke Martinez (suspended) and second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, 6-7 senior forward Leonard Washington (13.84 points, 9.08 rebounds per game) who is doubtful with a leg injury. Wyoming's other starting forward, Larry Nance Jr., will play but is coming off a bout with the flu. Last but not least, factor into the equation the is a revenge game for San Diego State which lost at Wyoming four weeks ago, 58-45, on a night it played its worst game of the season, hitting 28.8% of its shots and just 11.1 from 3-point range. It's blowout time.
No winner, regardless of its unit-rating, is an accident. There are strong reasons supporting every game I release.
Tonight's Betting Menu
As noted earlier, I am going for the big money again tonight with a 100-unit play in the NBA and am absolutely confident I will again get the money. You can get this 100-unit NBA game for just $50, charged to your major credit card, one this website or toll free at 1-800-755-2255.
Here is the rest of tonight's menu.
50-Unit College Blowout Parlay Wins Big Tonight
There are two games on tonight's college basketball schedule that have "blowout" written all over them and I am releasing them to my Chairman's Basketball Investment Club as a 50-unit 2-team parlay. Both will be rated 20-unit plays, with the parlay going down at 10 units. This is a serious play for serious players and I know you don't want to miss it. Get all the cash with this parlay for just $25, charged to your major credit card.
20-Unit Knockout Play Scores Dominating Best Bets Win Tonight
My Best Bets Basketball Investment Club had another money-making night Tuesday with a winning 15-unit play on Saint Louis (-3) and its dominating 76-62 victory over Virginia Commonwealth while losing a 10-unit play on underdog TCU (+5 ½) which lost to Texas, 68-59 and I am coming right back with more of the same tonight. I am releasing a 20-unit play on a team that has all the edges and should score a dominating win, plus an additional 10-unit winner. Get these big winners for just $20, charged to your major credit card.