BOZICH | When was the last time Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana were all unranked?
When was the last time that Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana were all unranked in the AP college basketball poll?
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Return to the days when David Padgett (the player), Randolph Morris (the enigma) and D. J. White (the under-appreciated) worked the backboards at Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana.
The days when Rick Pitino (year six), Tubby Smith (year 10) and Kelvin Sampson (year one) called the plays for the Cardinals, Wildcats and Hoosiers.
Roll the videos back roughly 4,000 days.
That was the last time Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana were all absent from the Associated Press college basketball Top 25 poll the same week.
On Week 13 of the 2006-07 season, Indiana was ranked 26th, Kentucky 27th and Louisville 45th in an AP poll headlined by Florida (the eventual national champion), Wisconsin (missing Bo Ryan much, Badgers?), North Carolina, Ohio State and UCLA.
(All credit for this topic belongs with Derek Korte of Corydon, Indiana, a faithful reader. Thanks, sir. )Full disclosure: UK (24) and IU (25) were ranked that week in the USA Today Coaches poll.)
Beaten 51-43 by Illinois for their fifth defeat in 19 games, the Hoosiers tumbled from the AP poll that week.
Kentucky, with a team led by Morris, Joe Crawford, Ramel Bradley and Lukasz Obrzut, had just been beaten by Vanderbilt. That was the Wildcats fourth defeat in 19 games. The Wildcats were on their way to a 12-loss season.
The Cardinals started the season ranked 31st in the preseason poll but failed to surge into the Top 25 while losing six of their first 18 games.
The season ended without substantial celebration.
The Cardinals lost their second-round Big East Tournament game, beat Stanford (coached by current assistant) Trent Johnson and then exited the NCAA Tournament during the second round after they were defeated by coach Billy Gillispie and Texas A&M.
You can connect the rest of the dots – if you dare.
Kentucky also exited their conference tournament in the second round, falling to Mississippi State (coached by Western Kentucky’s) Rick Stansbury. The Wildcats beat Villanova (and underachieving coach Jay Wright) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and then whiffed against Kansas in round two.
By the end of the month Smith was working at the University of Minnesota (on his way to Texas Tech and Memphis).
Indiana lost its only Big Ten Tournament game (as usual) to Illinois. The Hoosiers defeated Gonzaga in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before taking a five-point loss against UCLA.
Not a terrible UCLA club with a freshman guard named Russell Westbrook, who only averaged 3.4 points for a team that lost the national championship to Florida by 10 points.
One more year and a few too many phone calls later, Sampson was going, going gone, leaving a mess for Tom Crean to scrub.
That was the last time – about 11 full seasons ago – that Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana all failed to claim a spot in the AP Top 25 during the same week.
How long will the absence linger?
With a victory at Miami on Wednesday night and another against Wake Forest Saturday and Louisville will be a Top 25 lock. Kentucky could also reappear by following up a home victory against Mississippi State on Tuesday night by winning at West Virginia on Saturday.
Other than winning about 10 straight, I’m not certain what the Hoosiers can do to make the Top 25 this season.
But stay tuned.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.