Rick Bozich

Rick Bozich unwrapped his notebook from today's sports developments.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Last season was a funky one for the men’s local college basketball teams.

Louisville missed the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky missed the tournament. Ditto for Indiana. Mark it down as the first time all three programs whiffed since 1965.

It’s not going to happen again.

Right?

Right.

We are 62 days from Selection Sunday. If the Tournament Selection Committee picked the 68-team field today, Kentucky would certainly be in, Indiana would likely be in and Louisville might be in.

Sounds like a a perfect day for a snapshot on where the Cardinals, Wildcats and Hoosiers sit on the second Monday in January.

Louisville

The Week Ahead: North Carolina State at home Wednesday; at Pittsburgh Saturday.

Just The Facts: The Cards are 10-5 overall, 4-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in second place behind surprising Miami. The Hurricanes are 5-0 but have played four games at home and are ranked 80th in the NCAA Net formula (behind Vanderbilt).

Computer Check: NCAA Net ranking 85; KenPomeroy 61; Jeff Sagarin 58; BartTorvik 75. Average ranking: No. 70.

Best Win: (according to NCAA Net): No. 45 Mississippi State, 72-58 on neutral floor.

Worst Loss: (according to NCAA Net): No. 124 Western Kentucky, 82-72, on the road.

Trends: Since beating Mississippi State and Maryland in the Bahamas and climbing to No. 39 in Ken Pomeroy’s power formula, the Cards have consistently lost ground, drifting to No. 61 in Pomeroy’s latest numbers. Louisville’s offensive efficiency is No. 107 nationally, the Cards worst number since they were 112 in 2012. Oh, the Cards made the Final Four in 2012. Ask Russ Smith and Peyton Siva.

Good News: The Cards are likely to be favored in their next four games against N.C. State, Pitt, Boston College and Notre Dame. They also need to win all four, because three of those games will be played at the KFC Yum! Center.

Bad News: The Cards rank outside the top 150 in turnover percentage and offensive rebounding. The Cards are likely to be underdogs in eight of their last 11.

Tournament Outlook: The Cards are the first team out at the BracketMatrix.com but an 11-seed with Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com

Kentucky

The Week Ahead: At Vanderbilt on Tuesday, Tennessee at Rupp Arena on Saturday.

Just The Facts: The Wildcats are 12-3 overall, 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference, tied with Alabama and Louisiana State for third place behind Auburn and Texas A&M (no typo).

Computer Check: NCAA Net ranking 16, Ken Pomeroy 10; Jeff Sagarin Predictor 11; BartTorvik 16. Average ranking: No. 13.

Best Win: No. 34 North Carolina, 98-69, neutral site.

Worst Loss: No. 86 Notre Dame, 66-62, on the road.

Trends: The Wildcat rank 11th nationally in offensive efficiency and 21st in defensive efficiency at KenPom. The wise guys believe that only teams that rank in the top 20 in both categories can win the NCAA title.

Good News: Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe ranks second to Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell in KenPom’s national player of the year analytics. Tshiebwe leads the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, grabbing 22.1% of Kentucky’s missed shots.

Bad News: The Wildcats are 1-3 in games against top-100 KenPom opponents and have lost both of their road games.

Tournament Outlook: Wildcats are a 6-seed at the BracketMatrix, a 4-seed with Joe Lunardi of ESPN.

Indiana

The Week Ahead: at Iowa on Thursday.

Just The Facts: The Hoosiers are 12-3 overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten, sixth place, a half-game ahead of Purdue.

Computer Check: NCAA Net ranking 33; Ken Pomeroy 24; Jeff Sagarin Predictor 25; BartTorvik 19. Average ranking: No. 25.

Best Win: No. 25 Ohio State, 67-51, at home.

Worst Loss: No. 104 Syracuse, 112-110, two overtimes, on the road.

Trends: The Hoosiers just won back-to-back Big Ten games by double figures for the first time since March 7 and 10, 2019, Romeo Langford’s only season in Bloomington. IU has committed only 21 turnovers in its last three games.

Good News: Mike Woodson’s team ranks first nationally in two-point defensive field goal percentage after ranking No. 110 in that category last season under Archie Miller. Woodson said defense would be the identity of his program. Apparently, he was not kidding.

Bad News: Indiana is 0-2 in road games this season, stretching the Hoosiers’ road losing streak to seven.

Tournament Outlook: The Hoosiers are a 9-seed at the BracketMatrix as well as with Lunardi at ESPN.

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