From a purely objective standpoint, you have to be pleased with the Commodores performance last night. Kentucky is simply an unbelievable team. They are nearly as good offensively as they are defensively. They mix the talent of Calipari's 2009-2010 team with the poise and teamwork of his 2010-2011 team. They are hands-down the best team in the country. So when you lose by six at home against the best team in the land, you can't get too disappointed. We went toe-to-toe with them right down to the wire, and proved that we can play with anyone in March.
As far as the praise goes, the guys left their hearts on the floor. They played with the kind of effort and desire you need to pull off the big upset. They didn't turn the ball over nearly as much. If you're going to criticize, you gotta praise, and the Bench deserves some. They came in and gave us what we needed them to give: solid, albeit brief, turnover free minutes. We just had a bad cold streak to start the game. Some of it was Kentucky's incredible length, some of it was streaky shooting. Despite that, we fought back to take a lead. The effort really was amazing. It wasn't flawless, but it was the kind of fight fans of this team should be proud of.
That being said, moral victories are no longer satisfactory for this program. Fans are justifiably frustrated with yet another close loss in yet another potential statement game. The window of opportunity to achieve the high goals that this team has closes just a bit more with each game that passes. With March quickly approaching, fans are hoping to see the Commodores best basketball in February as an omen of great things to come. I certainly hope we didn't see it last night. I really don't know if we did or not. I'm not sure if this game will ignite a major run or if its just the hard sound of our heads hitting the ceiling. What I do know is, an incredible tournament run can erase everything in one fell swoop. As a Vandy fan, and for my sanity's sake, I am going to reserve full judgment until then and try to enjoy each game leading up. At this point, that's really all that's left.