I'm a little jittery today because i'm trying to figure out how important this game will be for Kentucky's future.
If we lose, remember that it will count more against us in the RPI. When calculating any team's win/loss RPI record, the NCAA weights home wins by 0.6, and home losses are weighted by 1.4. Discounting any secret bonuses used by the NCAA (such as a win/loss over a top-50 team, etc.), here's what Kentucky's bare-bones RPI looks like:
VMI @ Home: Loss (1.4) UNC @ Away: Loss (0.6) Delaware St. @ Home: Win (0.6) Longwood @ Home: Win (0.6) Kansas St. @ Neutral: Win (1) West Virginia @ Neutral: Win (1) Lamar @ Home: Win (0.6) RPI Adjusted Win/Loss: 3.8 - 2
If Kentucky loses, that adds 1.4 back to our adjusted losses, making us 3.8 wins to 3.4 losses. (Winning would make us 4.4 wins to 2 losses.) After adding in the other per-game adjustments made by the NCAA, losing to Miami probably wouldn't be as bad as the VMI loss, but would get significantly worse if Miami ends up stinking up the ACC this year.
On the other hand, if Miami ends up being in the top third of the ACC (as they have been projected to do), then their winning percentage and their opponents' winning percentage should be very helpful come tournament time.
With the SEC being not great this year, we need every quality win we can get, especially non-conference wins. If the Cats can take care of business today, it'll be a marker that our program has finally turned the corner, as Tru said in his preview.
Anyway, I'm sure I missed something in the details. Feel free to chew on this until game time. The game thread will be up soon.
Update: Yeah, I didn't carry the one when I divided my dumbass by my stupid. Math is fixed, methinks.