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Mike Lopresti | NCAA.com | November 23, 2020

How different the sports world becomes for some programs between their football and basketball seasons

Andy Katz makes his first 2021 NCAA bracket prediction for March Madness

In case you missed the football final from Tuscaloosa last weekend: Alabama 63, Kentucky 3. Ouch. That, by the way, leaves the all-time series ever so slightly in the Tide’s favor, 38-2-1. But here’s the good news for Kentucky.

The basketball season starts this week. As they could say in the Bluegrass, that’s a different kettle of fish.

Oh, what a difference the shape of a ball can make, in the record between certain schools. Football and basketball. Alternate universes, really. Let’s take a quick tour of the top conferences for examples.

When the ball is oblong, Alabama has lost once to Kentucky since 1922.

When the ball is round, Kentucky is 114-38, and won 34 of the last 42 meetings.

When the ball is oblong, Alabama runs up 63 points in a game.

When the ball is round, the Tide averages less than that — 61.4 — in 19 games against John Calipari. Kentucky has won 16 of those 19, by the way.

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When the ball is oblong, Alabama owns 27 SEC titles. Kentucky has won two, and none for 44 years.

When the ball is round, Kentucky has 49 regular-season conference championships. The rest of the current SEC combined has 52.

When the ball is oblong, Kansas is 4-16 against Baylor, 0-10 on the road, and 0-11 since 2007.

When the ball is round, Kansas is 33-6 against Baylor and 17-1 at home.

When the ball is oblong, Texas Tech is 19-2 against Kansas.

When the ball is round, the Jayhawks are 37-6 all-time against Texas Tech, including 19-1 in Allen Fieldhouse and 20-2 since 2009.

When the ball is oblong, Kansas has lost 16 games in a row to Oklahoma. The Sooners have won 13 Big 12 season titles, and 34 in the smaller versions of the league before that. Kansas’ last conference championship was 1968.

When the ball is round, Kansas has won 21 of the last 25 meetings against the Sooners. The Jayhawks have won at least a share of the season title in 19 of the 25 years of the Big 12. Oklahoma has won once.

When the ball is oblong, Kansas is 1-16 against Texas since 1938, and 0-9 in Austin.

When the ball is round, Texas is 9-35 against Kansas and 1-18 in Lawrence.

When the ball is oblong, Clemson is 25-4 against Duke since 1980, and 15-0 during that span in Death Valley.

When the ball is round, Duke is 60-4 in Cameron Indoor Stadium against Clemson.

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When the ball is oblong, Florida State is a perfect 20-0 against Duke.

When the ball is round, Duke is 41-10 against Florida State and 9-1 in the past 10 games.

When the ball is oblong, Clemson has 19 ACC titles, and Florida State 15. Duke has none in 30 years, and one since 1962.

When the ball is round, Duke has 40 season or tournament league championships. Clemson and Florida State have three.

When the ball is oblong, Indiana is 2-56-2 against Ohio State since 1952. The Buckeyes have 38 Big Ten titles, the Hoosiers two, the most recent 53 years ago.

When the ball is round, Indiana is 108-86 against the Buckeyes, including 41-18 when Bob Knight was coaching against his alma mater. The Hoosiers have 22 league championships, Ohio State 20.

When the ball is oblong, Stanford has beaten Arizona six consecutive games, and nine of their last 12.

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When the ball is round, Arizona has beaten Stanford 20 times in a row.

When the ball is oblong, USC has won the conference 39 times. Arizona has won it once.

When the ball is round, USC’s last league championships was 1985. Arizona has won it 16 times since then.

Bottom line: What goes around often comes around. It just sometimes requires a different ball.

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