UK Beatdown Thoughts

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photo by Jessica Newman

by Kevin Faris 

A few thoughts on the biggest win of the Coach Cal era (that’s right, I said it!)

A few weeks ago, one of my friends, Charleston attorney and Rosebud alum Lee Weatherly, asked me if Calipari had ever beaten anyone ranked higher than UK. The answer, at the time, was no. Since then, UK has beaten UF (2x), Vandy, and now Ohio State, all teams that were ranked higher than UK. Now, I think at the time Lee was trying to make a point about Cal’s coaching, but the truth is that since his arrival at UK has been favored in almost every game they’ve played. How many times have you heard Cal refer to UK as the “other team’s Super Bowl” (you know, considering this is basketball, I think he needs to switch that up next year. Other team’s Final Four?).


UK fans are not used to being the underdog, whether it’s the regular season or the tournament, but because of some road issues this year, the Cats have found themselves there and we are seeing a team that has grown, matured, and improved as the season has progressed. And we are also seeing that Cal’s coaching ability is not limited to attracting superstar high school players.

If there is a better place to watch a UK NCAA game than Two Keys Tavern, it must be watching it live. Yes, it’s a college bar and if you are over 25 (or 35 in my case) you may feel a little hesitant, but I’m not telling you to go there for Thirsty Thursday or All You Can Drink. Go watch a game. But don’t plan on listening to the game, because the cheering/booing/excitement will drown out the announcers. The roar that happened after Brandon Knight’s game winner lasted a good 20-30 minutes. Seriously, it segued directly into a dance party, which was my cue to leave.

Despite Ohio State being the #1 overall seed and the top team most of the year, I felt pretty good going into the game. I think this is because it was pretty clear what UK needed to do to win. Play Sullinger one on one, stop the 3. And that’s what they did. Josh Harrellson (Can we promote him from Jorts to King Jorts?) outplayed the best post player in America, DeAndre Liggins did what he does (cause mayhem). Thad Matta said that UK was the best team they played all year. And OSU is the best team UK played all year. And we won. Awesome sauce.

I was going to write a little bit about what worries me with North Carolina, but why ruin a perfectly good Saturday afterglow with stress? I’m going to enjoy this and worry about them tomorrow.

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