So here we are. The sun is shining a little bit brighter, and moods are definitely several level higher. This is the day Big Blue Nation treats as a national holiday. While practice has been taking place for a couple of weeks, this is the official starting line for the fans as we embark on this season long journey we all hope ends with banner #9. No, I’m not talking about National Dessert Day, although that’s a very happy coincidence since we think this day is so sweet anyway. Of course, you know I am talking about Big Blue Madness. It’s here and to that I say, “Yes, please!”
After months and months of political mudslinging, we are now getting a much-needed respite. Sure, we’ve had football to distract us from the real world, but this season has not been without bits of drama here and there with our gridiron Cats. But tonight? Tonight everything changes.
Big Blue Madness is here, and the Big Blue Nation is bursting at the seams with excitement. Coach Cal has been getting us ready for several weeks, giving his breakdown of every player. And there’s no hiding the fact that Calipari is very excited about this team. I think it’s safe to say he likes his team, and we know that means we are going to be good. Very, very good.
We’ve seen pictures from UK Athletics, showing us the new scoreboard that replaced the old, faithful Big Bertha, who had been hanging from the rafters since Rupp Arena opened. We’ve seen a glimpse of the new court, which has received a few cosmetic changes. We’ve had teasers about the show that will be put on tonight, including an interactive light show with the fans in attendance.
Sunday night, we got a sneak peek at this year’s collection of Cats when the annual practice for NBA scouts was held. When ESPN was kind enough to actually show the players instead of the analysts, we got glimpses of what we are in store for this season. Briscoe was swishing shots that troubled him last year. Humphries showed up with a new physique and a lot more quickness. We were treated to that amazing, beautiful smile of Bam Adebayo, and we were downright giddy watching all the freshmen as they went through their paces.
Then media day was held Thursday, and the more we heard from our Cats, the more eagerly we anticipated the start of this season. These Cats have already developed a bond with one another, and they all agree the team will play “fast,” or some version thereof. And what about defense? When Cal is already predicting greatness defensively for a team of his, the rest of the college basketball world better be shaking in their shoes right now.
Yes, Big Blue Nation, today is for you. This is the day to celebrate with abandonment. Dance like nobody’s watching, sing like nobody’s listening, and dream like there are no boundaries. Today, we are perfect. We have not yet taken a bad shot, committed a stupid foul, or had a mental lapse resulting in a turnover. This is the day to be filled with hope; hope for a great season, hope for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, and most of all, hope for another National Championship.
So enjoy this moment, BBN. Treasure the present without worrying about the future. Enjoy the Madness!
For live Madness updates, follow @TheMillsShow as Tina Cox and I cover this event tonight for CMR.
Follow me on Twitter @ForeverBigBlue