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The Hatred Is Real

Last Sunday when John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats returned to Lexington after having won the SEC Tournament, UK’s coach was asked about his team’s draw in the NCAA Tournament.  As anyone who follows Kentucky Basketball would have expected, Cal got a few digs in at the Selection Committee (“We got murderer’s row, we just got home and we ‘re playing on Thursday?).  And naturally, the rest of the college basketball world made note of Cal “whining.”

For the more astute fan,  one would realize Cal’s comments were directed more at the fact that the results of the SEC Tournament have zero bearing on the Selection Committee’s decisions.  You don’t get rewarded by winning the SEC tourney, but you certainly get punished if you lose.  But many national pundits and more than a few rival fans decided it was whining.

Of course, Calipari continued his comments by noting that you have to play whoever is in front of you and that his team “was built for this.”  And, as has been the norm since Cal arrived at Kentucky, regardless of how the regular season has gone, his team is almost always ready for March.

Davidson, as expected, was a tough opening round game.  The Cats proved, however, that their struggles from the regular season were just preparation for March Madness and they defeated a scrappy Davidson team that made 11 3-pointers while making exactly ZERO themselves.

The 2nd round was supposed to be a matchup against Arizona, but we all know what happened.   Buffalo ended the other Wildcats’ season in glorious fashion.  It wasn’t even close.  The good Wildcats, however, kept the Bulls in check and defeated them by 20 points.

Meanwhile, in the upper portion of UK’s bracket, the tourney’s overall #1 seed Virginia was making history, and not the good kind.  For the first time ever, a 16-seed (University of Maryland Baltimore County) pummelled UVA.  It wasn’t a miraculous Hail Mary or a controversial officiating call.  It was a good old-fashioned butt-whoopin’.   And just like that, Kentucky’s path to the Final Four appeared to become so much easier.

So what is the reaction of the national media?

Apparently, Kentucky is now responsible for higher seeds failing to win the games they were supposed to win and the Cats should be embarrassed to reach the Final Four should they win 2 games in Atlanta next week because the opponents are not the ones everyone expected to be there.

Does Duke ever get these comments when they have an easy path (albeit one they have stumbled on more than once) to the Final Four?  Do the national pundits wring their hands about North Carolina getting to play a lower-than-expected seed?  The answer to both of those questions is a definitive “No.”

So why does Kentucky get this honor?  It’s so simple:  the hatred is real.  Perhaps now more than ever, they simply “hate us ’cause they ain’t us.”  Well, keep piling on folks.  Keep trash talking the Cats.  Meanwhile, Cal’s team will continue to play whoever is in front of them and hopefully keep dancing right on to San Antonio.

Follow me on Twitter @ForeverBigBlue

Michele Brown
Michele Brown
Writer at CameronMillsRadio.com since Feb. 2015 Co-host of Big Blue Views podcast. Mom, Christian, sports junkie, golf addict and speed typist. I can cook your mama's food better than she can.

6 Comments

  1. Hank Webb says:

    But you can’t cook my mama’s better than I can. A very well written article my dear friend.

  2. Michele Brown says:

    Cookoff challenge accepted. 🙂 Thanks, Hank!

    • Hank Webb says:

      Michelle, yesterday, in honor of Charlotte’s birthday I did a Smoked Meat March Madness. We had eight Wildcat fans in total, four of us Alumni. If we make it to the final four, John is going to fly us to San Antonio.

  3. Curt Chapman says:

    Good work Michelle. And I thought you just got into reggae!

  4. Curt, you know it’s Reggae REDNECKS!
    “He used to think that George Jones was Ja
    Til he heard Bob Marley and the Wailers
    Now he listens to Bob’s 8-track tapes
    In his mobile home trailer!”

    Now, please tell me why I can still remember that silly song lyric from 35 years ago but I can’t tell you what I had for lunch on Saturday!

  5. Joshua Pearson says:

    Decent article but I would have to disagree that it only happens to UK and not Duke or UNC or Kansas, etc. It happens to all of the big time programs with rich tradionions. And it’s not that people hate or dislike UK. It’s more about a dislike for their fans.

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