It’s always nice to come home for Thanksgiving, not for turkey and stuffing, but to watch Wildcats fans blow a gasket at their team’s early season blunders. The over-hyped, #7 Kentucky team lost last night to the #18 Iowa Hawkeyes, 67-63, in the second semifinal game of the Guardians Classic in Kansas City, Mo. Courier-Journal columnist Jerry Brewer takes the Cats to task today in a display of hysteria over a pretty meaningless loss:
Near the end of this humbling, a wacky, yet fitting, scene unfolded. Less than a second remained in a decided game, and University of Kentucky basketball fans were exiting Municipal Auditorium swiftly, while Iowa fans were standing and chanting “Over-rated!” and suddenly a replacement band began playing UK’s fight song.
Lower your heads, Wildcats.
It doesn’t get more embarrassing than that.
Kentucky was one of the teams that didn’t bring its band here, and Guardians Classic officials had another group there to sub. The fill-ins couldn’t have picked a worse time to play the number. The Wildcats’ 67-63 defeat was 0.9 second from being finalized.
The game was frustrating enough. Issues keep piling up. Kentucky can’t find post players willing to rebound, can’t generate consistent offense, can’t shoot, can’t find an ideal rotation, can’t play fast, can’t play slow, can’t find consistency at center, can’t get Sheray Thomas to STOP SHOOTING JUMPERS ON CRITICAL POSSESSIONS, can’t find Patrick Sparks enough and can’t get Joe Crawford to stand out at small forward…
All this information warrants a two-word reaction: Wake up.
So, basically, Kentucky can’t do anything, but is a top-10 team. Makes sense. While Brewer isn’t making the typical fire-Tubby Smith lament, he might find more disappointment today as UK plays a #13 West Virginia team that almost beat #2 Texas last night (from the Associated Press):
Texas appeared headed for the consolation game, though, when it trailed by 10 points in the second half. They were still down by three, 75-72, when West Virginia’s Mike Gansey hit a layup with 1 minute left.
But the Mountaineers’ Johannes Herber and Kevin Pittsnogle missed the front ends of 1-and-1 opportunities, and Tucker’s follow shot got Texas within 75-74 with 15.4 seconds remaining. Pittsnogle missed another 1-and-1 with 14.7 seconds to go, and LeMarcus Aldridge (above) converted after misses by Kenton Paulino and Brad Buckman.
Gansey, who led the Mountaineers with 26 points, broke free for a last-second layup on West Virginia’s final possession, but Aldridge swatted it away.
The crowd booed, expecting a foul call, and replays appeared to show Aldridge making contact. But Aldridge, who had his third double-double in as many games with 15 points and 14 rebounds, didn’t want to discuss the no-call afterward.
“It really doesn’t matter what I think, as long as we won the game,” he said. “It is over with, and I don’t need to go back to that now.”