UK Sports Info
Kentucky has advanced to the Final Four. The details of that advancement are impressive, hell the offensive output v. IU was downright silly. Records have been broken, accolades divied out and four W’s are on the board, point being this team has had a terrific two weeks of Tournament play.
That said, anything short of a title is now a major disappointment that will over-shadow all the great things UK has accomplished this season.
It’s not fair and a little bit illogical but it’s also a reality that there’s no getting away from.
Not that the UK players want to get away from it. They’ve seemingly had their sites on the ultimate prize since day 1, but at this point — when it’s close enough to touch — the pressure will be immense. Toss in the fact that Kentucky will face it’s bitter rival, a team it’s expected to handle, for a spot in the title game and I’m not sure any team in recent memory can say it had more weight on it’s shoulders. So while I reject the contention that this season will be an “utter failure” (a phrase Andy Staples used) unless it wins two more games, it will be failure’s cousin, major disappointment.
That’s reality and there’s no use trying to minimize it, there’s also no reason to. This is what you want as fan — to be the favorite, the more overwhelming the better. And while “you play to win the game”, if you’re a competitor you play sports to have the chance to be in a game like UK-UL in the FF. The risk that you’ll lose and forever give your rival a stone to throw is present, but so is the chance to be great and make history in a positive way. If that scares you more than it excites your not cut out for high level sports. From what I can tell UK’s players this season fall on the right side of that divide.
So while a 2010 Duke run to the title is nice, it’s not the situation Kentucky finds itself in. Instead, UK will be tested mentally and physically as intensely as any champion I can remember if they’re able to achieve that accomplishment.
No, strike that. Great.
Kentucky has the opportunity to win the most memorable title in their 109 years of basketball and you know what? Now that we’re here I wouldn’t want it any other way.
You can contact Dustin at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @DustinUK