In big time college basketball yesterday, UK defeated the defending National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels by 2 in Lexington. This game was a huge statement game for the undefeated Wildcats. This was their first game against big time competition and the Wildcats proved apt to the challenge.
Though this was a huge win for Big Blue Nation, the real story line is how John Calipari, a few weeks into his first season with UK has already brought this team to the national forefront and to the top of the rankings. Calipari has built an outstanding team that looks like an NBA squad at times. The speed, size, athleticism, and overal depth of this team is outstanding. If John Wall, does not cramp up yesterday, the Cats probably win this game in a much more comfortable fashion. In the first half, this team appeared able to easily defeat the New Jersey Nets and possibly a few other NBA squads.
But as much as I really am not a fan of the Wildcats, you have to tip your hat to this very talented team and congratulate them on their biggest win in a few years. This is the kind of win that sends a message to the rest of the country that UK is once again relevant and at the forefront of College Basketball. If Calipari can keep his guys hungry, I see almost no way that this team does not play deep into March. They have as much or more talent than any team in the country, not to mention phenomenal size and athleticism.
I will be curious to see down the stretch with this team who takes control. Is the freshman phenom John Wall the leader? Or will the experienced big man Patrick Patterson take control? Should be very interesting to see how this team gels down the stretch and who takes control as the leader and go to guy. I think the talent level being so high may be the only thing that holds this team back at times in that there may not be enough ball to go around.
Big Blue Nation, as much as it makes me sick to say it, welcome your latest hero John Calipari. There may be a return to prominence in the near future for this very storied program.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the Sportskraze.