38-1: A Fan’s Look at Kentucky’s Lone Loss

Updated: April 5, 2015
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“That’s the game right there.”

Those were the words I said out loud as I watched Wisconsin‘s Sam Dekker drain a ridiculous stepback three-pointer to give the Badgers a 63-60 lead in their 71-64 “upset” over unbeaten Kentucky on Saturday night. Dekker was outstanding against the 38-0 Wildcats, scoring 16 points to help hand the best team in the country their first loss all season.

The Badgers would drain a few free throws and the run at the first perfect season in college basketball in almost 40 years was over.

38 wins, an SEC regular season title, followed by an SEC Tournament title and four NCAA Tournaments wins, seemingly went for naught.

As many throughout the Big Blue Nation — Kentucky’s rabid fan base — sulked, and for some reason, rioted in the streets of Lexington, Kentucky, I sat and reminisced over a fun season.

38-1 is nothing to be ashamed of, BBN. Whether you’re a player or just a fan, the disappointment is there — and will be there for a while — but doing what the ‘Cats did is something we may not see for a long time.


Here’s a few misconceptions of last night’s loss from a fan’s eyes:

“Andrew Harrison, what an idiot.”

What Harrison said isn’t a story. It’s just not. But, when you’re the starting point guard at the biggest program in college basketball, you have to be smarter with your actions and quotes in this era of social media. This video circulated every outlet around the world faster than the speed of sound.

Harrison later apologized for his post-game press conference slip-up:

I’ve met Andrew. He’s a good kid, just like the rest of the guys on that Kentucky roster. He made a big mistake on a big stage. Don’t act like you were a perfect angel when you were 20 years old, because you know you weren’t. None of us were. People say and do dumb things. This happened to be one of them in Andrew’s life and I’m sure he’ll learn from it moving forward.


“Wisconsin pulled the biggest upset in history!”

Kids, go look up the 1966 Kentucky Wildcats or even the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels before you make such a big comment.

Plus, did we all forget that Wisconsin — according to the KenPom ratings — is the best offense since the ratings were created in 2002 (128.5)?

Wisconsin has clearly been one of the best teams all season long and they played like it on Saturday night. This was no upset. This was a team that wasn’t scared of big, bad Kentucky and they proved they were ready for the challenge of such an epic rematch.


“(Laughs) Kentucky…”

Yeah, I’d probably laugh at a team that’s been to four Final Fours in the last five seasons and won a title in that span as well.

You don’t have to like Kentucky. That’s what being a fan is all about; rooting for your team and pulling for who YOU prefer.

But, disrespecting a program with the success that Kentucky has had doesn’t make a ton of sense, but hey, that’s your right as a fan to cheer and boo who you please.

(Some of the slander is just silly, but this … this is actually pretty good. You can win me over with WWE memes.)


“Who is going pro?”

If I had to take an educated guess right now, I’d assume Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns, the Harrison twins, Devin Booker and Trey Lyles are heading to the NBA.

The saying goes, “At Kentucky, you don’t rebuild … you reload.”

The ‘Cats already have the top recruiting class in America again with three top-50 recruits, according to ESPN’s Top 100 rankings. Even if Kentucky does lose six players (or less/more), they’ll still be near the top of the polls when the fall rolls around.

John Calipari is known for his recruiting magic, so don’t be surprised if the ‘Cats maintain their spot at the top of the recruiting rankings.

(Speaking of Calipari… reports are circulating that he’s heading to the Basketball Hall of Fame)


Wisconsin or Duke?

Well, choosing between the team that knocked the ‘Cats from the ranks of the unbeaten or the only program that has the prestige (and hatred level) of Kentucky is a tough call.

Vegas has Monday’s title game as a “pick ’em” game, and that’s exactly what it is.

Personally, I like Wisconsin in a fun one. Dekker, along with AP National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky, have carried this team to this point and I think they’ll stay hot in another rematch on Monday night.

Duke shooting 60 percent against this version of the Badgers isn’t likely, although the new-look Blue Devils on defense could easily have them cutting down the nets on Monday night.

But, if Kentucky’s historic defense couldn’t stop them, what makes anyone think Duke can?

Wisconsin – 79, Duke – 72.


Oh, and to the great people of Lexington, Kentucky … stop being dumb



(Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America)

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