Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bad Weekend For Kentucky Fans

Kentucky fans had a horrible weekend and I'm so happy about that.

Let me put it out there: I used to not care one bit about the University of Kentucky. I didn't care if they won or lost ... unless my UNC Tar Heels were playing them or in a certain East Regional Final game to Duke in 1992.

But since I moved to Kentucky over a decade ago, Wildcat fans just get on your nerves. They can normally pull that crap here because ... well, everyone is a Kentucky fan. There is no real regional rival. Louisville? There are more Wildcats fans in Louisville than Cardinal fans. Indiana? Who barks about that?

But as a Tar Heel fan, their vitrol doesn't fly with me. We are also among college basketball's elite. We are also in the 2,000 win club (with more of those won fair and square than Kentucky). Since Kentucky's last Final Four in 1998 (I moved here at Christmas 1998), Carolina has been to four Final Fours and won two National Championships.

Oh, and Carolina is 22-11 all time in head to head matchups with Kentucky. That's Kentucky's worst record against any opponent they've faced more than a handful of times. They hate when I pull that one out.

So I will admit that I do take pleasure in Kentucky's misfortune this weekend.

First off, the NCAA rules Enes Kanter ineligible. Permanently. All I heard from Kentucky fans was that Kanter was clean, the NCAA won't shut him down ... and if they do, it will just be for a couple of games. When the appeal process was going on, all I heard was that Kanter will be made eligible because of new evidence and how if the NCAA was lax on those Ohio State players and Cam Newton then they'll be a bit sympathetic towards Kanter.

Nope. He's done. Forever. Kentucky fans will still claim him as one of their own when he hits the NBA. Yeah, then I claim Dwight Howard since he was gonna come to Carolina if he wasn't going into the draft.

Then came Saturday. Kentucky played Pitt in the Compass Bowl or something. Pitt spanked them, 27-10. Not a biggie since Kentucky fans don't really care about football. Or any sport not played on a basketball court. But this did come against a team that forced one coach out and then had to fire his replacement because of a domestic assault. Not really a team with any leadership right now.

Saturday night, those hoopsters played their first SEC game of the season ... and lost to unranked Georgia, 77-70. That gets the fans' attention. Kentucky fans have said, "look, we lost to North Carolina in Chapel Hill and UConn in Hawaii ... and we are really coming together." They still can say all of that, but now this is also a team that lost to Georgia.

Today, their women's team lost ... at home ... to Georgia. Kentucky, who I haven't really heard to much about, is ranked No. 10 in the country.

Not a great week for Kentucky fans.

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