Op-Ed

Letters to editor: UK basketball

McClatchy-Tribune

Chill out

I realize since Kentucky does not have any professional sports teams, fans put their hearts into University of Kentucky basketball. With only one team to root for, an NCAA tournament loss can be pretty devastating. However, listening to the various post-game radio shows after the Indiana loss, I heard angry fans blaming coaches and players, forgetting those coaches and players put their hearts into that game, too.

Like last year, fans need to share some of the blame for this loss. Why? Arrogance. Friday before the game I heard sportscasters and fans bragging about how much better their fourth-seeded Wildcats were than the fifth-seeded Hoosiers. Really? Remember the football cliché, “On any given Sunday,” there is no certainty in sports and upsets are why we love the tournament.

Last year, UK fans proclaimed the inevitability of an undefeated national championship, this year it was the inevitable victory over Indiana. Stop proclaiming victory until it happens. Until you do, you will continue to anger the non-denominational sports gods, especially the god of basketball. National championships are hard enough to win, but become even harder when you jinx your team. Remember the old adage “don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.”

James F. Wisniewski

Lexington

Still seething

Totally bummed. I had forgotten how much I hated the Hoosiers. Anyone with blue coursing through their veins remembers the injustices heaped upon BBN by the team with the stupid-looking candy-cane warm up pants. Who can forget Kent Benson and his luckier-than-dirt game winning tip in, or Bobby Knight’s affectionate love tap to the back of Joe Hall’s head, or Steve Alford’s perfect hair, or Damon Bailey’s free throws, and of course the Watford shot?

Forty years later, I’m seething again. The Cats just couldn’t get it going. As he has all season, Tyler Ulis played his heart out. With no inside game and Jamal Murray going ice cold, Indiana played just well enough to win.

Others imply that the BBN is arrogant and opinionated and expects to win every game.

Yes, that’s true and is what sets us apart. We’re constantly fueled by unrealistic expectations and unbridled enthusiasm.

I hate myself for caring so much but I just can’t help it.

Coach Cal always told us to “enjoy the ride.” Yet, the ride back to Lexington was unbearable. Thanks to Alex Poythress , Tyler, Jamal, Coach Cal and the rest of the Cats from a grateful BBN. See you next year.

John Huang

Lexington

Thanks, Briscoe

It seems that most of the University of Kentucky fans think that Coach John Calipari is a living God and can do no wrong. But in the game against Georgia in the SEC Tournament, the blatant abuse (vocal and in his motions) Calipari showed toward Isaiah Briscoe, I hope that everyone thought it was way over the top, even for the best coach. And after the game was won and Calipari asked Briscoe if he appreciated his yelling, screaming tactics, the player said, “After the game was over, yes. But at the moment, no.”

Now just imagine how many future recruits saw that same thing on TV. Who wants to be abused like Calipari did?. God bless Briscoe for the truth that he told the world of college basketball.

Darrell Gross

Lexington

What if?

The magnificent season Tyler Ulis had poses an interesting hypothetical question: Would the Wildcats have had another championship banner hanging from the rafters if Coach John Calipari had played Ulis the last five minutes of the 2015 Wisconsin game instead of seemingly worrying about hurting Andrew Harrison’s feelings? Odd behavior, indeed, for a coach who preaches team success over individual achievement.

Mike Downs

Paris

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