Kansas State players said after their 61-58 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament in Atlanta on Thursday night that they were upset because UK’s players did not shake their hands after the game.
“They didn’t shake our hands,” Kansas State junior guard Amaad Wainright told ESPN’s Alex Scarborough. “It’s sorry. ... They know what they did.”
Kansas State’s Levi Stockard III also suggested Kentucky’s postgame behavior was not sportsmanlike.
John Calipari did not agree with Kansas State’s assessment of the postgame, and video evidence seems to support the UK coach. On the CBS broadcast of the game, Kentucky’s players can be seen forming a handshake line and meeting Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber and members of his staff. Kansas State players were celebrating their victory.
There are no clear rules of engagement for postgame rituals of sportsmanship. If the winners celebrate, do the losers have to wait around until they finish? Should the winners be expected to postpone their celebration until handshakes are complete? Is attempting to perform the handshake ritual enough? Clearly, some Kansas State players did not think so.
Calipari congratulated Kansas State on the win and said his players had no ill will toward the opposing team.
Calipari was asked specifically about the KSU players’ comments in UK’s postgame press conference and said, “They were turned and celebrating, so I walked off. There was no disrespect for anything. It’s just that they were celebrating, and I was happy for them.”