UK Football

UK coach torn about NCAA Tournament: ‘I will be wearing blue on top ... purple underneath.’

New Kentucky wide receivers coach Michael Smith, a former standout player and longtime assistant coach at Kansas State, will have some split interests when UK faces Kansas State in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday night.
New Kentucky wide receivers coach Michael Smith, a former standout player and longtime assistant coach at Kansas State, will have some split interests when UK faces Kansas State in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday night. cbertram@herald-leader.com

The battle of the Wildcats on Thursday night will have one Kentucky football assistant coach quite torn.

When asked what his rooting interest might be when UK faces Kansas State on Thursday night in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Atlanta, new Kentucky wide receivers coach Michael Smith had a long, if not slightly uncomfortable laugh.

“I will be wearing blue on top, but I will definitely have purple underneath,” said Smith, who was a star wide receiver for the Kansas State version of the Wildcats and also a longtime assistant coach there. “I’m not going to sit here and lie to you.”

Smith still has some connections to the Kansas State basketball team. His children went to school with some of the children of assistant coaches on head coach Bruce Weber’s staff.

When Smith watches the game, though, it won’t be as a former basketball standout dissecting defenses.

Basketball was never Smith’s thing.

“Heck no, I was the worst black basketball player,” he laughed. “I ran track.”

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader

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