FROM FORMER KSR RADIO SHOW PERSONALITY, BIG EZ….
Hello to my KSR friends from the land of #Albertageddon, a pathetic NFL team and really good beer–St. Louis. Thank God college basketball is alive and well. Don’t worry, I’ve been keeping up on all the teams from our area–Indiana, Louisville and, of course, the Cats–from this local watering hole. There’s also a couple teams around here (Saint Louis and Missouri) that aren’t too bad either and give me just enough of a college hoops fix locally to remain sane.
Anyway, in between tweets slobbering over just how great the atmosphere was at Rupp Arena last Saturday, Drew Franklin asked me to give some thoughts on the matchup going down this weekend at the also-outdated-but-never-duplicated Assembly Hall.
First, a disclaimer: This is the one time all season that I actively root AGAINST Kentucky. For this one time, you guys are the lowdown, dirty snitches, at least in my eyes. Deal with it. Then, after the game is over, it’s the same old, overweight, but great-with-the-ladies “big poppa” that you’ve always enjoyed. There, you have my disclaimer. Take it (and what follows) for what it’s worth.
As far as the game is concerned, first off: be nice to us IU fans. It’s been awhile since we’ve sniffed a little success, so forgive us if we’re a little confident. It’s a feeling we haven’t felt in quite awhile. If you think there is a pompousness that comes with that, it’s just because we’re a little rusty at this whole confidence thing. But make no mistake, it’s a guarded confidence. We need to beat someone and beating NC State should not qualify as being “back.” But, we can tell something is just a smidge… different… about this Hoosier team for the better.
Even though it’s on a different level, it’s similar to what UK fans experienced at the beginning of the Coach Cal era. Cal comes in after the suckitude that was the bathroom stall-jailing Billy Gillispie-era. Even with the great recruiting class that came here with Cal, the Cats were down to the final seconds against Miami, giving up 92 at home against Sam Houston State and culmintating with playing an overtime game in a Mexican ballroom (one last middle finger from Billy Clyde) against Stanford. We all could tell these Cats looked a smidge different even though it hadn’t been proven yet. Guarded confidence.
Then Cal’s kids had their first real chance to validate what we thought we were seeing. It was time to play then-No. 11 North Carolina.
And the historic 28-2 run happened. And even thought they had to “hold on” to beat Daggum Roy, we all knew right then and there…
The Cats were back.
Like I said, it’s on a different level. We have no John Wall, we have no DeMarcus Cousins, but us Hoosier fans are where the Cats fans were before that North Carolina game in December of ’09. We’re salivating over the chance to play a damn good opponent on our home floor because this is the best that this team has looked in what feels like an eternity.
Yes, the Zeller parents wearing the crappy two-toned “We’re the Zeller parents, look at us” t-shirts was embarrassing, but so is Beisner’s wardrobe on KSTV. So, in my book, we’re even.
And for one weekend, I can say this affectionately, without malice and certainly without any guilt… I hope we hand it to your candy-asses on Saturday. Ha! And if we do… wait a minute… WHEN we do, I’ll be dusting off my photoshopping skillz and putting Matt Jones on the back of a motorcycle in the Cream and Crimson candy-striped pants with Tom Crean in the drivers seat (Dear God, make this happen).
Shoutouts to Fake Barney, Lachlan McLean, Fake David Beckham, JT, Tony Vanetti and the Sklar Brothers and always remember, I WAS THE FIRST THAT TOLD YOU GUYS CHESTER WAS FAKE!
In all seriousness, thanks for letting me be a part from afar. I miss you guys!
R.I.P. Bryan The Intern