I’m excited about this next NIT matchup.
I know it’s the NIT, but there seems to be a certain sex appeal to tomorrow’s game in South Bend. I might just be longing for something to look forward to after a week-long layoff from UK basketball produced the most boring game in the history of the program last night, but I’m getting that old-time non-conference feeling of excitement. I think there are storylines here that should be getting us fired up.
First of all, this actually a pretty storied rivalry – or at least it was at one time. The matchups with the Irish that I remember the most are the ones from the four-game series that took place when I was in school (4-0, take that Notre Dame), but a quick trip over to Jon Scott’s site shows that this battle has been brewing since 1929 and, despite UK’s all-time advantage of 41-17, there have been some serious showdowns with the Irish over the years.
But, on a more current level, this game has intrigue. After we’ve dogged (some of us more than others) on the Big East and how the media has made their conference parity into “being loaded” when other conferences have shown parity and been labeled “bad”, Kentucky gets a shot at example 1A of how deep and talented the Big East is. That gets me fired up. Plus, the battle between Luke Harangody (who is probably a little overrated nationally) against Patrick Patterson (who is probably a little underrated nationally) and the potential for big-time shooting out of Jodie Meeks and Kyle McAlarney gives the game a little bit of sizzle. And, a win puts UK in the Final Four for the first time since 1998!!!
Ok, maybe that’s taking it a little too far. But, still, I’ll be that guy. I’m excited about this Notre Dame game.