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Barleycorn’s Top 10: The Morning After

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It seemed touch and go there for a minute last night, but the sun did come up this morning, although here in Nashville, it’s shrouded in clouds, which suits my mood perfectly. After rolling into town in the wee hours and getting a few hours of sleep, the loss to North Carolina still sucks, but as with all things, we must move on.

1. At least the season ended with a game like that?

At times yesterday, it felt like North Carolina was going to run away with the game, but as they have all year, Kentucky rallied, refusing to give up until the very last second. The Tar Heels were up seven with a minute left, but thanks to some clutch threes from De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, the Cats tied it up with 10 seconds left. Unfortunately, the basketball gods had a different ending in mind and Luke Maye, a former walk-on, cemented himself in UNC lore with the game-winning shot with three seconds left. No shot will ever hurt as much as Christian Laettner’s 25 years ago (ironically, both wear #32), but Maye’s will sting for a long time to come.

2. If you’re still angry about the refs, well, so is Calipari

Complaining about the refs after a loss is petty, but the officiating was so horrendous in the first half, it’s merited. Questionable calls on the Cats and a lack of calls on the Heels put almost all of Kentucky’s starters on the bench for most of the first half, and it was the first thing on Calipari’s mind when he took the podium after the game:

“You know, it’s amazing that we were in that game where they practically fouled out my team. Amazing that we had a chance. So proud of how these guys fought,” Cal said. “I told them at halftime, it is what it is. And you’ve got to beat who’s out there, and let’s go, and don’t worry about it.”

3. Burn the tape

Calipari echoed all of our thoughts when he told reporters last night he has no desire to watch the tape of that game ever again.

“When that three went in and it tied the game, I probably should have called a time-out. It entered my mind, but they got that son-of-a-b in so quick, I couldn’t get to anybody to do it. But I needed to stop that right there. Someone said, well, what happened? I said, I don’t know, and I probably will never know because I won’t watch this tape, and I never watch the last tape of the season. Watched enough tapes all year. Watched a thousand tapes. I’m not watching a thousand and one.”

Same.

4. The locker room was heartbreaking

I was so far back that the only video I could get was of the backs of other people’s heads, but De’Aaron Fox’s sobs echoed through the room and will probably haunt me for a long time. Fox did most of the talking for his brothers, and after watching the heartbreaking video, I don’t know how anyone could claim that these players don’t care about the program.

Well, so much for that whole “no crying” thing.

5. There was no talk of who’s staying and who’s going

We know for certain that Kentucky’s three seniors are gone (although, if someone can figure out how to get an extra year of eligibility for any of them, you’ll be a legend in this state forever), but the trio of freshmen with the highest draft stock squashed any talk about whether or not they’re staying in school or going to the draft. With Fox and Monk projected to go in the top ten and Bam in the first round, they’re probably, definitely gone and although he’s not even on some draft boards, it feels like Briscoe is too. What about the rest, i.e. Wenyen Gabriel? With the new draft rules, he’ll probably test the waters and get feedback, which is entirely merited. Given that he only played four minutes last night, it’s hard to imagine a team picking him up, but you never know. Cruelly, yesterday was Wenyen’s birthday, and as the team headed back to Lexington, he sent out this sad, reflective tweet:

6. Lexington didn’t handle the loss too well

If you expected UK students to handle the loss well, well, you haven’t met many college students. Thankfully, there were no arrests or significant fires, but two people were taken to the hospital. Here’s a video from the Herald-Leader:

7. Where does this one rank in terms of heartbreak?

The comparisons to Laettner’s shot are inevitable, especially since it’s the 25th anniversary and both he and Maye wear the same number, but this morning on Twitter, someone asked me which hurts more, and it’s got to be Laettner, right? Try as I might, Luke Maye doesn’t even seem like a hatable guy, whereas Laettner was a total punk. I’m sure this depends mostly on age, but for me, this ranks third in terms of heartbreak behind Wisconsin and The Shot. Nothing will ever top the loss to Wisconsin in 2015, something I oddly took some comfort in last night.

Again, everyone’s different. Chime in with your thoughts in the comments.

8. Fans met the team at the airport

I just put this up in the post before this one, but a group of fans met the team at the airport, a small solace for a group that’s really hurting right now:

9. Brace yourself for the haters

The usual suspects spent the night trolling the BBN on Twitter and it’s only going to get worse today. For some reason, even Louisville fans started chirping at me, which seems hilarious because Kentucky got farther than they did, but hey, that’s what the mute and block button are for. Also, if you do follow him for some reason, go ahead and do yourself a favor and block Clay Travis. You’re welcome.

10. Group therapy begins at 10 a.m.

Let’s all grieve together on the radio show, which starts in about a half hour. Bring the tissues.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

22 Comments for Barleycorn’s Top 10: The Morning After



  1. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    9:48 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    I heard Clay Travis blabbing on the way to work this morning. Echoing Colin Cowherd’s comments. Blah blah blah. If they would stop talking for a minute they would realize that Cal has only been at UK for 8 years so most of the players haven’t been in the NBA long enough to be amazing NBA players yet. But they don’t realize that because they are dumb.



  2. Sentient Third Eye
    9:49 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    I hate it when reporters ask kids if they are going pro right after a loss. It’s like going to a funeral and asking the widow if she wants to sell her late husband’s pickup.



  3. CatsFan4Life
    9:53 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    Gary Parrish can kiss my ass.



  4. RealCatsFan
    9:58 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    I am actually more pissed off this morning than I was immediately after the loss. Most of it is due to all the media love for UNC, with absolutely no mention of the fact that they should have been banned from the tournament for at least five years due to the fake classes. 🙁



    • MAYS24
      7:11 pm March 27, 2017 Permalink

      That is all very true. I guess we all have our own favourite teams and game to hate. I definitely do not want Tarheels to get number 6. Teams I hate the most are Texas Western, UCLA, Duke, Michigan St, Marquette, Louisville. Tar Heels do appear to be an American favourite but having never earned enough.



  5. SanDiegoDave
    9:59 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    The refs didn’t cost UK, a better team beat the Cats. In game coaching, once again, rears its ugly head. In the first half, Dom couldn’t miss. Where was he during the last few minutes of the half? On the bench. The last play before halftime should have been for to Fox drive and kick out to Dom or Monk.

    Good luck in the NBA.



    • rickwhitetx
      10:15 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

      Go back to the beach Dave. We don’t need negativity this morning.



    • Le Docteur
      10:37 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

      The refs did not cost UK the game, probably. But Fox got the sh*t fouled out of him on the last play of the 1st half and the refs didn’t call it. Woulda been nice for him to get those 2 points in light of the outcome of the game, no? Against Arkansas, Berry literally pancaked an Arkansas player and the refs didn’t call him for a charge. Against UK, Fox got called for a block on a very similar kind of play in which is very plainly drew the charge, sending him to the bench for a long stretch of the 1st half. It would be hard to argue that UK’s offense wouldn’t have produced more points in the 1st half with Fox in the game rather than on the bench. The scramble play in which Willis stole the ball in the 1st half got called a foul by the ref 50 feet away, not the ref 5 feet away. Terrible call that resulted in a 4 point turn-around. But no, SanDiegoDave, the refs had no effect on the outcome of the game. It was all on Cal.



    • Eazy
      10:52 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

      Lol, how was his in game coaching against Ucla? The refs hurt us but it all came down to the last minute and we had a shot. How come people don’t blame K for all Dukes second round losses?!



    • 4everblue
      11:08 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

      Dave you really should stay in San Diego and root for UCLA, BBN does not need you!



    • 4everblue
      11:12 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

      Stick to medicine Le Docteur and I hope you’re not an eye doctor.



    • Lip Man 1
      11:54 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

      Mike DeCourcey wrote this in The Sporting News today:

      “There were some curiosities, though, particularly with the first-half officiating. On three occasions, official John Higgins observed action and did not blow his whistle to call a foul on Kentucky until the outcome of the play turned in UK’s favor.

      The most notable of these occurred with Carolina attacking its goal just before the four-minute mark. UNC point guard Joel Berry was unable to control a poor pass, and Wildcats forward Derek Willis reached to the floor attempting to grab the ball. Berry lifted his hand trying to gather the ball and struck Willis’ wrist. The ball deflected high in the air and was retrieved by UK center Isaac Humphries. Higgins’ whistle blew right then.”

      Officiating did have an impact in the game.



    • Le Docteur
      1:09 pm March 27, 2017 Permalink

      4everblue: You either did not read my post, have no idea what irony is, or you believe that the calls I discussed were good calls. Or perhaps all 3. Or, I guess, you actually do need to see an eye doctor.



    • bluetide
      1:42 pm March 27, 2017 Permalink

      That 1st half was the most tilted officiating I’ve seen in a long time. 20 pt blowout that don’t matter. In a 2 pt game? Of course it decides the game. I’ll never understand anyone who says reffing doesn’t decide games. Two even matched teams, and the refs tilt it, and somehow they’re not responsible? Nonsense. That’s just nonsense.



  6. Joey s
    11:17 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    Wisconsin hurt but the sucker punch was two nights later. Hopefully someone will knock off UNC to end the media slobber fest.

    I’m of the age where 3 for 33 and Rickey Blanton caused the most pain. Believed we should have won out, so crushed when we lost. Same feeling.



  7. Blue_Cat75
    11:30 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    Didn’t Tim Higgins ref the Wisconsin game in 2015? Hmmm.



  8. BluKudzu
    11:40 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    Oregon will kill UNC



  9. Kentucky Packrat
    11:42 am March 27, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t think this games ranks anywhere near the pain and suffering of the Laettner game. In that game, UK showed up and played past its potential, and pushed the best team in the nation against the wall. Duke had to roll the dice to win that game, and they just made that roll.

    This team should have lost the UNC game by 20. Even with the 8 on 5, we wilted for most of the game, and it was the second-string that kept it intact. We used up our luck to tie it up, and then the go ahead shot came from a defensive breakdown, not a lucky shot. Not nearly as painful. (You can argue timeout or no timeout until you’re blue in the face. If we take a timeout, we might have settled back down, but then you let UNC run a play. As it was, the breakdown was one-on-one, so what can you do.)

    It was less painful this time because we deserved to lose this one, and we did. We didn’t deserve to lose against Duke then, but did anyway.



  10. AmazzzingLarry
    12:34 pm March 27, 2017 Permalink

    Wisconsin is the game that will haunt me forever. We had no business getting as far as we did in the Laettner game, so in a way there was honor in going out the way that the Cats did. But we were supposed to win- destined to win- when we lost to Wisconsin in the Final Four and finished 38-1. That year the two best teams in the country were UK’s starting five and UK’s second five. I still can’t believe we lost. Now I’m depressed all over again.



  11. rlsimpson2
    1:42 pm March 27, 2017 Permalink

    No doubt this was a punch in the gut game, one that will be on the short list of heartbreaks for UK fans for decades, but nothing compares to the Laettner game. This game was between two great teams, and sure there were some bad calls, but in the end, the kid from Carolina made a great shot. In the Laettner game, you have the dynamic of UK being the big underdog, just a year off probation with mostly Kentucky kids that nobody else wanted going up against the super power team of the time with arguably the most hated athlete in college basketball history making the shot despite the fact that he shouldn’t have even been in the game because of the stomping on Timberlake incident. Both hurt, but it’s really no contest as to which is worse.



    • MAYS24
      7:41 pm March 27, 2017 Permalink

      On the Laettner shot you had no one covering the inbounds passer and if my memory serves me correct two skinny 6’9” and 6″10 guys that could jump well sat the bench. I think one was Riddick that proved to be a great shot blocker later. What is the livelihood of a perfect pass to the free throw line with one of those two covering? What about fronting Laettner with one of two that could out jump him?
      I give Laettner deserved skill at free throw line and also a very good mid range shot. I think luck maybe accounted for some of that perfect performance. Rarely do athlete’s have those kinds of nights. Bill Walton did and Jack Givens did need some luck for their non-human performances. I would have to admit Sean Woods prior shot was mostly luck.



  12. MAYS24
    6:57 pm March 27, 2017 Permalink

    These two guys made me cry! I love every single guy on this team. Fox has really climbed the David Sprague ladder. His heart and skill are up there with Shepherd, The Unforgettables, Rupp’s Runts, Delk, AD. MKG, Harden, Patterson, Grevy, Pratt, Casey, Issel, Towns, Ulis, Sparks, Sky, Jorts, Turpin, Bowie, Cauley-Stein, Wall, Cousins, Miller, Lamb, Knight and the list goes on. Young men like this make my Glory Road ultimately satisfied regardless of the forces of Evil against us. Basketball somehow becomes love!