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Five Immediate Thoughts After Heartbreak

The KSR #DriveFor9 vehicle is going back to Lexington, unfortunately, but let’s talk about that game real quick before we do.

Five quick, unfiltered thoughts from the scene of the crime…


1. Luke Maye is a name we will never forget. He’s not quite Christian Laettner, but Luke Maye carved himself a spot among the biggest villains in UK basketball history. The star of the game and Wildcat killer scored a career-high 17 points and hit the one that mattered the most to end UK’s season. Many of you on Twitter are reminding me that he is my twin brother, and I can tell you I will never be able to look in the mirror at this ugly bearded face again.

2. Malik Monk did nothing, then almost played hero. If not for Maye’s game-winner, we could be talking about the two incredible three-pointers Malik Monk hit in the final minute of the game to keep his team alive. Sadly he didn’t do much of anything in the 39 minutes before he led the comeback, but it was almost a magical performance in the end. We’re going to miss that guy.

3. Kentucky needed more scoring from De’Aaron Fox. After scoring 39 points and abusing Lonzo Ball, Fox’s performance underwhelmed against North Carolina. He finished the game at 5-for-14 from the field and never really got into attack mode, which is what Kentucky needed to pull this one off. This whole tournament run was in Fox’s hands, and he didn’t do enough offensively to punch the ticket to Phoenix.

4. The officiating was trash. Before I elaborate, please know I am not blaming the outcome on the whistle. But the officiating was objectively horrible and I never want to see John Higgins call a Kentucky game again. He was trending nationally on Twitter during the game and I hate him. I hated him when he called the Wisconsin game and I hate him even more today.

5. This is hard to swallow. It’s a sad time in Big Blue Nation. This team was the hottest in the tournament and peaking at the right time, and we all had eyes on that ninth title. Season-ending losses are never easy, but this one hurts more than most with what we believed was ahead.

Hang in there, BBN.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

47 Comments for Five Immediate Thoughts After Heartbreak

  1. Luether
    7:58 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Luke Maye is at best a very average college basketball player. Our defense turned him into a star today…

    • blackmilk23
      8:01 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      FOR ONCE we agree. Luke Maye torched Willis. Humphries played him well AND was scoring. No sure we we went away from that after taking the lead up 5.

    • WeareBBN
      8:13 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      No D Willis made him a star. Why was Willis even in the game? When Willis went down I said now we have a chance, but no he came back just in time to give up big baskets down the stretch, that is what he does best. I know he got some block last few games, but most were becasue he as beat badly and long arms got the block, they also get the fouls.

    • AndTheDevil
      8:24 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Most fans apparently selectively watched the last play. Willis wasn’t on the last shot because he had to stop the penetration of Fox’s man. If it was anyone’s responsibility it was Briscoe’s who was trailing the play.

    • syrin23
      10:14 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Monk gave up a TON of open lay ups and drives, and fouled on a three point shot. Monk was a non-factor until the very end was the game was basically decided. Missed a clutch free throw. The dude used the post season to low his draft status.

  2. ScoggDog
    8:00 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    So – you can’t blame the outcome on the officiating ?

    Even if two teams play even – and the officals tilt it the smallest of slightly one way ?

    Horse. Shit.

    • bluetide
      9:27 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      AMEN AND AMEN!!!

    • syrin23
      10:15 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Especially when the officiating takes you four most important players out of the game for a full 10 minutes.

  3. roundball fool
    8:01 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Fox did not let us down. That’s garbage talk. NC had a solid game plan and Fox did his best.

    • 4everblue
      8:12 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      I agree with roundball to say Fox let us down and Monk did nothing is totally ridiculous! Now I remember why I don’t like about Drew, Drew is a fair weather fan just like many on this site, big fan when all is going well and shit talk when it’s not. Those boys all played their hearts out, they scratched and clawed and fought. Like it or not UNC played swarming defense on Fox and Monk and with the help of the Refs not calling jack on UNC, took us out of the game. So Drew you should apologize immediately to those boys in person, you and AGSlater are two of the worst fans on this site, unfortunately you work for KSR. I dare say this kind of writing doesn’t happen on a Duke site or a UofL site.

    • WeareBBN
      8:21 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Agree, Fox did well. Monk was lost most of the game. But that is what can, and usually does at some point, happen to freshman on big stages. The zone switch and lack of a counter lost us the game. We were up 5 and rolling, timeout UNC, their coach did his job. Boom 12-0 run while our $8 million, who had 3 timeouts left, watched it happen to some confused young players. Not their fault, loved the fire from the guys, did show me they cared about UK and this did mean something to them. I have wondered about that this year but they proved me wrong there. Even Monk, not playing well on O or D still made big shots to give us a chance, too bad he could not make up for “no D” Willis and guard a guy that averaged 6 points this year.

    • syrin23
      10:16 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Bam let me down. The guy has hands of stone. I cannot count how many times he had the ball slapped away or stripped or had his fingers on the ball and couldn’t bring it in.

  4. The Frizz
    8:05 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    John Higgins officiated six UK NCAA Tournament games. We are 2-4 in those games.
    2 OT game against Michigan State in 2005, UCon in 2011, Wisconsin in 2015, and now this gem. Great call by Higgins on Bam’s “goaltending”.

  5. UK Maine-iac
    8:06 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Nice big dump you took on Fox, Drew. Sometimes I think you’re a UL fan in disguise.

  6. scottg74
    8:06 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Letting Mulder jack up shots that Hawk should have been taking.

    • syrin23
      10:17 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah Mulder was trash. He had open looks too.

  7. DT in DC
    8:07 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    I know I’ll get flamed for this, but man I’d really like a few solid multi-year players to go with our one and dones. Hopefully Hump, Killeya-Jones, Gabriel, and Wynyard will stick around next year and give us some experience. I also really need a Championship next year. 5 years now with the top recruiting classes without a Championship. Sigh.

  8. sram
    8:08 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Let us down?

    GFYS Drew….

    Is your mother let down by what a lush you are!

  9. kentucky25
    8:08 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Come on man, Fox let us down? You really need to think before you post something ridiculous like that. The only reason we were even in this position was because of him. Look at the video just posted where he is crying his eyes out because his Kentucky career is over, and that’s the kid that let us down? He may have let you down, but he didn’t let me down. It’s one thing if you want to say he didn’t play his best game, but let us down? That’s a garbage thing to say. Go cats.

    • CATandMONKEY
      8:20 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      No better words here.

  10. ScoggDog
    8:09 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Again … and I’ll say this until I’m out of breath …

    … how damn nice of Cal to run over and shake ol’ Roy’s hand at the end.

    And I’m sure he’ll have a mouth full of words during the NBA draft.

  11. 3 fan
    8:13 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Uh Bam sucked. He was a big pus inside getting balls knocked away and weak shots. He killed us with Monk

    • syrin23
      10:18 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Yep, I blame those two the most. Throwing the ball into the post to Bam was basically a TO in the first half, Monk played virtually no D, took some terrible shots and was a non-factor until the end.

  12. kentucky25
    8:13 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    I see you already went back and changed your awful headline because you were getting torched for it. That’s something a bandwagon fan would say. You must have missed the rest of the tournament.

  13. dcforuk
    8:16 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Thank you for the blog. I enjoy reading regularly. That was a great ball game. I hated the ending but it was an awesome and fun game. I watched it with my four kids and 6 neighborhood kids. We said when it was 6 mins left that if Monk could hit two threes we would win. We were wrong. But, they played great! I thank the team for the excitement this tourney. Fox DID NOT let us down. He played with heart and passion and performed. It was a rugged game against a great team. Let’s be disappointed but let’s be thankful for a team that never quit. A team that fought. A team that set an example for us fans about brotherhood and playing for each other. Thank you Monk! Thank you Bam! Thank you Fox! Thank you Dom and Derek and Michael and Wenyen and Briscoe! How bout Isaac! Good stuff!

  14. CATandMONKEY
    8:17 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Uh..Willis and especially Mulder are in the game for mostly one reason…hit 3 point shots. They underperformed under any circumstances.
    Willis made a few ok shots but by any measure he didn’t play close to his potential.

  15. CATandMONKEY
    8:19 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Sorry Drew. Agree with the others. This loss ain’t(sic) on Fox.

  16. UK Maine-iac
    8:20 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    I’m starting to think Drew is the fairweather fan. That goes good with the drunken, frat-boy shtick, even though he’s damn near thirty.

    • 4everblue
      8:25 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      Yep time to let the whole Frat thing go Drew and grow up, you’re not THAT cool!

  17. 4everblue
    8:20 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Drew you really disgust me, you really should have thought long and hard before you hit send on this one! You should work for the Herald Leader, they need another negative writer.

  18. henderblue
    8:21 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Well said comment #9. #11 you are an idiot. Obvious troll. First half officiating was horrible. Second half was some better. They made the play at the end of the game. Give em credit. It was a great run. I won’t forget the win over UCLA. Hope those kids have great careers in the NBA. Monk, Fox, and Briscoe gave us many wonderful memories

    • 4everblue
      8:27 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      3 fan IS and idiot but he is one of several on here, unfortunately one works for this site.

  19. dcforuk
    8:24 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Thank you for changing the description for Fox. Preventive controls are best but timely detective and corrective controls are good, too. I appreciate your willingness to change that.

  20. EdC
    8:27 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    How is Maye a villian? Was he not supposed to want to win or try to win for his team? He didn’t stomp on anybody’s chest. As a matter of fact I thought UNC was one of the classiest opponents we have played this year. There was no trash talk, dirty play, respect shown. Perfect gentlemen from top to bottom from what I saw.

  21. EdC
    8:31 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Also as everyone else has said, blaming this on Fox is like a welfare recipient telling you that you aren’t helping them the right way.

    Seriously he is supposed to just be Superman every single night? 4 rebounds, 3:1 assist to turnover ratio. He wasn’t shooting well but to you he should just be a ball hog and keep trying even if someone like Humpries is shooting well?

  22. thelexcat
    8:32 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    All I know is #GOCOCKS, #GODUCKS, #GOZAGS.

  23. maximumscott
    8:34 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Officiating was even in 2nd half, but tilted in the 1st. Fox played only 8 minutes first half. Why not mention that as to why he couldnt do more?!?!?

  24. chris43
    8:38 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Hard to play 5 on 8….

  25. Kyblue34
    8:42 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Who cares about Maye? It wasn’t Maye or any UNC player that beat us today, and everyone knows it.

  26. sweet wm
    8:44 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    I maybe wrong, BUT…NC player in 1st half dunked the ball, he missed and it was coming out. However he hung on the rim, thus shook the ball in. Tell me why no call, I don’t understand.

  27. npaflas
    8:47 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Maybe Calipari just isn’t that good. We panic in big games, and his only title was when we had AD. Also, having all these fresman doesnt seem to help.

    Also, UK sucks. Go Hoosiers.

    • EdC
      8:55 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      LOL ahhh the Hoosiers. Begging like children for relevance since 2000.

  28. Catlogic15
    8:51 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    So you’re going to blame Monk and say Fox “underwhelmed”.
    Cheap shot gambling boy.

  29. loosey101
    8:53 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    The fact of the matter is this, we had a chance to really seize #9 and came up short AGAIN. Nothing against UNC, hell, they played great, had a great game plan and barely pulled it out. I honestly thought we were going to OT when Monk hit that three, but the basketball Gods say nay. Now, let’s dissect why this hurts so much.

    – Has any other team had as many heartbreaking, head scratching losses in the last six years? I know we could have it a lot worse, but our coach is being paid 8 mil a year. 2013: NIT buzzer beater. 2014: Loss in the national championship to UCONN. 2015 Unfreakingdefeated and lose to Wisconsin in the final four. 2016: Lose to IU 2017: When everything is falling our way in the tournament, we lose on a buzzer beater to UNC in the elite eight.

    – Our inability to make late game adjustments and free throws really hurts. We NEED an athletic 4, something akin to Terrance Jones or Trey Lyles. Willis was good at shooting threes, but it seems like this has been an area of weakness the last couple years.

    – Cal needs to start to go after guys that will stay three to four years. Time after time youth catches UK in the tourney. I honestly view Humphries great game as an F you to cal, as it sounds like he may be transferring. I LOVE the freshman we’ve brought in, but the numbers do the talking. Inability to deliver in the tourney when push comes to shove.

    – If the selection committee continues to make decisions based on geography, we will continue to most likely be matched in the toughest brackets.

    I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s another year with a disappointing exit. If Kentucky expects to win another championship in the coming 2-3 years, Cal needs to make some adjustments in all facets.

    • CATandMONKEY
      9:24 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

      We have 8 players that contribute that are NOT one-and-done. Cal has PLENTY of multi-year players.
      If you wish go return to the days when our best player was top 50, ie PPat ( he was much better than that) then PLEASE bring back Billy G and the last 2 years of Tubby because THAT is EXACTLY what you are asking for.
      Brilliant plan. /S

  30. Joealex3
    9:27 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    Am I smoking crack or did Jackson not foul Monk on his last three point attempt? Monk should have been to the free throw line for a four-point play and that would have given time for Kentucky to set up a defense.

  31. sweet wm
    10:13 pm March 26, 2017 Permalink

    When you grab the rim and shake the rim after a missed dunk and make the ball fall in, does it still count? NC did it in the 1st half.