Now before you jump through your computer screen and strangle me, let me explain.
I love Kentucky basketball just as much as the next person. Kentucky basketball runs so deep through these veins of mine that I consider it to be my main support system in hurdling these New York City winters.
All of this being said, I sense that the excitement surrounding this 2016 Kentucky basketball season is lacking. Remember the buzz in Lexington prior to the 2009 and 2011 seasons? Remember the tent overflow of Stoll Field?
Matt, Ryan, and Shannon raised a good question on the show yesterday. Knowing that #tentcity wasn’t an overcrowded, Kentucky-basketball-love-fest that we have become so accustomed to, has Kentucky basketball lost its thrill? Have we become so spoiled with year-after-year of greatness that we are now numb to it? This got me thinking. So I took to twitter to see what BBN was saying on the matter.
Football season has the overall fanbase down:
— Tom (@KyTomCat) September 30, 2016
@KySportsRadio I'll be honest, I've had to scale back my fandem because of all the media's negativity surrounding the football team.
— Chris Fannin (@wdkaatfan) September 30, 2016
@KySportsRadio I'm not complaining and wouldn't trade the one and done guys for the alternative. Familiarity builds bonds though.
— Benjamin Riggs (@bpriggs) September 30, 2016
@KySportsRadio Don't you think having to get to know a new group of players every year has anything to do with the lack of interest?
— Mark (@wildcatchek) September 30, 2016
BBM Camping restrictions:
@KySportsRadio when you start putting a bunch of rules and regulations on things…they die. That's what is happening to the campout.
— Anthony Wireman (@awireman) September 30, 2016
@KySportsRadio UK made such a big deal about not camping in the wrong areas and restricted it too much Once the rules go too far, it's done
— JP (@bsuphi644) September 30, 2016
— Kentucky Sock Monkey (@BBNSockMonkey) September 30, 2016
@KySportsRadio This may be a small portion of the BBN, but some people still haven't gotten over the 2015 Wisconsin loss
— Brandon Standifer (@stantheman_10) September 30, 2016
@KySportsRadio We've gotten accustomed to having the best talent. We want titles & we're not going to get that. Duke will probably win again
— Jim Mike Williams (@JimMikeCPA) September 30, 2016
— Nick Bowman (@3_goggles) September 30, 2016
@KySportsRadio the reason the campout is slim this year is because the basketball courts are gone.
— Dirty Ness (@Dirty_Ness) September 30, 2016
@kysportsradio I think part of the problem w/ the fans is that the election is sucking up all the oxygen
— Jake Tribble (@jaketribb) September 30, 2016
For me, the lack of excitement is simple. I am not over the Wisconsin loss. Perhaps because it is still fresh in my memory, the nagging Wisconsin hangover just Won’t. Go. Away.
You hate Duke. I hate Duke. For once, I feel threatened going into a season. Duke is going to be so good and there’s nothing we can do about it. The sheer thought of Duke sitting atop the College Basketball rankings makes me sick. Sue me!
While recent postseason play by Kentucky has left us with feelings of emptiness and the looming question of “what if?”, I have to remind myself how difficult it truly is to win a College Basketball National championship.
When was the last time the favorite, or even the second favorite, won the NCAA title? You would have to go all the way back to 2012 and our beloved Wildcats. The agony of a 68-team bracket where the champion has to win six-straight games makes March a casual basketball fan’s dream, but a Kentucky fan’s nightmare. They don’t call it March Madness for nothing.
Look around at other sports. The best team in College Football typically wins the title every year. The best-out-of-seven-game playoff format helps to ensure that the best team wins the NBA, NHL, and MLB titles more often than not. The NFL is a bit different where the top four teams tend to make their AFC and NFC championships. Once you get to the SuperBowl, however, it’s anyone’s game.
Sure, as Kentucky fans we expect to win the National Championship every year. This is how you and I like it. Regardless of the obstacles the month of March throws at us, like Cal says, “We are college basketball.”
Readers of KSR, BBN: what do you think of this matter? Why do you feel that the fanbase has been less enthusiastic leading into the 2016 season? Unleash your comments and opinions in the comment section.
Follow me @colleenwag_KSR