Kentucky beat Mega Bemax 100-64 a few weeks ago in the Bahamas. Today, the Michigan Wolverines, last year’s runner-up for the national championship, lost to the same Serbian squad 81-73 in Spain.
To be fair, Michigan lost a lot of key players (including first round pick Moritz Wagner) and is really young, blah blah, but they still have Charles Matthews, the Most Outstanding Player in the West Region last year, Jordan Poole, and talented freshmen Iggy Brazdeikis. The Wolverines were actually down double digits for a good part of the game, but rallied to cut Mega Bemax’s lead to three in the final minutes; however, it just wasn’t enough. Stefan Fundic and his merry band of hot pink warriors got the win, maybe making up just a little bit for the beatdown in the Bahamas.
On the latest episode of his podcast with Seth Greenberg, Dan Dakich said what impressed him most about Kentucky was how they rose to the challenge vs. Mega Bemax.
“I thought [Kentucky] was really good. I thought the team showed, almost in one game, midseason form. They will play worse than they played against the Serbian team or a collection of different guys under the banner of the Serbian team, that were really good and trying to physically intimidate them. Seth, the most impressive thing I saw was a bunch of big strong pros trying to intimidate the Wildcats and the Wildcats said, ‘Nay, nay, nanook, we’re gonna come right back at you, we’re gonna punch you in the mouth,’ and truthfully, they intimidated them. I thought it was a great trip and John Calipari after that game was giddy about his team’s toughness.”
“They were not having it, and you saw it,” Dakich said of Kentucky. “They knew going into one game that this was going to be the biggest test, the strongest team, and there was one dude, [Stefan Fundic] — and you can make his name into a very vulgar saying if you’d like — he was trying to hurt folks, but hey, they fought right back. It’s going to be a good year in the Big Blue Nation. I don’t think they’re going undefeated, but I think they’re going to have a hell of a run here.”
Let’s look back on that game, shall we?