Well folks, today is the day. It’s been a great week counting down with you in various ways the days until Kentucky’s Final Four game against Wisconsin, but alas it is upon us. As Matt said yesterday, this is a team we will only experience once in a lifetime and regardless of the outcome of tonight’s events, it’s been an incredible run and no one can take that away from this team or you, the fans. So without further ado I bring you the final part of our countdown and the one thing that is standing between this Kentucky team and perfection…themselves.
As simple as it sounds, it’s the truth. This Kentucky team has proven 38 times that they can not only play the game of basketball, but they can WIN the game of basketball. At this point the only thing that is going to stop them from winning it all is whether or not they can conquer themselves. The Cats need to harness all of their fears and worries they may have about this Wisconsin team or all of the pressure that is being put on them to go undefeated and win a 9th National Title, and use it to fuel their need for perfection.
With two games to go in Kentucky’s journey to a 40-0 season there’s not much else we can say. I could analyze some more statistics for you or dig through the history of Kentucky’s ability to win against another 1 seed in the Final Four, but none of that is what is truly going to get these guys to glory. Each player is going to have to conquer themselves and not get frustrated at the little things, but turn those into big plays in the Cats’ favor.
Dakari Johnson and Karl-Anthony Towns can’t make dumb fouls out of frustration; Devin Booker has to keep shooting even if he’s having an off-night; the Harrisons need to keep team morale up even if things are seeming bleak; Alex Poythress has to be a strong bench presence for his brothers; and Coach Cal must, at all costs, keep his swag.
Teams have thrown everything at this Kentucky team. While some were very close to knocking them off, time after time these guys rallied together and showed their incredible will to win. So it’s not what the opponent is going to do that will stand in Kentucky’s way of perfection, but what the Cats do and how they react in this high stress situation.
In a game where they’ve got everything to lose, the Cats can only stand in the way of themselves. Here’s to trusting that they will play the game they have all season and bring home another W. Here’s to the 2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats. Here’s to the pursuit of perfection.
If you need to distract yourself from thinking about tonight’s match against the Wisconsin Badgers, feel free to look back at this week’s countdown to the Final Four posts. And don’t forget to breathe.