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To Watch or Not To Watch? How to cope with the Final Four as a Kentucky fan

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If a Final Four happens and nobody in Kentucky watches, does it really count? Unfortunately, it does, but since Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday, I’ve been debating whether or not to watch this weekend’s games. By now, I’m over the loss, but there’s still some mild resentment and, yes, jealousy that Kentucky’s not a part of it all, especially given the fact that had the Cats beaten North Carolina, they probably would have won the whole damn thing. Focusing on that too long will definitely make you not want to watch, but as hardcore basketball fans, will you be able to resist the temptation to switch the channel to CBS on Saturday night? This is something I’m grappling with, so I broke down the scenarios.

Option 1: Go all in on South Carolina

The fact that South Carolina is in the Final Four and Kentucky isn’t is absurd, but if you’re looking for the easiest way to digest Saturday’s games, getting on the South Carolina bandwagon is it. Not only is there the whole “SEC brotherhood” thing (although, really, do other SEC teams cheer for Kentucky when they get to the Final Four? I doubt it.), the Gamecocks are a great story. Frank Martin is charmingly intense, possibly insane; Sindarius Thornwell is great and has a name from a bad Harry Potter fanfic; and well, who the heck expected them to get this far? Probably only Gamecock Jesus, the hippie superfan that is so beloved in Columbia that his fellow fans raised over $7,500 to send him to Phoenix to cheer on the team.

Plus, if South Carolina somehow does win it all, we can brag that the Cats beat them by 16 back in January.

Option 2: A.B.C. (Anyone But [North] Carolina)

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Honestly, this is the option I’m most likely going with. Sure, South Carolina’s story is charming, and “SEC SEC SEC,” but the only thing I care about is North Carolina not getting another title. Not only did the Tar Heels beat us, I don’t want them getting them getting their sixth national championship, which would bring them one step closer to Kentucky’s eight. Of course, this being Carolina, most Tar Heel fans would probably call it their seventh title because they count the Helms championship, which makes me want them to lose even more. We’re already destined to see the Luke Maye shot for years to come, but if the Tar Heels win it all, it will be shoved in our faces even more. And there’s the whole irony of them winning a title while being under NCAA investigation, but I doubt that will ever be mentioned on the CBS broadcast this weekend.

So, I’m going with Option 2, which could, in some cases, also be Option 1A. For a reason I can’t really express, I’d rather Gonzaga or Oregon win it all than South Carolina, but that’s probably because I want to be able to write this season off as a fluke and not listen to Gamecock fans remind us every year how they won it all that one time. I fully accept you judging me for that.

Option 3: Cheer for North Carolina

Nobody’s really going to do this, right?

Option 4: Don’t watch at all

I did a Twitter poll earlier today asking Kentucky fans if they will watch the Final Four, and the results are pretty resounding: 70% No, 30% Yes.

I have a feeling that by Saturday, I’ll have convinced myself I’m okay with watching at least the first game, South Carolina/Gonzaga, only to panic when the CBS fanfare comes on. But, pretending the Final Four doesn’t exist is probably a much more painless option. Think of all the other ways you can spend your Saturday night: checking out the new restaurant in town, seeing “Beauty & the Beast” or some other movie, reconnecting with friends and family you haven’t seen because of basketball, binging something on Netflix (I hear “13 Reasons Why” is supposed to be good), playing with your dog, laundry, drinking good beer, drinking bad beer, cleaning the gunk around the inside of your washing machine, clipping your toenails, clipping your dogs’ nails…

Okay, fine. The games are probably going to be the most entertaining thing on TV Saturday night. But, just know, you’ve got options. Which will you choose?


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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.

30 Comments for To Watch or Not To Watch? How to cope with the Final Four as a Kentucky fan



  1. Luether
    8:10 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    I’m going with A.B.C.

    I love your characterization of Frank Martin: “Charmingly intense, possibly insane”. That’s classic, Mrs TT!



  2. BBM
    9:02 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    I’m going with Gonzaga-Oregon for two reasons:
    1. Let people on the west coast have their moment (its in Phoenix after all)
    2. Want a better way to piss off the NCAA? Kill ratings. A west coast final four would likely do it.

  3. Tyler, lots of folks here in Bama tell me they root for UK in the tourney or outside of the conference in the regular season.

    As for me coping with the FF, ANYONE but UNC! Go Ducks! Quack, quack! Go South Carolina!



  4. ClutchCargo
    12:18 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Pulling for SC and Oregon. Pretty much locked in on the office pool if it plays out that way.



  5. dballrb
    1:08 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    I’m going with option A. Option B is automatic hell no.But I’ll be honest,I could use a good a$$ whooping,



  6. INCALWETRUST
    5:50 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    I’m having ELECTIVE gum surgery that weekend.



  7. wildcatmatt27
    7:20 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    I implore BBN to not watch to hurt the ratings to make the NCAA see the light about proper seeding.



  8. Wah Wah
    7:22 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Going with the winner of Gamecocks and Zags.



  9. RealCatsFan
    7:35 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Any game that UNC is in should be boycotted by BBN. Those cheating bastards should serve a five year ban from the tournament. Besides, why put yourself through that when you know it is all but predetermined by the refs.



  10. henderblue
    7:44 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    It will be Gonzaga and North Carolina in the title game bank on it. It’s what the NCAA wants. No way they will let South Carolina play the hand to hand combat style of defense that they have played to get to the Final four. Like Arkansas, Oregon will give Carolina all they want, but CBS/NCAA will steal it from them to put Carolina in the title game. Go Zags!!



  11. runningunnin.454
    7:56 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    I’ll go with the Gamecocks, SEC loyalty and all; plus it’s a great story. However, I’m hearing Thornwell is sick and missed practices.
    After that I’ll take the Zags, then the Ducks.
    But why do I feel this whole tournament has be choreographed like a Broadway play?



  12. Sentient Third Eye
    8:12 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    South Carolina’s success elevates the profile of the SEC, and that helps Kentucky in the long run. Go Cocks!



    • runningunnin.454
      8:34 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

      That’s true; and, I don’t think the Gamecocks could throw it in our faces; we have 8 titles.
      Hell, they can’t even throw football in our faces lately.
      SEC
      Go Cocks!



    • Sentient Third Eye
      9:32 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

      Another reason I want to root for South Carolina is because Frank Martin is so quick to brag on the SEC as a whole (After Cal, he’s the league’s best cheerleader).



  13. symphonist41169
    8:19 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Had the refs not gift-wrapped the UNC win on Sunday and all things being equal and impartial, Kentucky wins #9. But even if we had somehow won the 8 on 5 matchup Sunday, there’s no way the NCAA lets us win the championship. The “1st title in 89 years” narrative would have thrown the semi-final game to Oregon. If we had somehow managed to win the 8 on 5 matchup with Oregon there’s no way in hell they’d let us beat Gonzaga in the Final after years and years of slobbering all over how great they are and how great a coach and person Mark Few is (which is why USC won’t/can’t win on Saturday). This Final Four has been pre-scripted since last April when Villanova hit that last-second shot to beat the Heels and anybody who can’t see that hasn’t been watching college basketball very long. I’ll be rooting as hard as I can for the Gamecocks, but if what I think is going to happen happens, I won’t be watching Monday night. Who’ll win between Gonzaga and UNC/Oregon? Gotta plead ignorance and apathy: don’t know and don’t care.



  14. Rixter
    8:46 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Watching the Final Four at this point is like going to your ex-girlfriend’s wedding. That ship has sailed, what’s the point.



  15. Mathlete
    8:58 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    What Final Four? There’s no more basketball this season. #fakefinalfour



  16. boky
    8:59 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Final Four? I have extreme difficulty watching any game, that doesn’t involve the CATS!



  17. clarkmysterblue
    9:30 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Considering I have Dish and no CBS it will make it a lot easier not to watch.



  18. sp
    9:52 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    If UK Fans really want to get back at the NCAA for rigging the game against UNC, the easiest and most effective way will be to not watch the final four. Everyone knows we move the ratings needle. That’s why media talking heads keep poking at us. Don’t watch the tournament, let it get a 1 or 2 rating, and laugh at their short sightedness.



  19. 4everblue
    10:12 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Should have been one more choice….Go all in with SC or anyone but UNC and not watch….I may be the only one.



  20. ukbradstith
    11:25 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    I’m watching because I love college bball. You’re not teaching the NCAA anything by not watching. They want uk in the final four because it equals ratings and big bucks, just like they want duke in it as well. Some of our fans still crying about seeding is ridiculous. We got the top 2 seed, and played the third overall 1 seed. We got bad calls in the first half, but we still had a 5 point lead toward the end of the second. It’s time for this small majority of fans to grow up and stop crying lol me first graders.



    • CatBlue in LR
      12:52 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

      Got to agree with this. I’m a little surprised at the results of Tyler’s poll because when it comes to college basketball, we as Kentucky fans are more than just the fans of one team. This is our game. We’ve been engaged with this game and following it closely since the ’30s (well, not us individually, but as a fan base historically). We are “keepers of the flame” to some degree. Some of you guys sound like everybody around here (Arkansas). They call themselves basketball fans, but they really aren’t interested at all if the Hogs aren’t in it. They’re talking almost exclusively about spring football and a little college baseball on sports radio shows now, even in the biggest week of the year for college basketball. Drives me crazy.

      We’re not like that. We care about the game. Yes, we care most passionately about our team, and — don’t get me wrong — the Final Four is infinitely more fun when the ‘Cats are there. But we also care about the game overall. Year-in and year-out the top television markets for college b-ball ratings are always led by Louisville with Lexington not far behind.

      As for me, I’ll take Option # 2 — anybody but the Heels. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion they’re going to take it, or that we would have if we had gotten past them. Oregon has a great shot against them and would have been very formidable for us, too. I could see Oregon winning it all. Not saying they will or should be favored. I understand why UNC is favored, I just don’t think it’ll necessarily be any easier for them than it was against us last week.



  21. boots45
    11:47 am March 31, 2017 Permalink

    I absolutely want UNC to blow everyone out…then we say we had the champ on the ropes and they hit a last second shot to beat us.



    • 4everblue
      3:09 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

      Screw that! UNC is third in all time wins and a title would give them 6. No damn way I want them to win anything! We had a veteran team thought by many to be the best ready for the taking. it does nothing to say we had the champs on the ropes.



  22. ziplock
    12:49 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Read “The Fix Is In” by Brian Tuohy that explains the bad referees



  23. CatBlue in LR
    1:00 pm March 31, 2017 Permalink

    Now that you mention it, TT, my toenails do need clipping, but I won’t let that keep me from watching the Final Four. I’ll watch and clip at the same time!

    Happy to share…



  24. pcooper
    5:29 pm April 2, 2017 Permalink