For the first time since 1961, Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina are all not ranked. Smile about that a little bit. 2020 and 2021 so far have served up some wild stuff, but that sentence almost redeems it. Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina are all not ranked.
Duke and their fraternal twin UNC struggling is amusing. Down in the Tobacco Belt they envisage themselves as some sort of basketballing elite while existing either on recruiting cookie cutter annoying guys (Duke) or recruiting guys that don’t bother with attending class (UNC). In short, they are the emperor sans clothes. Their rivalry is that of frat bros seeing who can chug the most White Claws. It is a thin facade of the real thing. Despite all that they somehow manage to not be the most overblown fanbases in the nation.
That honor goes to Kentucky fans. They are quick to tell you about their national championships and all time record without mentioning that half of the championships and a lot of the wins came when they were a racist organization coached by a virulent racist who had to be told to integrate and wouldn’t speak directly to the first black players he coached. UK now proudly plays in a building named for that guy. How that hasn’t changed in today’s climate is genuinely mind-boggling. None of this matters to the average mouth breathing UK fan.
If vestiges of racism aren’t enough to make Kentucky deplorable, there is always their coach. This season John Calipari berated and then suspended a player for what he considered conduct detrimental to the team. That conduct? A couple of tears shed after not getting into the game. If that makes it sound like Calipari stood over and screamed at a crying 18 year old who was just upset he hadn’t gotten in the game, that’s because that’s exactly what happened. Calipari then essentially threw him off the team. UK fans backed their man, despite the fact it was Calipari’s broken promises about playing time that had so upset Cam’ron Fletcher.
That’s hardly the only sketchy thing that Calipari has been involved in. Every Final Four he made before coming to UK has been vacated because of either paying players or outright cheating to get them eligible. To think the same won’t come out involving UK is head in the sand thinking of the very highest level. Indeed, Calipari and UK have been implicated in the ever ongoing FBI report that is still making its way through the game. Do UK fans care? Of course not, and they will have an almighty whine when the banners come down.
So yes, it is greatly amusing to watch Kentucky stagger to 4-9. Cam’ron Fletcher is still not playing, Calipari is still crying at every ref like a fatter Jim Boeheim, and the teams fans are still making excuses about how this isn’t the fault of their beloved program. Every time it comes home to roost for UK it is funny. This season is no different.