In a crazy NCAA tournament, Kentucky basketball is going to do something crazy on Sunday

If that’s the madness you’re after, the NCAA Tournament does the trick.

Especially this year.

On Thursday, there was 15th-ranked Princeton, coached by Mitch Henderson, who attended Lexington’s Tates Creek Middle School, upsetting the Pac-12 champion and No. 2 seeds Arizona 59-55.

On Friday, 16th-ranked Fairleigh Dickinson, coached by Tobin Anderson, whose wife, Jodi Caligiri-Anderson, graduated from Lafayette High School in Lexington, was there, angering the Big Ten Tournament champion and No. 1 Bordeaux seed 63-58.

“Can someone watch my dog?” Jodi Anderson asked on social media.

Which brings us to the week leading up to the tournament. Kentucky had just suffered a disappointing loss to Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Nashville. During the post-match press conference, UK manager John Calipari said he needed to get his team on a roller coaster in a “let’s go do something crazy” mentality.

Friday night the cats completed step 1. Oscar Chibuy Catch 25 rebounds. Antonio Reeves scored 22 points. If not. 6 seeds in the eastern region, Kentucky not postponed. 11 stubs, Providence, 61-53 This is Big Dance’s first win since 2019.

Sunday introduces the second step. It’s a second round of War of the Wildcats at 2:40 p.m. on CBS. The Kansas State Wildcats eliminated Montana 77-65 In game two Friday night at the Greensboro Coliseum. Coached by former Baylor assistant coach Jerome Tang, the Manhattan Wildcats are 24-9. They are the district number. 3 seeds.

What are you saying? no. 6 hit seed no. 3 Seeds isn’t all that crazy. Certainly not in this NCAA Tournament. It happens all the time. And this is Kentucky, after all. The greatest tradition in the history of college basketball. National titles: eight. Big Blue Nation’s annual dreams of hope always extend far beyond a mere Sweet 16 dock. To infinity and beyond.

This year is different. This is not the perfect Kentucky basketball team. Lost 11 matches. Lost four matches at home. It lost to South Carolina and Georgia, two of the bottom four finishers in basketball this season. Losing to Vanderbilt twice in the space of 10 days. Every time we thought we knew this team, he showed us a different one. Sometimes that was fine. Sometimes it wasn’t.

It wasn’t long ago when the Kentucky crowd worried their loved ones would even make it to the NCAA tournament, let alone win a couple of games to earn their ticket to a regional semifinal game in New York on Thursday night.

you may get. She says here it will happen.

On paper, the difference between the UK and K-State is pretty thin. Kansas State ranks 23rd in Ken Pomeroy reviews. Kentucky is 24th. UK is 16th in offensive efficiency. Kansas State is 20th in defensive efficiency. The Kansas State Conference, the Big 12, has been the best in the country this season. Kentucky’s strength (offensive rebounding) is twice as strong as Kansas State’s (defensive rebounding).

Kentucky coach John Calipari called out to his players during their first-round NCAA Tournament game against Providence at Greensboro Coliseum on Friday.

Two factors swing the UK’s way.

During a Friday night period when the Cats were playing well, the Colosseum erupted in cheers of “Go Big Blue!” These weren’t cross-fingered cheers. Or you can do that cheers. These were the soulful “We’re Kentucky and you’re not” kind of cheers we haven’t heard at an NCAA tournament game in a long time. There was just something about those cheers.

Then there are the players themselves. You know, the most important factor. They were locked up. Chipui carried the “refuse to lose” stance he spoke about Thursday during the UK’s media session on the ground on Friday. So did Jacob Tobin. and Antonio Reeves. and Jason Wallace. and Chris Livingston.

Kentucky played hard Friday night. around as much as you can play. To be sure, execution didn’t always exist. Calipari will certainly have to shoot better than their 25 percent shot in the second half against Providence to defeat Kansas State. But on Friday the cats played as they wanted, as if they had to have it.

If Kentucky plays just as hard and hard on Sunday, especially on the defensive end, it will find itself at Madison Square Garden come Thursday night.

How crazy is that?

Three Takeaways of the NCAA Basketball Tournament Kentucky beat Providence

The NCAA tournament is down to 32 teams. What are the odds of Kentucky making a deep run?

First Scouting Report: Kansas State’s star power now stands between the UK and the Sweet 16

Three NCAA coaches have gone to the same Lexington school. Just one big surprise pull.

Don’t forget Oscar Chebuy. He remains key to Kentucky’s NCAA basketball chances.

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