Nervous after the Miami game? Worried because another 3pt shooter rolled into Rupp and blasted away at the Cats? Think we may be expecting too much? Well, get prepared, because this is going to be a season-long NCAA Tournament. March Madness begins earlier and earlier every year. This year it started in June.
Watched some comments about the Miami game on ASOB and a lot of other websites the last couple of days and got to wondering if some of us ARE really as nuts as our critics think we are. But that's no more true than us being a group of illiterate rednecks. What has happened is that teams have figured out that they have to start playing for March from game one. We have been going crazy ever since John Calipari's arrival, but we really hit fever pitch when this incredible recruiting class started inking letters and donning Wildcats merchandise. Over the last two days, we were tested sternly by Miami of Ohio, Kansas got a good case of comeuppance from an unranked Memphis team which was supposed to be decimated by the departure of our beloved John Calipari, and a group of unknowns at Gonzaga made a hard run at Michigan State. No one is going to be immune to this. There won't be anymore undefeated teams for an entire season, because the talent levels have risen in all areas of college basketball. Every team, no matter how low on the rankings chart , is going to show up with their shoes laced tight and their A-game for us, as well as everyone else. Even a completely dilapidated squad at Arkansas pushed Louisville for a half. One player like a Rotnei Clarke, or that young man from Miami can get hot and make your life as a coach miserable. As fans we might as well get used to the idea that no one is going to sluogh off when we show up. The Charlie Coles press conference was hilarious, as he was quite entertaining at pointing out that his team should have never been in that game. Unfortunately for Charlie, most of us were smart enough to see that John Wall has to learn where he can and where he cannot go with a basketball, and where he goes.....we go.
We played a very inspired second half Monday night, but more than that, we played a very determined second half, and that is what it will take to get through this non-stop tournament environment all year long. Are we going to see more really hot shooters? You Bet. They have them at almost every school now. They may be someone we keep on our radar, or they may be complete unknowns. But we have to play them, and play them all with that determination that Demarcus, John, Patrick, Eric, and Co. showed. And yes, Coach Cal is going to have fun with us as fans this year, and every year by toying with us about who he knows we can beat and who he doesn't. Truth is he knows we are capable of beating anyone, but anymore everyone is capable of beating anyone. Just ask Jarvis Vanardo and Mississippi State, I guarantee someone on that team took Rider for granted. Could have been the Coach, could have been a player. But make no mistake, they are all going to come out of the woodowork this year, hoping to get a shot a the title, and we don't even have it yet. We became complacent about teams the last few years, and thought that the WILDCATS written across our jerseys would intimidate them. When that didnt happen, we claimed it was inferior talent, or inferior coaching, and maybe it was. But putting that fear back into teams is not going to be easy, and it will take time. So enjoy this circus atmosphere this year, because it will be there every game, mostly because all of the questions have not yet been answered, and partly because well, to be honest, we haven't seen it in a while. This may very well turn out to be a 38-40 game tournament. Luckily for us it isnt single elimination until March and April.