Welcome to the new season, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation! Darn happy to be here, and so are you. For the first time in a long time, I get to write a celebration article without having to equivocate or explain. You saw it. You know it. You love it. For perhaps the first time this season, Kentucky showed us what we've been hoping to see all year. About. Freaking. Time.
Look, I don't know, and neither do you, if this is the last time we'll see this kind of game from the Wildcats. Quite honestly, given the season so far, it could be. Having said that, I must say that I almost don't care. Just getting to see it once was absolutely wonderful, and it tells me that whatever the "tweak" was that Calipari made (I'm confident it was all about the passing in the lane), it made this Kentucky offense look more like a genuine team than a group of guys trying to raise their draft stock.
For LSU, I feel bad that they wound up in our bracket. Look, I'm never going to cheer for a team against my own, but I think Johnny Jones is an outstanding coach, and LSU is an outstanding team. I think beating them like this makes a statement, one that I absolutely did not expect, but nonetheless welcome. I hope they get chosen for the NCAA Tournament, but if not, I think they have a fine shot at winning the NIT. Good luck to the Tigers in the post season, they are a fine basketball team. They just ran into a buzz saw tonight.
Final box score from UK-LSU: pic.twitter.com/YK8of2D1Xo— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) March 15, 2014
I cannot even explain to you how happy I am to be able to write an unequivocal celebration post. I really cannot explain it. It has been so long, literally since the Louisville game. Having to write lament after lament has been difficult on your humble correspondent, especially considering his pre-season hopes.
Kentucky played the best basketball, by far, of this season. It isn't even close. Considering the quality of the competition, and I happen to think LSU is very high quality, this was doubtless their best game of the season.
Forget how they played — this was the first time the fans can actually celebrate without having a bunch of "damning buts" in their conversation. This was a pure, unadulterated butt-whooping of a very good basketball team, one that most pundits figured would give Kentucky all they wanted.
This was team basketball, on both ends of the court. Even if this is the only time it happens all year, I feel so much better having seen it once. No, it's not enough, but a man dying of thirst in the desert would treat one glass of water like it was the last one he'll get.
If, and this is a big if, Kentucky can continue this kind of play, they are a serious threat to get to the last weekend. Against a Kentucky team playing like this, few teams will prevail. Having said that, we know that every game is unlikely to be like this. Can they win the ones where they don't play well?
I really don't have much else to offer right now. I want to get back to the party, and bask in the glow of what is quite likely the most important win for Kentucky since December. Yes, perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves, but I think we can be forgiven for doing so. Kentucky really needed this victory, and I would have been pretty happy with a single-digit win. To get it by 19 points is so totally unexpected that I feel conflicted — was this a fluke, or was this something we might see again?
I don't know. Neither do you. But let's enjoy this, we all absolutely need it. Postmortem tomorrow.