Cardinals, not Wildcats, No. 1 in Bluegrass State

continued from page 1

Disappointment is a good way to describe Kentucky’s up-and-down season.

With suspect guard play, injuries and a lack of veteran leadership, a trip to the NIT isn’t a total shocker for the young Cats.

Still, expectations are always high at Kentucky, and it took a while for reality to set in after all the at-large bids were handed out Sunday and the Wildcats didn’t receive one.

“We were just kind of speechless for a while,” junior guard Jon Hood said Monday. “Nobody really knew what to do. We had to wait around until 9 p.m. to see who we would play, and we are just moving on.”

Calipari apologized to fans for his team’s disappointing play. Although the Wildcats would play a second-round game at Rupp, he tweeted Monday that it would be understandable to see what happens Tuesday night before buying tickets for later NIT games.

Like many games during what has been a frustrating stretch for the coach, players and fans, Calipari says the Wildcats have another chance to show what they’re made of.

“We’ve got time to work with our guys,” he said. “Keep coaching them and maybe the light goes on. Maybe reality hits. When you hit rock bottom, you either want to change or you are delusional. We will see if we have delusional guys or they understand.”

The outlook is obviously more upbeat for Louisville fans heading to Lexington.

The Cardinals have been a Top 10 team for all but a few weeks this season, and their 10-game winning streak, including three en route to their second straight Big East tournament championship, earned the top seed and the reward of playing the first two games close to home.

Donal Ryan, 48, considers it karma for Louisville to be playing at Rupp.

“It is interesting,” said Ryan, who owns two Molly Malone’s pubs in Louisville. “It might be kind of an omen, an opportunity for Louisville to go all the way this year.”


AP freelance writer Josh Abner in Louisville contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player