Skip to content

Did Kentucky play its ‘title game’ on Saturday?

Apr 1, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Final Four - Louisville v Kentucky Getty Images

As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Kentucky’s 69-61 win over Louisville on Saturday night, Anthony Davis fired the ball up at the rafters. As the buzzer sounded, he looked up at the Kentucky fans and started screaming: “This is my stage!”* Five seconds later, he was getting bear-hugged by fellow freshmen Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. All this happened just a few minutes after Davis screamed in the ear of Terrence Jones after Jones threw down a powerful dunk in traffic.

Why is this significant?

Because Davis is as stoic as they come. He said all the right things to the media afterwards, but it was quite clear to anyone watching the game that this game meant more to Davis — and to the Wildcats — than just a ‘typical’ Final Four game.

They beat Louisville. They ended their archrivals season on the sports biggest stage. That is significant. But the emotional response from the Wildcats begs the question: was the win too big?

Kentucky will face Kansas, a team they already beat back in November, on Monday for the national title, but one has to wonder whether or not Kentucky already played their ‘title game’, so to speak. With all the buildup leading into their date with Louisville and with all the hype that surrounded that game in the state of Kentucky, will there be a letdown on Monday?

Kentucky looked like a team on a mission on Saturday night. And while it is easy to say that their mission is a national title, the rare emotional response from Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist makes you wonder.

(*He may or may not have actually said a four-letter word that starts with ‘s’ and ends with ‘hit’ instead of stage, but he told reporters at the press conference that he said stage and not, well, the other word.)

Latest Posts
  1. No. 2 Arizona, Sean Miller’s quest to reach Final Four once again falls short

    Mar 29, 2015, 8:37 AM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    The label of “best coach yet to reach a Final Four” will remain Miller’s for another offseason, whether that’s fair or not.

  2. Updated tournament records: Big Ten, SEC champions headed to Indy

    Mar 29, 2015, 12:50 AM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The Big Ten champion and SEC champion move on to Indy.

  3. Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky catch fire as No. 1 Wisconsin beats No. 2 Arizona

    Mar 28, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Dekker scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half at Wisconsin beat Arizona in the Elite Eight for the second straight year.

  4. Frank Kaminsky dances his way to the Final Four (VIDEO)

    Mar 28, 2015, 8:34 PM EDT

    Arizona v Wisconsin Getty Images

    Frank got a little funky after Wisconsin’s win over Arizona.

  5. Rick Barnes is no longer the head coach at Texas

    Mar 28, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Barnes coached at Texas for 17 seasons.

  6. Arrests made as Michigan State fans gather, set fires near off-campus apartments after Sweet 16 win (VIDEO)

    Mar 28, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Some Michigan State students got a little too rowdy following a win over Oklahoma.

  7. Reports: The Citadel hires VMI head coach Duggar Baucom for same position

    Mar 28, 2015, 1:48 PM EDT

    Duggar Baucom AP

    The Citadel hired away the head coach of a Southern Conference rival.

  8. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey on college hoops: ‘It’s absolute torture watching some of these games’ (AUDIO)

    Mar 28, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Houston Rockets Draft Picks Press Conference Getty Images

    Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had some strong words on the current state of college basketball.

  9. Frank Kaminsky’s growth results in individual and team benefits for No. 1 Wisconsin

    Mar 28, 2015, 12:17 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Frank Kaminsky’s path to stardom may not follow that of last year’s national Player of the Year winner, Doug McDermott, but it’s one that many players hope to navigate during their own time in school.

  10. Tom Izzo blames himself, new Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart movie on Michigan State’s sluggish Sweet 16 start

    Mar 28, 2015, 10:55 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Michigan State might have been the only people in the country watching “Get Hard” on Friday afternoon.

  11. Former oddsmaker believes Kentucky would be underdog against all-time great college basketball teams

    Mar 28, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Kentucky might finish the 2014-15 season unblemished, but how do they stack up against some of the best teams in college basketball history?

  12. Tourney Snacks: Duke-Gonzaga, Louisville-Michigan State advance to Elite 8

    Mar 28, 2015, 12:52 AM EDT

    Justise Winslow (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Get caught up on all of Friday’s NCAA tournament action.

  13. Tip times, announcer pairings and channel guide for 2015 Elite 8

    Mar 28, 2015, 12:27 AM EDT

    Quinn Cook AP

    The schedule for Sunday’s Elite 8 games.

  14. No. 1 Duke advances to Elite 8 with win over No. 5 Utah

    Mar 28, 2015, 12:08 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    No. 1 Duke advanced to the Elite 8 with a win in the South Regional over No. 5 Utah.

  15. Bradley announces Brian Wardle hired as head coach

    Mar 27, 2015, 9:58 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Wardle spent five seasons as coach at Green Bay.