by Yusuf Gadlin
The Kentucky Wildcats got back to the final four for the second year in row. The Cats beat scrappy Notre Dame 68-66 in a game that will be featured on ESPN Classics for years to come.The Wildcats also improved to 38-0, retaining their undefeated status as they continue the push for a undefeated season and of course a national championship.
But I’m starting to doubt this super team.
Kentucky showed mental lapses down the stretch and inexperience started to rear its ugly head. Kentucky junior center Wille Cauley-Stien forgot how to run a designed play and had to be shown on the bench using a clipboard. Kentucky’s multi-talented freshman Trey Lyles played hot potato with the basketball after grabbing a critical rebound with the game on the line. Lyles quickly passed the ball to teammate Aaron Harrison who wasn’t expecting the pass so quickly. In fact, Harrison head was turned in the opposite direction. Often poised Freshman guard Tyler Ulis had some uncharacteristic moments as well. Ulis made some shaky passes and occasionally rushed shots at the basket, although Ulis did nail a clutch 3 pointer from the right corner as the pressure of the game intensified Mistakes like these can cost Kentucky in the end.
Kentucky coach John Calipari will make any situation more tense with the way he acts on the sideline. Calipari’s usual antics was on full display as he felt his undefeated season slipping away. Calipari yells,screams, stomps his feet like a child when his young team makes any mistakes. Sometimes I wonder if his players love playing for him or do they love his connections to the NBA. Nonetheless, Calpari lived to fight another day as he will prepare his team to face its biggest challenge yet the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Badgers feature two potential NBA lottery picks in 7-foot center Frank Kaminsky and a exploding star named Sam Dekker. Dekker was recently herald the best player at a Lebon James skills academy, So chances are when the Badgers faceoff with the Kentucky Wildcats Dekker will probably be the best player on the court. With Wisconsin’s strong leadership, experience, and overall hunger to win it all Kentucky’s undefeated season might be coming to a end.
The Kentucky Wildcats know what is at stake. They know history is on the line, as well as some of their own individual NBA draft stock. They have to eliminate the mental mistakes or they will ultimately beat there greatest opponent.