Wouldn’t it be something if Kentucky lost its opening round game in the NCAA Tournament? It’s obviously not going to happen, but sometimes the basketball gods have a funny way of showing themselves.
Robert Morris was able to squeak by St. Francis on Tuesday night by a score of 66-63. The Colonials will be making their first appearance at the big dance since 2010, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t made postseason news since that time.
Kentucky was coming off a 2012 national title, but unfortunately the losses to that team were too great and they only managed to make the NIT the following year. Robert Morris was a hungry team looking to make a statement. What followed was one of the biggest upsets in NCAA postseason history.
While it wasn’t an NCAA Tournament game there was certainly enough backstory to draw the attention of the casual fan. The defending national champion lost to a lowly Pittsburgh-based Robert Morris school by a score of 59-57.
Of course, Kentucky didn’t have the firepower they do now, as less dominant Willie Cauley-Stein was the team’s best player. However, wouldn’t it be poetic if Robert Morris was indeed going to knock off Kentucky once again?
Its highly unlikely to happen, not only because of talent, but Robert Morris isn’t likely to participate in the opening round play-in game, where the winner gets a shot at Kentucky. Although, If there are basketball gods they will give Robert Morris every opportunity to play Kentucky in the first round.
While Kentucky did somewhat get their revenge against Robert Morris during a tune-up game a year ago, the chance to truly avenge an embarrassing loss has to be on the mind of Wildcats head coach–and Pittsburgh-area native–John Calipari, who stated the following after the 2013 loss.
“This is humbling. They think we’re supposed to win 30 a year, 35 a year go to the Final Four, win a national title.”
You can give Calipari a mulligan that season, but there will be no free passes this time around. The taste of revenge must weigh heavily on his mind, and it might make an undefeated season taste even sweeter.