This is sacrilege around these parts. But I've alluded to this before, heck I might have even come right out and said it. I just don't hate UK the way i used to. The way most folks around here do. Like it's not enough that they lose, but that they get beaten profoundly and publicly, again and again.
You see, here's the thing. When you are neck deep in UK fans just dying to snipe and make snide remarks, then reciprocating is perfectly natural. But over here in ACC country things are a little different. UofL is looked on by the general public as no more than a mild curiosity, and certainly no cause for concern. 85% of the people around here are UNC fans. And while one could do worse - UNC fans are generally pretty polite - their recent spate of success has given them a sense of entitlement and superiority that is frankly unbearable. Roy is a saint. He's in the hall of fame already you know. Year after year their recruiting class is among the top 5 in the nation. The Duke/UNC rivalry is the best of all time in any sport. On and on they go. It is simply nauseating. The thought of them advancing to another final four (their 4th in the last 7 years) was too much to handle.
So yeah, UNC may have been 1.5 point dogs in this game, but believe you me, there was not one UNC fan that wasn't 100% sure they were going to beat UK. Sure, they'll tell you otherwise, they have to. But once this team starts getting deep into the tourney the fans start to assume the title is theirs, especially after Kansas went down. As far as they were concerned they had a clear path. The Huskies presented no more than a slight hump to stroll over. Would UConn have beaten them? Maybe, I really don't know, I really don't care. I do know that if it came to that and UNC bested UConn to get to the final game I would never have heard the end of it. The UNC/ACC ranting would make Charles Barkley's anti-Big East platform seem tame by comparison.
Nope, this was for the best. And now I can get back to the business of rooting against the wildcats. Unfortunately it means I have to root for the Huskies, another chore I don't relish. But conference pride is on the line here. After the rash of BE flameouts this year, the best possible means of redemption will come with the Huskies walking away with the top prize.
Especially if the final game can somehow be UConn v. Butler. Two teams we've beaten this year. Will it make me feel better about the season? Maybe a little. But with the summer months looming ahead of me and nothing besides the Orlando Magic for me to hang my hat on, I'll take whatever small comfort I can get. And with any luck I'll never be forced to root for UK again.