As I walk around Lexington this morning basking in the gloriousness that was last night, I had a minor epiphany. There are obviously umpteen reasons why being a Louisville fan is much better than being a Kentucky fan, but I realized that the joy I felt this morning is not something that comes naturally to most Kentucky fans, and I'm so grateful for that. The reason for this can be summed up in one word: expectations.
The sense of entitlement that Kentucky fans feel when it comes to basketball borders on the absurd. It's National Title or bust. When UK reached the Final Four last year with a team that had overachieved its seed, all I heard was talk of "That was bullshit, we should have beat UConn, we were definitely the better team, I can't believe we lost." No talk of what an amazing run they made, or how well they had played against UNC and OSU. Every Kentucky fan expected that they would win the title. This year, as UK fans nervously await their match up with IU (I don't know how they pull off being both nervous and overconfident, but they do) all of them seem to think it is inevitable that they will win the title.
Watching our boys last night, hearing all of the amazing quotes, laughing and high-fiving after Gorgui hit the three last night, I can't help but thinking what an amazing, magical run this has been this year. We've gotten to know these players over the course of the year, and to feel a connection to them is such a privilege. I love having guys being goofy, giving great quotes, and generally enjoying playing the game of basketball. If we lose to Florida on Friday, I'll be sad, sure, because another season has ended, but so proud of our guys for everything that they've done this year, and grateful for the joy they brought to my life.
Go Cards. Beat Florida.