Is Kentucky Paranoia Justified?

Posted by jstevrtc on March 25th, 2010

We know it’s only a few hours before game time, but we’ve never seen a college basketball game that has divided people  or caused sportswriters to openly acknowledge for whom they were rooting as much as the Kentucky vs Cornell East Regional semifinal that happens later tonight.  It’s being billed (erroneously) as Good versus Evil, smart kids versus dumb kids (isn’t Patrick Patterson graduating after only three years?), and so on.  Some examples:

St. Petersburg Times/TampaBay.com staff writer Michael Kruse actually points to Cornell’s achievements as a model to follow to succeed in the flailing American economy (?!?), and also notes:

“The message of Cornell…is this: long view over quick fix, well-drilled over well-heeled, and sometimes smarter beats bigger.”


Boston Globe/Boston.com writer Dan Shaughnessy makes no bones about which side he’s on in his article yesterday:

“Here’s hoping Calipari and his guys take the apple in this one. Then we can tell them that Dr. Henry Heimlich is a Cornell man.”

And that’s not even the biggest slight.  We thought his mention of the Cornell seniors having to soon go out and “face a tough job market” was interesting, since there are seniors on Kentucky’s squad who will be going out into the same job market soon.  Taking umbrage to the Boston Globe article, Kentucky sports blog KentuckySportsRadio.com’s Matt Jones wrote a scathing rebuttal to the Shaughnessy piece.  Shaughnessy responded.  It then spilled over onto the radio waves, as a local Boston radio station had Shaughnessy and Jones live on the air for a debate on the issue (which was really a 3-on-1 ambush).

John Feinstein of the Washington Post also had something to say about the good vs evil angle:

“…there is no doubting the glaring contrasts between the two programs. Cornell has no media guide. Kentucky has three, including a glossy, full-color, 208-page (the maximum allowed by NCAA rules) recruiting brochure that poses as a media guide. No one asked Kentucky’s players on Wednesday what they hope to do after college because everyone knows what they hope to do after college.”

Baltimore Sun sports blogger Kevin Cowherd makes his rooting interest clear:

“Americans have always pulled for the underdog — it’s practically written into the Constitution. So how can you not root for tiny Cornell, the no. 12 seed, when it takes on mighty no. 1 seed Kentucky tonight in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament?”

On this issue, we’ll give Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins the last word:

“It’s not a spelling bee.”


jstevrtc (547 Posts)


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4 Responses to “Is Kentucky Paranoia Justified?”

  1. Mark says:

    Does any team have a smoother path to the national championship than Kentucky at this point? (Esp. now with the Big Red out.) And is Cornell really an Ivy League school? In my experience folks who go to Ivy League schools don’t point out at the earliest conversational opportunity that they went to an Ivy League school, but students of Cornell (e.g. Ann Coulter, Keith Olbermann) appear as exceptions to the rule.

  2. DMoore says:

    “Does any team have a smoother path to the national championship than Kentucky at this point?”
    Uh, what? Kentucky is in the only region where both the top two seeds advanced. If you’re saying that they should be the favorite, sure. But the only reason their path isn’t clearly the hardest one is that other teams likely have to beat Kentucky.

  3. rtmsf says:

    I heard Coulter and Olbermann used to get busy up in Ithaca. Any truth to that?

  4. Mark says:

    Coulter/Olbermann has the makings of a Carville/Matalin. They sure do bicker with one another like quarreling lovers do. Maybe they should just tie the knot and make it official.

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