Well, we’ve reached the conclusion to the 2010 edition of the SEC tournament, and Kentucky fans will have something to smile about as they sit in traffic on I-65 north this afternoon.
Though the win can partly be attributed to the willingness of Mississippi State to be careless with the ball late in regulation, it took a couple of amazing plays by the Cats to seal the deal. The biggest of which being John Wall’s ridiculously tough 3 pointer late in overtime to make it a 4 point lead, and essentially sealing Miss St’s fate.
But there was more, and here are a couple of other tidbits from my view in the stands:
- I think Mississippi State is the type of team that UK will struggle with in the tournament. They effectively took Cousins out of his game, and Varnardo’s presence inside, along with a tough 2-3 zone really caused Wall to struggle for the majority of the game. I don’t think their SEC tournament run will be enough for MSU to earn a bid, but a team like Syracuse, Georgetown, Baylor, or Florida State will cause Kentucky some trouble.
- Saturday’s session featured an intense game against UK and Tennessee, but the most heated battle was the one raged between UK fans and the UT band. Whenever the Vol band would begin playing “Rocky Top,” Kentucky fans would immediately begin chanting “Go Big Blue” in unison. Eventually, the Tennessee band director began playing longer and longer versions of “Rocky Top,” which would eventually wear the crowd down, but it was kind of funny to watch.
- Don’t call it a comeback, but I believe Mississippi State wins the battle for hottest women this year. And it wasn’t only due to the cheerleaders and dance team. Though small in number, MSU brought their best representatives.
- I think I figured out why Kentucky fans can get so loud: their women all sound like they just got done smoking about a case of Marlboro reds, and there’s just something about that type of voice that carries (and if I have to listen to the chick behind me belting out “Take the ball” over and over and over and over again, I may kill someone).
- The Tennessee/Kentucky game was also a battle of two teams that have very little respect for their respective coaches. Both sides saw players shaking off their coaches, or visibly ignoring their coaching. I actually like Bruce Pearl, and think he does a lot of great in-game coaching (they were really good early in the game coming out of timeouts), but the players he recruits are classless. He had to go down towards the end of his bench to get Hopson, Chism, and a couple of other players up off the bench to shake hands after the game. And Cousins’ temper tantrums were well documented, and occurred all weekend.
- Free throws could be an issue for another Calipari coached team this March. They shoot 68% for the season, which is decent-to-below average, but Cousins shot 3-13 on Saturday, and the team missed a couple front ends to some big 1-and-1′s in the championship game Sunday. If I’m coach Cal, I’m emphasizing free throw and 3-point shooting heavily in practices leading up to and during the NCAA Tournament. When they’re hitting both, they’re very tough to beat.
- Funniest thing I saw outside the stadium occurred when a few Florida fans almost got run-over by an SUV driven by a UK fan started chanting “S-T-O-P STOP STOP STOP!!!!!”