Tag Archives: basketball

Wildcats lifting fans’ spirits

People generally feel better when the sun shines, at vacation time, after getting a sweet deal on a car, or receiving a meaningful compliment.

Good mental health is crucial to living a full and happy life.

Over the weekend, the University of Kentucky lost to rival Tennessee and I heard several Wildcat fans go off.

“The season is done.”

“It’s Billy Gillispie all over again.”

“We’re not going to win the national championship.”

Granted, these were over-reactions after a frustrating loss, especially to coach Bruce Pearl and the Vols. I’m sure the UK fans regained their perspective, but their day was shot.

Such is the hold basketball can have on the commonwealth.

New UK coach John Calipari tried tempering fans’ expectations earlier this season after a first-rate recruiting class. But once the fans got a taste of John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins — and winning — there was no curbing expectations.

A year ago, fans hoped for the best, but expected the worst. Basketball season, typically an exciting time in the bluegrass state, was full of angst with Gillispie  at the helm, and, for that matter, at the end of Tubby Smith’s term, too.

This year, UK basketball has provided lots of enjoyment. Good times are rolling again, and the mood has been elevated.

The return to national prominence was a thing of fantasy just 12 short months ago. But now with a 27-2 record and a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament looming, the Wildcats have given their fans something legitimate to cheer about.

Granted, it’s only basketball, but that, too, can add to overall sense of well-being. One meaningless loss to Tennessee notwithstanding.