Friday, March 16, 2012
UK-UConn? Iowa State says no thanks
By Gene Wojciechowski
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Early in the first half of Kentucky's game against Western Kentucky on Thursday evening, as the Wildcats tried to scrape the 16th-seeded Hilltoppers from the bottom of their sneakers, a chorus of boos arrived without warning.
From the upper reaches of the KFC Yum! Center to the lower bowl, thousands of UK fans made their displeasure known to the 14 players walking slowly to their seats three rows behind the baseline. They wore dark blue sweatsuits and a school logo despised by Kentucky followers.
Big Blue Nation has a long memory. It remembers what happened last April 2, when the Huskies defeated the Cats in the Final Four semis by a single point. Kentucky went home, Connecticut went on to win a national title.
But come Saturday, in the South Region round of 32, UK would exact its revenge. At least, that was the office pool plan.
One problem: Iowa State beat Kentucky to it.
Actually, ISU beat UConn 77-64 and threw a very large water balloon in the face of everyone who assumed the Huskies and Wildcats would get their 2012 NCAA tournament rematch. Instead, Iowa State advances and the Huskies are a one-and-done.