Friday, November 30, 2012
No surprise in Kentucky loss to Irish
By Eamonn Brennan
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- This is what's supposed to happen.
When a team this young goes on the road for the first time, it is supposed to lose.
When it's late November, and your group of freshmen and sophomores has't played in a hostile environment, and said hostile environment happens to be a packed, blackout-clad Joyce Center, where Notre Dame never loses in nonconference play, you are supposed to lose.
When ND's football-obsessed fans are juiced off that team's 12-0 national title run, and that school's Heisman candidate is sitting in the front row of the student section -- and, oh by the way, you are also playing a very good team with a very real chance of winning the Big East -- you are not supposed to play winning basketball.
You are supposed to lose.
That Notre Dame's 64-50 thrashing of Kentucky might be considered an upset is less a statement about Mike Brey's efficient Notre Dame team than a credit to John Calipari's remarkable tenure at Kentucky thus far. But not every season can be 2012, when a once-in-a-generation talent is surrounded by enough selfless future pros that the whole thing looks routine.
It is not routine. It's the exact opposite of that. And this young UK bunch is already offering up proof.
"I expected that we wouldn't play well," Calipari said. "I'm disappointed that we didn't compete."