Cold Beer, Tip-Off and December 28

TONY VANETTI: While watching a UK football game, you have to start thinking there are other forces at work. The ending of these games are so bizarre, maybe you’re getting paid back by the sports gods. In basketball, eight championships; in football, not so much.

MATT JONES: Being a Kentucky football fan is a good test of moral character. Which is not something that y’all engage in at UofL. “Hey, we are having an event, let’s bring 2,500 free beers to it.” You learn, if you’re a UK football fan, that the football Gods hate you and that the weirdest ways to possibly lose will come about on a week-to-week basis.

VANETTI: I know, it’s just so horrible to think you could actually have a beer at an athletic event. I know UK athletics is like a religion, maybe you should say, “Hey, the first 2,500 fans who come dance with a snake will get in free.”

JONES: Nothing says education like alcohol. We want you to come to our games, come get hammered. It’s the solution to everything at UofL. When in doubt, offer beer. I give you credit, a lot of people were there.

VANETTI: You guys had five freshmen start the other night for a basketball game and big blue nation went crazy thinking this was the Fab-Five.

JONES: It wasn’t even the best freshman who started at center, it was Lee, not Johnson. It shows a lot about Calipari. Calipari is upset that Willie Cauley-Stein doesn’t win the tip. That’s what made him upset. He basically just let Marcus Lee play the tip and then put Willie back in. It shows how much of a perfectionist Cal is.

VANETTI: It also shows the overreaction of the fan base, too. What could possibly be the answer of why Willie was out … most people jumping on the bandwagon that this was it, this was the Fab-Five, “#Fab-Five,” and then when it lasted 51 seconds, everyone’s excitement died down.

JONES: But that’s what Calipari does. It was a good bounce back for Kentucky in the win over Robert Morris to get the taste of loss out of their mouth. For me, it’s going to come down to, do the Harrison twins develop? Calipari point guards are usually a slow-starting thing. Once Andrew Harrison gets what Cal wants him to do, this team will be rolling.

VANETTI: Kentucky needs crunch-time scorers, more than just Randle. You have to have more options to go to.

JONES: Why is that? Why do you have to have more?  Every team in crunch time has the one guy who they want to have the ball.  For Kentucky this year, it’s the big guy.

VANETTI: Well no, you can’t go to him 18, 19 times.  He’s a great player, but going to the national title game, it would help going with a different option during crunch time.

JONES: Let’s go back to the team who won the national title, I’m not sure they had a great crunch time player. This team still hasn’t had a game when they’ve shot well. They could have beat Michigan State if they would have shot well. With Louisville, we won’t know how they are until they play somebody.

VANETTI: Louisville is finally getting everyone back on the floor with Behanan, Hancock, and Ware is getting some minutes. It might be one of the deepest teams in the nation, but you’ve shown you don’t have to have defense to win a title. It was really ridiculous what they did to Cornell; 20-2 and Pitino is coaching at a timeout like he’s behind and trying to tie it up.

JONES: I love it how you’re skipping over the College of Charleston and Hofstra games when with five minutes left in each game, it was close.

VANETTI: Louisville is just practicing how they are going to win on December 28. Being close at the end and then pulling away with a win by 20.

JONES: I like that delusional feeling. I’m just glad Chane is back. It’s really good to see someone who really follows all of the rules of society be rewarded. To me, Chane Behanan, you really are a shining star for what all of our children should be like in the new era.

VANETTI: Well if any fan base knows about giving second chances, it’s the Kentucky fan base, so thanks for that.