LEXINGTON – It’s 2:30 a.m. and the party continues here in Titletown, on Euclid and State Street, on Limestone and Woodland.
It will keep going for a long while after Kentucky’s eight-point victory over Kansas gave the Cats their eighth national championship Monday night.
So much of this game, like this run, was memorable for Kentucky fans. What other Final Four MOP scores one bucket in the title game? Of course, Anthony Davis also had 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and a couple steals. He was amazing.
Just like to say you heard it here first when I predicted Doron Lamb would have a big game. He was the scorer who had to step up – and he did. Bravo young man.
Terrence Jones and Davis just bullied the Kansas front line. Still, a 14-point halftime lead was not as comfortable as I would have liked.
But again, give Kentucky a lead, and play defense, and I’ll take my chances with this team.
38-2. Simply amazing.
CAN YOU REMEMBER?
Remember this team in November? Remember how Terrence Jones got in that car altercation and it seemed like he could not be the leader he needed to be? Remember his meltdown against IU?
Now watch him pull down every huge rebound in the Final Four.
Remember Marquis Teague looking lost until about February? Remember how none of us could think of making a run in the NCAAs with Teague at the point? Remember how we longed for Brandon Knight?
Watch Teague play steady – and fast – and lead his team to a championship.
And of course Darius Miller. Remember how we questioned his toughness and leadership? We wondered if he could be the guy to make a run and win it all.
Watch Miller make big shot after big shot this season – when we needed a senior, we had one.
And how sweet it is to hop over IU and UofL along the way? I don’t know of a team that ever had a road where they had to defeat their biggest two rivals to win a title. Will it ever be this sweet again? Could it? Maybe.
But this team deserves all the accolades. The pressure they were put under was so intense – beating Indiana and Louisville in the tourney on the way to a title? Are you kidding? But each time this UK team played up to the task, eventually winning it all.
Along the streets here in Lexington people chant players’ names and dance and stomp. It doesn’t feel particularly dangerous, just fun.
I’ll say what they don’t want to hear: UK played the second half not to lose. Luckily, it worked because UK has players who can make plays when needed.
We said it all season: This is the toughest team in the country to beat. It happened twice – barely, both times.
We knew Kansas would have to play their best. They didn’t. But Thomas Robinson (an excellent player) and Tyshawn Taylor fought hard and did what they do – they came back. We all knew they would.
But Kentucky couldn’t be beaten. Too much talent everywhere.
Like, National Champion incredible.
More later – we’ve got a celebration at 3 on Tuesday.
And we’ve got much more celebrating to do tonight, too.
Go Big Blue!