2013 NIT Tournament: Kentucky Wildcats Bounced; Look Ahead to 2013-14 Season

Beth Hall-USA Today Sports

After falling to Vanderbilt in the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament, the Kentucky Wildcats‘ bubble burst.

They were however, rewarded with a No. 1 seed within the NIT, so take that as you will, but their postseason run didn’t last too long.

The stage was set. Kentucky was forced to go on the road to Robert Morris on Tuesday, despite the Colonials being a No. 8 within their NIT region. Wildcats’ head coach John Calipari was returning to his hometown, growing up just one mile from the Robert Morris campus. All this was unfolding as the Louisville Cardinals, Kentucky’s hated rival, was settling in at Rupp Arena as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Talk about a head-scratching situation, and this coming just one year after the Wildcats eliminated Louisville in the Final Four and went on to win the National Championship.

Okay, all those facts aside, the end result of Tuesday’s game may have been the most head-scratching case of them all. Or, maybe not. This is college basketball after all. Robert Morris students were camping outside the school’s 3,000+ gymnasium, hoping to get a spot in the arena since 6:00am onMonday morning.

Tuesday night was the most iconic moment in Robert Morris history, there’s no doubt about that. The Colonials shocked Kentucky by a final score of 59-57, rushing the court in the most fitting of fashions.

As for Kentucky and their demise this season, well haters should get their worth in now, that much is certain. This Wildcats’ program boasts one of the top recruiting classes of all-time for 2013 and Kentucky surely has a legitimate shot to begin the season at No. 1 overall in November.

Credit Robert Morris and boo Kentucky for Tuesday night’s end result. Just keep in mind, the Wildcats and Calipari will be ready to bounce back in 2013-14.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

 

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