Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday was an instant classic. That won’t make Wildcats fans feel any better on Monday.
Once again, a Kentucky team chock-full of NBA-caliber players came up short of a national title. And the ending to this season likely will be in the nightmares of Big Blue Nation for years to come.
Malik Monk hit a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game with 7.2 seconds left. But it ultimately didn’t matter. North Carolina quickly pushed the ball up the court, and Luke Maye swished a jumper with 0.3 seconds remaining.
Here’s that amazing end-of-game sequence:
Luke Maye will forever be a legend in North Carolina with this shot! pic.twitter.com/rzBfYyQKdf
— FOX Sports Radio1340 (@1340AMFOXSports) March 26, 2017
Here are Kentucky fans experiencing all of the feels:
— HLpublicsafety (@HLpublicsafety) March 26, 2017
Here are all of the game’s highlights:
This isn’t a terrible idea:
CANCEL THE FINAL FOUR
BEST OF SEVEN BETWEEN UK AND UNC
— Derek Schultz (@Schultz975) March 26, 2017
Kentucky players took the loss hard:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 27, 2017
Kentucky players crying after loss to Carolina.That let's me know they were heavily invested. The more invested you are.The more it hurts.
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) March 27, 2017
Here’s a sampling of the post-game reaction on Twitter:
Kentucky players are crying. Not because they lost, because they're about to take pay cuts when they go to the NBA.
— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) March 26, 2017
“See you in your nightmares, Kentucky.” pic.twitter.com/XNn4odnrVA
— Joe Ovies (@joeovies) March 26, 2017
"DOWN GOES KENTUCKY AND THEN THERE WAS ONLY FOUR. COACH CAL GOOD AT RECRUITING, BUT HE CANT SEE ME ON THE FLOOR." pic.twitter.com/VsLtYhNe2r
— Taylor Vippolis (@tvippolis) March 26, 2017
Kentucky just got buried by ONIONS!!! pic.twitter.com/AJFhlCkVcu
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) March 26, 2017
John Calipari lost? While in Memphis? pic.twitter.com/LzKqn6Q0pO
— FOX13 Memphis (@FOX13Memphis) March 27, 2017
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) March 26, 2017
— theScore (@theScore) March 27, 2017
This is a positive way to think about it:
What Calipari does with 18 and 19 year old kids year after year is truly remarkable. We are blessed to watch the whole process every year.
— Garrett Amato (@garrett_amato) March 27, 2017
There’s a legitimate argument to be made that Kentucky fans deserve better.
North Carolina, which is heading to the Final Four for the second straight year, hasn’t had a one-and-done player since 2007. John Calipari, on the other hand, has coached 18 of them, and De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo are widely-regarded as first-round picks this year if they leave school early.
John calipari: y'all coming back next year right?
Monk & Fox: pic.twitter.com/Y8QmQ0tWaa
— Flip Bayless (@LilTerryy) March 26, 2017
To put it simply, Calipari has coached A LOT of good players at Kentucky:
Remarkable: 50% of players (28 of 56) that played for John Calipari in his first 7 years at Kentucky were drafted by NBA teams
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 27, 2017
But he has only one national title to show for it:
John Calipari has had a preseason top-four team seven times at Kentucky. He’s fallen short of the Final Four in four of those seven seasons.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 26, 2017
— Tits McGee (@Jarr_Bear) March 26, 2017
Calipari gets the #1 recruiting class every year and can never win. 🤦🏾♂️
— Tone Wales⁶ (@Wayofwales) March 26, 2017
In all seriousness, Calipari shouldn't only have one championship at Kentucky. Not with all these recruiting classes and # 1 picks.
— △⃒⃘ (@ItsPaoloni) March 27, 2017
There’s plenty of reason to defend Calipari, too:
Anyone that says Calipari rolls the balls out is a complete and utter moron. What he does with those kids is absolutely AMAZING!
— Guy on the Corner (@GOTCTickets) March 27, 2017
What do you think? Has Calipari underachieved winning only one national championship at Kentucky?