John Calipari, the well renowned and infamous head coach of the University of Kentucky men's basketball team, has reportedly warned his team to not "drink the poison". He is of course referring to the sports media, which is saying they have one of the easiest paths to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament.
Kentucky is the number 5 seed in the South region, the highest seed left in that region after No. 1 Virginia and No. 4 Arizona were defeated promptly in the first round. Also, with No. 2 Cincinnati shockingly losing to No. 7 Nevada, and having to play No. 9 Kansas State on Thursday, the path is laid out for Kentucky to succeed. All they have to do is perform.
The main reason Calipari is preaching this to his players is because they are a very young team, and they could get easily distracted by all of the hype surrounding them. However, Calipari has dealt with this numerous times before, especially since most of the teams that he has coached at Kentucky have been loaded with "one-and-done" players. Still, single-elimination tournaments can be unpredictable, nerve-wracking, and quite heart-breaking if you lose. As long as Calipari and his players can stay consistent and focused, they should make the Final Four.
Joshua Hamer - Contributing Sports Writer