CLEVELAND, OH — The jump ball has started 36 games involving the University of Kentucky’s basketball team this season and when the final buzzer sounded in all of those games the Wildcats were on top. West Virginia will be the 37th team to try and earn a victory over UK when the two do battle Thursday night in Cleveland as part of the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.
“Three dozen teams have failed at trying to beat them, 36 games in, and so you become the next team and you take your shot. You just do it,” said MetroNews Sportsline’s Tony Caridi.
Kentucky’s run is history in the making. A men’s college basketball team has not gone undefeated and won the NCAA Tournament since Indiana did so in 1976. Kentucky already has more wins now than the Hoosiers did that season. The Wildcats’ drive toward perfection is the overriding storyline of this year’s tournament.
Caridi said Wednesday on MetroNews Talkline this year’s Mountaineers have exceeded everyone’s expectations and they have that classic ‘nothing to lose’ opportunity Thursday night.
“Now you are playing with the house’s money so you go out there and give it a shot,” he said.
Caridi said the personnel make-up of this year’s Mountaineer team isn’t likely to back down.
“I think if you had a soft mental team that would say, ‘Oh, woe is us’ they may walk out on the floor and say ‘there’s no chance we can win this game,’ but I think it’s the opposite, a microcosm of West Virginia,” Caridi said.
Tip-off Thursday night at the Quicken Loans Arena is set for approximately 10 p.m. Comprehensive coverage with Mountaineer beat writer Allan Taylor at wvmetronews.com.