Rarely does something as wild as what took place Sunday in Newark, NJ happen.
Or does it?
Moments after Kentucky’s 76-69 win over No. 2 seed North Carolina, Jim Nantz couldn’t help himself with a typical broadcasters’ prefabricated statement.
“John Calipari is the first coach to take three schools to the Final Four,” Nantz piped up.
Really, Jim? Didn't Rick Pitino...
If my memory serves me correct—and I know it does—Coach Cal’s first two runs to the National Semifinal never happened.
First, his Marcus Camby led UMass Minutemen made the final weekend of tournament play, only to find that their season never took place because of numerous violations stemming from illegalities during the recruiting process.
Second, the Derrick Rose juggernaut Memphis Tigers team of the last decade also was an aberration of the highest level due to the same recruiting ploys used at Massachusetts.
So, this begs the question: How long will it be until we find out that, on his third attempt at a first ever Final Four, we were once again bamboozled because it didn’t actually happen?
Forget about us as fans, who will never get those hours of our lives back nor the money we spent to attend said events. The travesty is held at a much more personal level.
What about the UNC kids that played their tails off for 40 minutes trying to get to the elusive title game or the Princeton squad that didn’t lose by two because their opponent forfeited its right to play months in advance?
Sure, this is all speculation. But are we to seriously believe after all the Marcus Cambys, Derrick Roses and John Walls of the world that there weren’t certain liberties taken with the freshmen on this year’s Wildcat team?
Are we to idly sit by and accept that this magnificent coaching performance in the tournament of tournaments is more than just a vision?
Unfortunately, the answer to the latter is yes. We, as the fans of the best playoff system in the world, will never know the truth, for it is our ignorance that makes this whole experience bliss.
By the time any allegations or negative findings catch up to Coach Calipari, he'll surely be on the road to marching his fourth squad to his first ever Final Four appearance.
Whether or not any of this is true remains to be seen.
All coaches preach consistency and Calipari has consistently cheated. Perception is in fact reality.
One thing we have learned for certain through all of these mirages is this: No matter how legitimate or artificial, John Calipari makes it—for the time being—one wild and enjoyable ride.