CRAWFORD | The Eight Stages of Playing Kentucky - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | The Eight Stages of Playing Kentucky

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AP photo. AP photo.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — I know it's early, but I've begun to identify a trend when it comes to University of Kentucky basketball games.

Opponents begin the game with hope. They play close for a half. But as Kentucky's depth and defense begins to tighten, the mood changes. So far, the outcome has been the same for all of them.

The timing isn't always the same, but these stages seem to be consistent, at least in the early season. Sunday's 58-38 win over Providence in Rupp Arena certainly seemed to follow along these lines. Providence led for the first 16 1/2 minutes. UK led by four at half. But Providence made just four field goals in the second. You could count them on one hand and have a finger to spare.

It's happening enough early in the first few weeks of the season that some stages are now readily identifiable. Allow me to outline them:

1). Anticipation -- It's hope. We can do this. The first TV timeout is here and we're up four. Just seven more segments like this and we're on SportsCenter.

2). Expectation -- It's the under 12 timeout. Look! We're still ahead! These guys aren't that great. We can play with these guys! They're not making any shots. They don't appear to be all that into this.

3). Complication -- Under 8 time. That was a little tougher. Do these guys ever quit playing defense? We're fine. Still have a lead. We're getting stops. We. Are. Fine. Which platoon is in now?

4). Consternation --
Under 4 timeout. We might have a problem. If we can't score at the rim and can't get open looks and our fouls are mounting, this could get out of hand. Thank goodness it's still close. Just hang close till half and regroup. Minor victory.

5). Frustration -- Under 16 timeout, second half. Crap. Press. Blocked shots. Turnovers. Even when we get a clean look they're altering shots. Are we going to make another one? Stay with it. I think one of them just broke a sweat.

6). Exasperation -- Under 12 timeout. Who turned out the lights? Remember back in the first half when we could score? This is ridiculous. One run and they're up 15. If they ever start really making shots, we're in trouble. Have to stop turning it over. This is getting out of hand. Are we going to score in double-digits this half?

7). Desperation -- Under 8 time. We don't want to play basketball anymore for a while. Should've listened to our moms and played soccer. We don't want to shoot, just pass. Are naps allowed? Forget it. Let's just start chucking it.

8). Resignation -- Under 4, second-half. All right, where are we going to eat on the way to the airport? I wonder if anybody got a picture of the scoreboard at halftime. Better work on creative answers for Jerry Tipton in the postgame presser.

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