It has been just 48 hours since Gregg Doyel of CBS Sportsline wrote what was, at the moment, a completely appropriate and accurate column about what a great time it was to be a U of L basketball fan, and what a bad time UK fans were having.
This is one of the fascinating things about sports.
Not two days later, UK is dominating the national basketball scene, even above the upcoming Final Four. The news of John Calipari coming to be the next Wildcat coach (not official, but everything but), is burning so brightly that it is sucking the oxygen out of everything else.
Jim Rome was talking about it. It was a hot topic on PTI (followed a segment on U of L’s loss to Michigan State, followed by Five Good Minutes with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo).
U of L, meanwhile, lost a game in uncommonly ugly fashion. After being a media darling for two weeks, rising to No. 1 in the nation, the Cardinals’ only national mention today was as a foil in Michigan State highlights, and a hit on PTI talking about Rick Pitino’s “Guitar Hero” ad with Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams.
Talk about changing the conversation.
The NCAA loss, isn’t the end of the world for U of L. Calipari’s hire does nothing to damage Pitino. The program remains in great shape, its women’s basketball team is playing for a shot at the Final Four tonight, construction continues on a new arena, and life remains good, if not quite as exciting as it was two days ago.
But it’s a sign, perhaps, of the quick change bold action can bring. UK has become the talk of the town, and the conversation has changed dramatically.