Gotta love it.
Sen. Mitch McConnell has turned down an invitation from the President to attend an occasion Friday at the White House recognizing the University of Kentucky as the winner of the NCAA basketball tournament.
The reason should be apparent. Nobody in Louisville wants to be in Washington on Kentucky Derby weekend. But Barack Obama obviously doesn’t have a clue about the importance of Derby weekend on the local social calendar.
And, as The Hill noted:
In any case, McConnell is more a fan of the University of Louisville, which lost to Kentucky in the NCAA semifinals, than of the University of Kentucky, a source close to McConnell told The Hill. But McConnell himself declined to express a preference between the two before they met in the tournament, noting he attended both of them — Louisville as an undergraduate, and Kentucky as a law student.
The man has the right priorities.
Take that Barack Obama, Digger Phelps, Charles Barkley and other wannabe prognosticators who dare pick against the University of Louisville. Not doing their homework, not paying attention, not getting lucky.
What they saw was a physical New Mexico team that liked to run, a good three-point shooting team, one that has been manhandling opponents all season. The factors they dismissed were Rick Pitino’s preparation, the team’s showing in the Big East Tournament, and a Louisville squad not intimidated by bulk and speed. Bad mistake
Some credit the team’s recent success to the “Infrared” uniforms, others the “new season,” some point to the the camaraderie between teammates and confidence in the offensive system, combined with a collective will to win. That and U of L’s aggressiveness on defense, not allowing anything easy, including dribbles, passes, hand offs, rebounds or shots. Challenging everything that moves.
Playing with a little too much confidence after building a 15-point lead, regretting it, allowing New Mexico back in the game, making it a little too close for comfort at the end. But a 59-56 win in a second round game is the only thing anybody will remember.
- Peyton Siva will keep challenging opposing defenses, probing, constantly probing, making mistakes and looking silly at times, tweaking his approach until he finds the weak spots, the openings, his teammates, and making another of those improbable shots. He’s still in the process of proving himself at point guard, proving everybody wrong. Making two crucial free throws at the end.
- Russ Smith creating chaos for the Lobos early in the second half, but also a little trauma for his teammates as well, opening the door for a comeback, almost negating those two three-pointers and his game-leading 17 points.
- Gorgui Dieng getting better in dealing with people bigger than himself, outsmarting them, keeping them from getting the ball where they want it. Still getting burned once or twice but learning from miscalculations, making adjustments, fine tuning constantly, never giving up. He will make that surprising slam dunk just when Louisville needs it.
- Chane Behanan not always getting the ball where he wants it, but using his bulk to get there at times. Surprising himself and his teammates with mid-range shots. If defenses keep ignoring him behind the three-point line, he won’t keep denying himself, just wait and see.
U of L is exactly where it wanted this team to be at this point, in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in four seasons. Ready for the rugged road ahead, eager to settle old scores and to expose those so quick to dismiss what has been accomplished and much higher aspirations.