So much for Kentucky having the easiest path to the Final Four.
The Wildcats were upset by No. 9 seed Kansas State, losing 61-58 in Atlanta. Kansas State was able to grind its way to the win, despite having multiple players foul out of the game. And to make things worse for Kentucky coach John Calipari, his team was done in once again by poor free throw shooting.
Naturally, a number of fans fired off their jokes, from mocking the “easiest path” to once again questioning Calipari’s coaching ability.
“Easiest path ever to the Final Four”
— Corey Knapp (@CoreyTheKnapper) March 23, 2018
Did it seem like Kentucky didn’t really run whatever it was that Calipari drew up? Seemed to take forever and then just had to shoot
— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) March 23, 2018
This tourney sums up UK season. Just when it looked like the Cats had it figured out, they stumble.
— Daniel Shirley (@DM_Shirley) March 23, 2018
Man we're all in trouble if Kentucky ever gets coaching to go with all that talent.
— Brandon Walker (@BWalker_SEC) March 23, 2018
Kentucky did not deserve to win this game. Plain and simple.
— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) March 23, 2018
That terrible draw did in Kentucky after all.
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) March 23, 2018
All in all this might be the most surprising NCAA Tournament loss for Calipari at Kentucky. The loss to Wisconsin in 2015, when the Wildcats entered the game at 38-0, was at least in the Final Four. Kansas State was a middle-of-the-road team in the Big 12.
No doubt this will go down as a disappointing year for Kentucky fans, given how much the team struggled during the season, and its less-than-stellar ending. The Wildcats did still win the SEC Tournament, but that carries very little weight when the goal is Final Fours and national championships. And now the fans will have to deal with another mass exodus of talent.
The loss for Kentucky also means that no SEC teams will be playing the Elite Eight, a year after the conference advanced three teams into the Elite Eight.
The Elite Eight game being played in Atlanta on Saturday will be between Loyola-Chicago and Kansas State. Just like everyone predicted.