Kentucky vs. Robert Morris: Why NIT Flop Is Worst Loss in Wildcats' History

Bobby ReaganFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2013

Jan 15, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Ryan Harrow (12) guard Julius Mays (34) forward Nerlens Noel (3) and forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) huddle during a time in the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 75-65. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, Kentucky has lost to teams like Gardner-Webb and San Diego at Rupp Arena. But, nothing will top losing 59-57 at Robert Morris in Kentucky's history as the worst loss in the Wildcats' storied program.

The truth is, Kentucky should have never lost to any of those teams, but especially to this Robert Morris squad. The Wildcats showed no fight or heart in a game that they needed to win to save some sort of dignity from the most disappointing season in their history. 

While Kentucky did lose at home to teams like Gardner-Webb and San Diego, those games were in the Billy Gillispie era. The era where Kentucky's teams frankly weren't that good or talented. This Kentucky team has talent. When you have three McDonald's All-Americans playing in the game, you don't lose to a team from the NEC.

Not to mention a team whose leading scorer was ejected from the game with 3:41 to go in a one-possession game. But, instead of taking advantage of that, Kentucky faltered. 

This loss also cements this season as going down as one of the worst in Kentucky's history. The Wildcats didn't win a postseason game for the first time since 2008. The one difference again is the preseason hype, warranted or not. Kentucky was ranked No. 3 to start this year and finishes with Kentucky fans complacent. 

Sure, Big Blue Nation backed this team and cheered for them in every game. But down the stretch, fans began to notice who this team was. One that would not grow and adapt to the college game. One that would not play to its potential and constantly be frustrating to watch. When the season rolled down, it seemed to be fitting for what Kentucky fans have to say.

At least there's next year's recruiting class.