“In an atmosphere like we’re in right now, you know, it’s not really much more needed motivation to win,” ETSU guard Micah Williams said. “But like with that never being done, it’s the buzz in the locker room how we want to be the first 16 to upset a 1 seed.”
Early in his decree Thursday came Calipari’s admission that East Tennessee State “can beat us.” This sounds like coaching rhetoric, but recall that Kentucky once was life-and-death against the Miami RedHawks and needed a last-second shot from freshman John Wall, playing his first game as a collegian, to prevail. Or that Sam Houston State, the No. 14 seed in this region, chased Kentucky for 40 minutes and lost by only 10, 102-92.