The Kentucky Wildcats enter Saturday's Final Four matchup with rival Louisville as heavy favorites. It's been called the biggest sporting event in the history of the state, but John Calipari said he doesn't have to do much to keep his players from engaging in the rivalry hoopla. He spoke with Mike Francesa from WFAN in New York and tried to downplay the effect the rivalry will have on his team this week:
"None of these kids are from Kentucky. I got one Kentucky player on the team, so they don't know. Some of them have been here six months. They have no idea about any of that stuff. I don't think it's an issue."
Francesa also asked Calipari if he considered the 2011-2012 edition of the Wildcats to be the best team he has coached. They enter the Final Four as the No. 1 overall seed, with four straight double-digit wins in the tournament. Semantically, Calipari agreed with the notion that this edition is the best "team" he's had, despite some of his past clubs at Kentucky and his previous stops having more talent:
"Now talent wise probably two years ago with [John] Wall and [DeMarcus] Cousins and those guys and Patrick Patterson and Eric Bledsoe and all those guys and a young Darius Miller was talented, but probably this team is the best team."
The oddsmakers certainly believe that they're the best team heading into Saturday, favoring the Cats by 8.5 points.