The first thing that you’ll learn when covering college basketball is that you should never, ever underestimate the passion — and insanity — of Kentucky basketball fans.
This morning at 5 a.m., fans were allowed to begin camping out for a spot in line to get a voucher for a ticket to Big Blue Madness. Those vouchers won’t be given out until 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. That’s a full 74 hours later.
Look at the rush to get a spot in line:
A record 650 tents were set up as of 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. This is what “Tent City” looks like now:
Remember, this is all for a chance to see Big Blue Madness, which can barely be qualified as a practice.
Kentucky is always the place to be when it comes to Midnight Madness, especially Friday night as Big Blue Nation raised another banner inside Rupp Arena.
During the scrimmage, one of John Calipari’s freshmen big men threw down a highlight-worthy dunk. But, it’s not the freshman center you’re probably thinking of, however he was on the receiving end of it.
Nerlens Noel, the nation’s top recruit, was posterized by Willie Cauley-Stein on a two-on-one fastbreak. It started with another highly-touted freshman, Archie Goodwin leading the break and hitting the streaking Cauley-Stein with a behind the back pass. The 6-foot-10 Noel went up to contest, only to get in the way of the 7-foot Cauley-Stein slamming the ball over Noel’s hightop fade.
Interestingly enough, the two big men were in the news together on Thursday during Kentucky’s media day, when Calipari mentioned that he is considering playing the two on the floor at the same time.
“I may stack them together, put them both on the same side of the court,” said Calipari in a press release from the school. “I may put them on the elbow. I’m going to mess around. I don’t know how much per game we’ll play those two. I really have no idea. It may be five minutes, 15 minutes. What if they’re both really good together? It may be 25 minutes. So I don’t know yet.”