Since I am a college hoops junkie, the NCAA Tournament is like Christmas stretched out over three weeks. And I love every facet of it.

Yes, I'm not just talking about the surprising results on the court like Wisconsin knocking off overall number one seed Villanova or South Carolina taking out Duke, the presumptive favorite to win the whole thing.

I'm talking about the celebrations that happen on the court immediately following that horn and the celebrations OFF the court in the locker rooms.

It's been a blast watching some of these coaches completely let their hair down and just go nuts with their teams.

The Michigan coach, for example--John Beilein--who always seems so stoic on the sidelines rushed into the Wolverines' locker room post-game firing a Super Soaker at everyone.

That's awesome!

This is where I disagree with a comment John Calipari made to Kentucky Sports Radio when he mentioned behavior like I've just described--and he was actually talking about Wichita State after they beat Dayton.

No, I don't expect Calipari to charge into the Cats' locker room wielding water guns or Silly String; that's just not him.

But his remark, "We gotta be better than this?"

Well, why say that? Why is it necessarily WORSE to be that joyous about a victory?

Now, on the other hand, Calipari DID make a comment with which I wholly agree.

He had a message for what KSR called his "agitators."

Simply put, he doesn't want them jumping on the UK bandwagon now if they haven't been there all year.

I agree with that...

...aaaand I have to admit a little guilt here.

There were times during the season--like when Kentucky lost three of four in late January and early February--when I wondered if these freshmen were going to get it.

Malik Monk and that Florida road game was where it started for me.

And...maybe, ENDED.

They've won 13 straight since that debacle and have looked a little better each time.

What's more, they own the nation's current longest winning streak.

And they've gotten much better defensively. That's how they beat Wichita State.

Does that new commitment to defense mean they'll beat UCLA Friday night?

Who knows?

But I bet it's a heck of a game.



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