CLEVELAND — It was Kentucky’s carnival of carnage in Cleveland.
The Wildcats casually and definitively put an end to No. 4 West Virginia’s season on Thursday night in the Sweet 16.
This is what happens when you give the most talented team in the sport even more reason to find motivation. A sniff of blood to rip apart your guts and then use the skin as a scarf.
Daxter Miles Jr. will go down at worst as a college basketball posterchild perma-meme or, if he’s lucky, merely a point of reference going forward. Worst prediction ever? Yeah. When the final score is 78-39, it’s the worst prediction ever. Don’t prophesize victory against leviathan programs stockpiled with future pros.
Miles Jr. was the one who said Kentucky would be 36-1 after this game. Now at 37-0, it moves on to Saturday’s Elite Eight game against No. 8 Notre Dame.
Between now and Saturday night’s tip, no Irish players will be proclamating anything remotely resembling a guaranteed victory. This win was as much a slam to WVU as it was a warning to Notre Dame. And it was a reminder to the country that UK’s best is so much better than everyone else’s best. Thursday night saw Wildcats at their purest distillation of domination. Just throttling a hapless WVU team that was dodging tree trunks hurtling down at them from the mountain cliffs above.
At one point, it got this out of hand. You kidding with this shot, Andrew Harrison?
The game was done by the first TV timeout. Maybe that’s putting it too kindly.
It took more than eight minutes for WVU to score its first field goal of the second half, then it went on a blinding 4-0 run … that cut Kentucky’s margin to 54-23.
This gets John Calipari to 14-1 in his least 15 NCAA Tournament games. And guarantees one thing: Kentucky looks as good now as it has at any point this season.