Rick Pitino, Kentucky’s resident coach/psychologist, has some words of advice.
“When the NCAA starts,” he said Tuesday, “everybody has to have more fun than they’ve ever had because this is the time to showcase your skills as basketball players, to go out there and have the time of your life.”
Making its first Final Four appearance in nine years, Kentucky will face Michigan in the Superdome at New Orleans on Saturday night. And so far, Kentucky’s players are taking Pitino’s words to heart.
“We don’t feel any pressure,” guard Travis Ford said. “This is when it gets fun. We haven’t felt pressure all year. That’s one good thing about this team. We don’t let the pressures of the outside world bother us.”
Kentucky (30-3) is riding a 10-game winning streak, including four blowouts in the Southeast Regional, during which it outscored opponents by an average of 31 points.
“I thought we were in the toughest region in the NCAA, if not, the second toughest,” said Pitino, ranking the Midwest as the other top region. “Everything has been totally unexpected, but we’re just happy that it’s come about that way.”