NEW ORLEANS — Here's how dull it was to watch Kentucky's 100-71 smackdown of overmatched East Tennessee State: It actually put one fan to sleep.
With 17 minutes to go in the second half and the top-seeded Wildcats safely ahead by 30 points, the video board at New Orleans arena caught a Texas fan reclining in his lower bowl seat with his eyes closed. It was a fitting reaction for what was predictably a snoozer of a game.
Whatever the recipe is for a No. 16 seed beating a No. 1 for the first time, East Tennessee State didn't have the proper ingredients. DeMarcus Cousins curiously had only five points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes, but Eric Bledsoe played the role of star for the night with 29 points on 9-for-11 shooting and Patrick Patterson and John Wall chipped in 22 and 17.
About the only thing that kept fans' attention was Kentucky coach John Calipari's odd unwillingness to sit his starters despite going up by as many as 40 midway through the second half. Perhaps Calipari was trying to get his young team some tournament experience, but was there really anything to be gained in the second half of a laugher like this one?
The strategy nearly backfired in the final minutes when Daniel Orton crashed hard to the floor and limped to the bench, prompting one Kentucky fan to shout for Calipari to "put some subs in." Calipari didn't exactly oblige: He reinserted Cousins into the game.