Considering his forearm shiver at Louisville's Jared Swopshire and his punch allegedly aimed at a court-storming South Carolina fan, Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins probably deserves his reputation as combustible and immature.
Still, you've got to admire the way he found humor in the hundreds of crank calls and text messages he received from Mississippi State fans the past few days, some of which were mean-spirited and even racist.
Check out the above video from the first half of Kentucky's 81-75 overtime victory over the Bulldogs on Tuesday night. After grabbing the rebound of a John Wall miss and rising over two defenders for a follow slam, Cousins looks into the Mississippi State crowd, flashes a big smirk and makes the "call me" sign as a he runs up court.
How Mississippi State students got hold of Cousins' number remains a mystery, but we now know how it was disseminated. In addition to the usual Internet forum posts, there were also signs like this one advertising his phone number at a shuttle bus stop near Mississippi State's campus.
Of course, Bulldog fans weren't satisfied with just embarrassing themselves before the game. They also managed to do so afterward by, uh, pulling a West Virginia, throwing cups filled with ice and plastic water bottles onto the court during the final seconds including a full one that splashed at the feet of referee Mike Kitts.
Did Mississippi State fans have reason to be angry? Perhaps.
Star big man Jarvis Varnado had to sit glum-faced on the bench for almost the entire second half after quickly getting his third and fourth fouls, ultimately fouling out with five minutes to go. And then Kentucky benefited from a few calls going their way in overtime, most notably a no-call on a John Wall goaltend that appeared to hit the glass before the Kentucky guard swatted it away.
But that wasn't why Kentucky won. The Wildcats escaped with a victory because they were calm and clutch in the face of a late seven-point deficit and Mississippi State rushed shots and continued to rely too heavily on the 3-pointer.
In the end, fittingly we were left with this: Bragging rights for Cousins and a blackeye for Mississippi State.
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Mississippi State