The game was important for both teams: Tennessee desperately needed a signature win to make up for their 7-7 record in non-conference play; one-loss Kentucky was trying to keep pace with two unbeaten teams -- Baylor and Syracuse -- in the race for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
And while Calipari’s squad faced a surprisingly tough test Saturday morning, two of his former stars, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, were playing for far different stakes that night.
The Sacramento Kings game against the Dallas Mavericks was their fourth in five days. It was at the tail end of a road trip that had sent them to the Atlantic seaboard for games at Toronto and Philadelphia before a back-to-back in Texas and another cross-country trip to Minnesota for a game Monday night.
Look at the delirious way the Hoosiers fans rushed the court at Assembly Hall after Christian Watford’s buzzer-beating three-pointer. Now try to imagine a scenario where anything that happens in the NBA’s regular season could possibly generate a similar level of emotion.