March (S)adness - Watching Your Team Lose as a Senior

The University of Kentucky is widely known as a basketball school. With eight national championships under our belt, it comes as no surprise that the men’s team has a cult following.


Growing up, if I wasn’t watching the game my dad made sure to question if I was truly his blood.  I idolized the men in blue on television and grew up loving UK as a whole. I still have my t-shirt from the legendary UK2K win. I went to player tours every time they came to my small EKY town. We have been a family of fans during the highest highs of championships and lowest lows of playing in the NIT.


Imagine how excited my blue-bleeding family was when I chose to continue my education at the University of Kentucky and oh, how I have loved my time here.  I took the leap of faith to leave Small Town, USA and move to what I then considered to be a big city.


Rather than watching the game in the family room I was now gathering with my fellow students to cheer on the Cats with thousands of other screaming fans in Rupp Arena from the eRUPPtion Zone.


Fast forward to March Madness 2019: the last chance for my beloved Big Blue Nation to come away with a national championship before I graduate.  Did I expect us to win it all this year? Honestly, no. But I would have been crazy not to hope for them to. However, our Elite Eight loss on Sunday afternoon hung a cloud over the otherwise beautiful day.


A March Madness loss is not something any basketball fan wants to witness.  But being a senior, this one seemed to sting worse than years past. I have officially watched my last ever UK basketball game as a student.  Ever. In addition to the many other realities hitting lately, it was a hard to swallow fact of graduation and quite frankly, growing up in general.  My days of student tickets and bar watch parties have ended.


Luckily for me and the rest of the Big Blue Nation, UK basketball is a tradition that will never die.  I will go on to watch every game, wear UK gear ~way~ too often, and excitedly do the CATS chant in public.  Another season will begin next year with a new chance of bringing the national championship back to the not-so-big city I have called home for the last four years.  The only difference is that now I will get to boast that I am an UK Alumna.