Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Is this the Barack Obama jinx?
Before newly-minted No. 1 Kentucky played at South Carolina Tuesday night, John Calipari and company received a phone call from Obama thanking them for raising money for Haiti.
“There is that tendency, once you get to be No. 1, to start letting down a little bit and a it’s a tough place to play, so you guys stay focused. I expect to see you guys in the championship game at some point,” Obama told the then-Wildcats on a conference call.
So what ended up happening?
Devin Downey scored 30 points and grabbed 5 rebounds as the Gamecocks won their first-ever game over a No. 1 team, 68-62.
“It feels great, it feels great,” Downey told ESPN. “My team been fighting so hard and I told them, ‘Never give up, never give up. Just keep fighting and good things are going to happen.’ And tonight it paid off.”
So much for the honor of being No. 1.
Since Texas took over last week for Kansas at the top spot, the No. 1 team has dropped three straight games. The Longhorns lost both their games last week, to Kansas State and UConn, and now Kentucky lost its first game while holding the top spot.
**In somewhat related news, Calipari called ESPN’s John Buccigross a “jagoff” on national TV Monday. Bad karma?
RUTGERS DROPS TO 0-8
It was a tough night all around for the State University of New Jersey.
The women’s team was hammered, 73-36, by No. 1 UConn (which has won 59 straight) and the men lost at Marquette, 82-59, to fall to 0-8 in the Big East.
Rutgers comes home for a pair of games with Notre Dame (Saturday) and St. John’s (Feb. 2.).
The Knights really need to get at least one of those games to get off the schneid. After that comes a road game at Louisville (Feb. 6) and a game with Georgetown (Feb. 14) at the RAC sandwiched around a matchup with Caldwell.
(Photo courtesy Kansascity.com)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.