Before starring in Spike Lee’s ‘He Got Game’ with Denzel Washington and Ray Allen. Before starring in the NBA with the storied Boston Celtics. Before forging a post playing career as an R&B star. Triple-threat, triple-teamed, Robert Horry like with the clutch triple, off the bench, role playing great Walter McCarty won a National Championship with John Calipari’s U.K., University of Kentucky Wildcats, cutting down nets.
Twenty three years later with Coach Cap’s head in his hands in an indelible image, COACH Walter McCarty aced an upset in the NCAA with an epic win for his Evansville boys against his legendary Kentucky Wildcats alma mater.
Once an alumnus, always an alumni.
But last night it was tears of champagne joy he shed as the cats out their cradle cried.
All this madness…and we’re still a long way from March.
But the Evansville Aces keep marching in a purple haze with this ace in the hole.
And it all happened at the legendary Rupp Arena for these two teams first ever match-up.
When Walt continued his Celtics career post-playing days by becoming an assistant coach in Boston, he not only soaked up the experience but he also was such a cult icon in the city he had his very own ‘I Love Waltah’ t-shirts for the fans in the stands (that even this purple and gold Laker fan rocked…we go back some). But last night as he bounded into the locker room his shirt and tie where soaked in bubbly as he bounded around with his team, embraced in jubilant joy and the made dreams of some young men looking to grow in this college game.
And how about this for a coming of age?
Kentucky where looking for the perfect season with their latest NBA prospects this year for a college that sends them all to the big leagues (Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and of course…our man Walt), but Evansville left their mark and their one on history.
Nobody deserves it more than McCarty and his boys.
And for all the teams to beat. This is Basketball God poetic. Walt Whitman couldn’t have wrote it better for Walt McCarty.
Ending his teams 39 game winning streak just like that, Calipari said of Walt’s men, “Walter and their team deserved to win. If we would have somehow pulled it out, it would have been, kind of wouldn’t even have been fair because they fought us the whole game and they were the tougher team.”
And as McCarty tells is, “this is the top”!
Beating the first seed U.K., we all know whose number one tonight.
For the aces.