Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out by John Calipari and Michael Sokolove:
If the good Lord had decided that John Calipari needed a season in which he was thoroughly humbled, the final act in our season was the topper. (And please, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure God had no hand in postseason scheduling.) We got picked for the National Invitation Tournament. Rupp Arena was being used for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, so we got sent off to play Robert Morris—in my hometown of Moon Township, Pennsylvania. A homecoming.
They scored the first ten points of the game. We lost at the end, 59-57, when they hit two foul shots with eight seconds left. I think it’s fair to say we were put out of our misery.
But it was good TV. You never get to see the national champs from the previous year get taken out in the first round of the NIT. You don’t ever get to see them in the NIT at all. It was a highly rated game—the highest-rated of the whole NIT—and people stayed with it and then even watched my press conference afterward. (My funeral will be large just from the people who come to make sure I’m dead.)