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Kentucky motivated whenever ESPN airs ad of its only loss


Mike Miller

How does one motivate a 1-loss team again and again? Remind them of that one loss. But sometimes that’s not easy for a coach, whose players can get sick of hearing the same thing, again and again.

That’s why Kentucky coach John Calipari is luckier than most. He doesn’t need to remind his top-ranked Wildcats about their loss to Indiana back in December.

ESPN is doing it for him.

One of the network’s latest commercials – in an effort to promote one of the season’s most memorable moments – shows the final second of the Hoosiers’ 73-72 win, in which Christian Watford nailed a 3-pointer as time expired. It’s in heavy rotation right now on every ESPN platform: TV, iPhone, iPad, etc. Kentucky players couldn’t avoid it if they wanted to.

“Oh, I turn the TV off. Every time. I almost sold my iPhone, my iPad,” sophomore Terrence Jones said after Sunday’s win against Florida.

From freshman Anthony Davis: “It shows like 100 times on ESPN a day. That really makes us mad.”

Even Indiana coach Tom Crean plays a role in motivating the ‘Cats, tweeting: “You know whats so great about the add on ESPN that shows us beating Kentucky? Christians shot goes in EVERYTIME!”

Calipari, always one to seek out ways to motivate his players, had this to say after the Florida game: “I want to thank ESPN. They’ve done my program one of the greatest services by having that ad on TV showing Indiana beating us.”

Maybe this will be Calipari’s year.

(H/T to Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal)

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.