Originally Posted by paintmered
This. UC was the clear #1 team during the regular season, and Martin was the National Player of the Year. Purdue is a good team and were looking at the third or fourth 1-seed. Also, UC didn't have a chance to regroup since the Martin injury occurred in the C-USA tourney and UC lost the game. Purdue still has a few weeks to regroup.
The only parallel in college basketball today that could rival what UC experienced in 2000 would be if Kentucky lost John Wall in the SEC tourney. John Wall >> Robbie Hummel, and that's not a knock on Hummel.
K-Mart breaking his ankle is the ultimate "what-if" for UC fans.
This is all true. The whole parallel thing isn't the part of the story that I found interesting though. I just though it is an interesting what-if for UC fans and not only for that season, but ramifications for the next decade plus that event would have.
There are a couple reasons I don't think Huggs would be here if that injury didn't happen. First one is that there is no certainty that UC would go on to win a National Chapionship or even make it to the final four. They were a great team for sure though. The second reason is Huggins was still putting very good teams on the court year after year. Its not like UC was caught in a trend of mediocrity and fans weren't showing up to games. Success on the court was not a factor in firing Bob Huggins IMO. There was a lot more to that situation than just the reputation Huggins was bringing to UC through the players he recruited also.
Of course its just my opinion and there is no way to prove it right or wrong. I can definately see the other side of the argument being just a plausible as mine.
The reality is UC is stuck in a pretty tough place, but that position can get better with a win tonight and another win in the final two games. I don't want to get this tread off topic, I just thought it would be an interesting bit for discussion while waiting for todays game.