I've been given an opening and so I'm going to take it. Here comes my mini (read: relatively pleasant) rant about the infamous and tiresome 'overrated' chant that happens when a highly ranked team is getting devoured by its opponent.

It began one winter night in Lexington, Kentucky when the 5th-ranked Wildcats were hosting the #1 Tennessee Volunteers in Rupp Arena.

On this night, UK was not a gracious host.

The 'Cats, very methodically, took the Vols apart for an 86-69 blowout that brought Tennessee's 19-game winning streak to an abrupt end.

Toward the finish of that game, during which Kentucky led by as many as 24, members of the crowd began chanting "OVERRATED" and aiming it at the Volunteers.

UK head coach John Calipari jumped up and put an immediate stop to it.

On Monday, UK assistant Kenny Payne weighed in:

And now it's my turn.

I've come to believe that there are those sports fans who don't REALLY know what it means to shout "overrated" when their team is beating its opponent.

When you shout that, you're saying that your team's adversary isn't really as good as their ranking. You're saying that your team's ensuing victory doesn't mean as much as it could because it really isn't beating that good a team, after all.

It drives me crazy when I hear that.

And, before it comes up, I'll address it:

If you really do think a team that's been beating up on mostly subpar competition (except for second-ranked Gonzaga and, possibly, fringe bubble team Alabama) during its 19-game win streak is overrated, okay. You're entitled to your opinion. But why would you shout that in the arena?

It diminishes what your team is doing.

I happen to like what Tennessee's accomplished this season. I've never seen them with a record like this and I've been watching college hoops for a long time.

I also happen to like Vols head coach Rick Barnes. Classy dude. Terrific, veteran coach. (Also, a very close friend of John Calipari's, so that likely ALSO played a part in the coach's admonishing of the Big Blue crowd.)

Oh, and there's this...Kentucky has a return game against the Volunteers March 2nd. And it's in Knoxville.

And, by then, Tennessee will have seriously upped its competition; they have a rough closing stretch. They'll be ready. And they'll have a good memory.

And, if it turns out to be a season split and Big Orange takes down Big Blue, do you think THAT CROWD will be shouting "Overra..."

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course they will.



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