Kentucky beat West Virginia 78-39 in a blowout that was actually worse than the final score indicated to reach the Elite 8.
After the game, Kentucky players unloaded on Daxter Miles Jr., the West Virginia freshman who vowed to end UK’s winning streak at 36 games before their Sweet 16 matchup.
“Salute them to getting to 36-0. But tomorrow they’re gonna be 36-1,” Miles said on Wednesday. “To me, they don’t play hard. To me, they don’t play as hard as we play.”
It was a bit of light trash talk from a 20-year-old, and it’s not like he was going to say WVU was going to lose.
But Kentucky players say it motivated them to obliterate the Mountaineers. Some of the postgame quotes were pretty fantastic/brutal.
“I feel like they should have just kept their mouths shut and it wouldn’t have been like that,” guard Tyler Ulis said. “We come out there flat sometimes but when guys are trash talking us we just come out and destroy them.”
“Our whole plan was to crush their spirit. [To] beat them by 50 for disrespecting us,” he told ESPN.
Dakari Johnson told Kentucky Sports Radio, “Everybody was juiced up. We wanted to come out and make a statement and after all the talking they were doing, we didn’t really do that much talking. We just let our play do the talking. I think that made a statement.”
Aaron Harrison told USA Today’s Nancy Armour, “That’s what happens when people try and trash talk to us.”
“(The comments) kind of got us ready. We came out firing on all cylinders, and that just makes it look worse,” Willie Cauley-Stein told USA Today.
Other Kentucky players took to Twitter to hit out at Miles’ comments:
Lot of talkn lot of tweetin till they……..play
— Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) March 27, 2015
36 and won
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) March 27, 2015
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.