LEXINGTON, KY. - The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team announced the second annual “Big Blue Sadness” fan night following their loss to St. Peter’s University in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Thursday night.
The now-annual event, the first of which took place last year when Kentucky failed to make the tournament at all, will feature “prayer huddles, a pillow screaming contest, and a demolition exhibit of an 8-foot tall statue of St. Peter” according to the press release.
Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart spoke about the event early Friday morning.
“We’re disappointed with the loss, but we’re excited to mourn together again,” said Barnhart. “This pain shall pass, and we’re hopeful this will provide fans the relief they need to get through this difficult time."
The tournament loss and subsequent event come on the heels of a season that saw one of the best teams the school has had in years, which rose to a top-5 ranking and featured both a National Player of the Year candidate and a projected NBA lottery pick.
Despite those accolades, the overwhelming amount of talent, recruiting budget, and coaching experience in comparison to St. Peter’s, the Wildcats couldn’t overcome the Peacocks, becoming only the 10th team in NCAA Tournament history to lose to a 15 seed.
Head coach John Calipari took to Twitter to show his support for the fanbase and to talk about the disappointing finish to the year.
Attendees of Big Blue Sadness will also have access to grief counselors, a crisis hotline manned by former UK player and current TV analyst Rex Chapman and be sent home with a life-size teddy bear version of Oscar Tshiebwe - things Barnhart says are “just some of what fans can expect at the event.”
“This is the best, and most privileged fan base in the country,” Barnhart said. “We will spare no expense to make sure our fanbase gets through what has annually become a very difficult time.”
Tickets to the event can be purchased outside any Kroger grocery store starting Sunday, March 20th.