Team No Sleep

Having played four epic games in three cities during the span of two weeks, a few of them ending near midnight, sleep hasn't been a luxury the Kentucky Wildcats could afford lately. And they don't care.

Having played four epic games in three cities during the span of two weeks, a few of them ending near midnight, sleep hasn't been a luxury the Kentucky Wildcats could afford lately.

As soon as Kentucky ousted Wisconsin on Saturday night in the national semifinals, UK coach John Calipari's thoughts turned to some much-needed rest.

It did not take.

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"I went upstairs and I said, ‘You know what, I'm going to do the tape tomorrow,'" Calipari said of his scouting preparation for UConn in the championship game. "As I laid there, I said, ‘These guys are fighting so hard for me, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to do the tape now.' "So I was up until about 3:30 and got up about 7 o'clock this morning."

Only fitting. The youngsters boast "Team No Sleep" on social media like a badge of honor. Coaching them should come naturally after 39 games and one high-stakes matchup to go before the finish line. Even for a coach who's lost his fair share of sleep this season thanks to a bum hip and a team that had to overcome prolonged growing pains.

"Playing against Connecticut… I mean, I'm just happy we're still playing," Calipari said. "You know, we're working on fumes now. It's not like we're not tired, but your adrenaline gets you through all this."

His players agreed. No time for fatigue to become a factor.

"I got maybe five, six hours of sleep," said recurring UK hero Aaron Harrison, whose 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left beat the Badgers. "Being in the Final Four, I don't think… yeah, like coach said, I think you just run off adrenaline really, and I think we'll be fine."

Added UK freshman forward Julius Randle, who is playing near his hometown in front of dozens of family members and friends eager to talk and text with him at every turn: "If I really told you when I went to bed, coach would probably kill me."

Randle's night, er, morning also included taking a peek at what was going on back in Lexington.

"It is crazy," he said. "Back home they are burning things, pulling stop signs out of the ground, and I saw pictures of people swinging from trees. It is a zoo back there. It is definitely encouraging and it makes you feel good about yourself that you can bring joy to a community.

"I'm just so excited to play and get back out there and just running on adrenaline. But we'll all be ready to play."

Calipari said there's likely only one Wildcat who is well-rested at this stage.

"We had one guy that slept and got a good 10 hours in. Talk to him," he said, glancing in freshman swingman James Young's direction.

Said Young: "I kind of sleep through everything. I just love sleeping."

One more good night on the court, and all the Cats can get all the rest they want. And they'll have a nice dream for the ages.


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