Jerry Tarkanian: Kentucky the class of the NCAA Tournament

I was hoping to be in New Orleans for this year’s Final Four to support John Calipari, the Kentucky basketball coach and my good friend.

But I’ve been hospitalized the past nine days, and even if they released me, I wouldn’t have taken the risk of traveling to the game. I’ve made some small improvements in my rehabilitation and I think they have my lungs and breathing under control. I’m hoping they let me go home soon.

So many people in Vegas called to see how I was feeling and I appreciate everyone contacting me. Calipari also called and invited me to the Final Four, but I watched both games from my room at MountainView Hospital with my son and a few friends who stopped by.

Kentucky has been my pick to win the championship all season. They are the class of the tournament. Louisville played them real hard tonight and made the game a lot tougher than I thought it would be.

You have to give credit to Kansas coach Bill Self in the second game. He was just so resourceful in getting his guys to play the whole game and come back for that big first half deficit. I was really impressed.

For as good as Kansas was in the second half Saturday, I just don’t see them doing that against Kentucky. I have known John for a long time and he’ll have those kids ready to win.

Last July, when John was in Las Vegas for the high school tournaments, he took me around with him to a few gyms. He also invited me to a dinner at Piero’s, where there were about 15 other coaches there. It was a good night.

I’m getting healthier every day and making sure to get plenty of rest. Everyone is taking great care of me. My daughters Jody and Pam have looked out for me, and my wife, Lois, makes sure I’m comfortable.

I’m looking forward to Monday’s championship game. Talk to everyone next time and thanks for thinking of me.

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