Kentucky fan has viral March Madness moment after crushing loss

It took one day and one shocking upset for the first college hoops fan to have a viral March Madness moment.

With No. 14 Oakland ousting No. 3 Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday with a stunning 80-76 victory, one Wildcats fan became an internet sensation after an X user posted a screenshot from the game’s broadcast on social media.

“Watching Kentucky lose all by yourself queen?” X user @SteadyE69 wrote Thursday night.

The X post has been viewed 4.4 million times as of Friday.

Some sleuths have speculated that the fan in question is Madison Sheppard Willington, the sister of Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard.

Although Thursday was chock full of wild upsets in the Round of 64, with No. 11 Duquesne taking down No. 6 BYU and No. 11 Oregon topping sixth-seeded South Carolina, Kentucky’s early exit turns up the heat on head coach John Calipari, who has a 1-4 record in the Wildcats’ past five NCAA Tournament contests.

Jack Gohlke (3) of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies reacts after making a 3-pointer against the Kentucky Wildcats on March 21, 2024. Getty Images

Oakland players celebrate after defeating Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tournament. AP

“I told them after, this one is painful,” Calipari said in a postgame interview with Evan Washburn of CBS Sports.

“And the reason is, there are other times you lose a game and you know your team is what it is. But this team, I really felt, was built for this moment. Even though we were young, I knew that could catch us. But we had our chances. We threw the ball away, took a bad shot. There were things that happened, and then we give up a corner three the last play.”

Kentucky players look on from the bench in what was a first-round loss to Oakland in the NCAA tournament on March 21, 2024. AP

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari walks off the court on March 21, 2024. Getty Images

Calipari, who has been the head coach of Kentucky since 2009, then tipped his hat to the Golden Grizzlies.

“But you’ve got to give Oakland credit. They made unbelievable shots at the buzzer. They deserved to win the game. I hate to say we didn’t, but we didn’t,” he said.

“They shouldn’t be and our team and our season, defined by that game, but it will be. … This one is painful. … This team, I really felt was built for this moment, even though we were young.”—Kentucky head coach John Calipari joins @EvanWashburn— CBS Sports College Basketball 🏀 (@CBSSportsCBB) March 22, 2024

Oakland will now face No. 11 NC State — which had a thrilling upset of its own Thursday night with an 80-67 victory over No. 6 seed Texas Tech — on Saturday in the Round of 32.

Meanwhile, Kentucky now enters an offseason with a bevy of questions about where the program goes from here.

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