Before becoming a bonafide NBA superstar, Ja Morant played his college basketball at Murray State, a small school located in Murray, Ky. He had an all-time performance in a first-round matchup with Marquette in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
The University of Kentucky, meanwhile, is coming off a not-so-great tournament performance.
The Wildcats and head coach John Calipari — a No. 2 seed — were upset by the 15th-seeded St. Peter’s Peacocks in the biggest shocker of 2022’s version of March Madness (so far).
And Murray State happened to win its first-round game against San Francisco University. So, naturally, the Racers’ most famous alum hopped on Twitter to pile on the other Kentucky school’s misery.
Kentucky was upset by St. Peter’s in the 2022 NCAA Tournament’s first round
Granted, it was only the first day of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, but the Wildcats’ loss to a small Jesuit school in Jersey City may end up being this year’s most unbelievable upset.
The game stayed close throughout, but Kentucky’s on-paper talent advantage would surely come to the forefront eventually.
Except it didn’t.
Daryl Banks III hit a pair of free throws to put St. Peter’s ahead with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation. Kentucky came back to tie it and send the game into overtime, but the Peacocks outscored the Wildcats 14-8 in the extra period to earn a historic victory.
Oscar Tshiebwe’s 30 points and 16 rebounds weren’t enough for Kentucky.
“It’s huge,” Banks said of the win per ESPN. “We’re putting Jersey City on the map. We come from Jersey, a small school, probably a lot of people don’t even know who we are.”
Meanwhile, a much smaller school in the state of Kentucky participated in its own overtime thriller. Unlike the Wildcats, though, Murray State brought the state (no pun intended) a win after a 92-87 defeat of San Francisco.
As the Racers’ most famous alum, Ja Morant used his NBA superstar status to throw some shade at the Wildcats and give his alma mater some love.
Ja Morant naturally took a shot at Kentucky while praising his Racers
After (and during) the Racers’ OT thriller, Ja took to Twitter.
He kept a bit of a running diary, tossing out messages like “this game lit but come on we gotta finish” followed by “FINISHHHH” (it appears he wanted Murray State to finish strong).
Shortly after they did finish, Ja sent out one more brief message:
“a team from Kentucky won today”
(The tweet loses some of its luster without the eyeball, clapping, and racing horse emojis at the end. But the point stands).
Morant made a name for himself at Murray State before becoming the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and winning that season’s NBA Rookie of the Year.
This season he’s broken out with a vengeance as an MVP candidate and the leader of a Memphis Grizzlies team hunting an NBA Championship.
But the Racers should always hold a place in Ja’s heart — they were the only program to offer him a Division 1 scholarship, after all. Why not represent your school and blast the state’s most famous team simultaneously, right?
John Calipari and Kentucky will now live in NCAA Tournament infamy
Kentucky became only the 10th team in NCAA Tournament history to lose a 2-15 matchup. Brackets everywhere exploded.
Another No. 15 seed, Oral Roberts, made a run to the Sweet 16 last year.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Banks added via ESPN. “You grow up, you watching March Madness, the tournament, so to let that sink in — knowing the game was over — it felt really good.”
And, in an intense bout of irony, guess who the Peacocks face in the Round of 32?
Ja Morant’s Murray State Racers.