TAMPA, Fla. -- Cam Thoroughman is probably as close to a Kentuckian as West Virginia has on a roster dominated by players from the Northeast. Jonnie West went to high school in Memphis, Tenn., but Thoroughman grew up right across the Kentucky border in Portsmouth, Ohio.
"Growing up it was all Kentucky fans around me,'' Thoroughman said.
He never joined the ranks.
"No, not at all,'' Thoroughman said. "It was just because everyone else was. That's the way my personality was back then. My dad used to like them. Maybe he still does, I don't know. I don't get home much anymore.''
Thoroughman gets another chance to play against Kentucky today when the Mountaineers face the Wildcats in the NCAA tournament.
As anyone knows who has ever grown up surrounded by fans of a team he doesn't particularly care for, Thoroughman had his share of battles.
"I played golf with guys who were all Kentucky fans,'' Thoroughman said. "They say they want me to win and they say they're rooting for me, but down deep I think they really want me to do good individually, but they want Kentucky to win.''
Thoroughman, of course, is 1-0 against the Wildcats after last year's 73-66 win in the Elite Eight at the Carrier Dome.
"I give them a hard time about it and they give me a hard time about it,'' Thoroughman said. "Last year I think they were mad both that we beat Kentucky and then that Duke beat us. They hate Duke.''
Ambulance story all relative
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, of course, was asked Friday to tell his ambulance story again.
That's the one when Huggins was being transported to a hospital after his 2002 heart attack at the Pittsburgh airport and the paramedic tending to him was either Kentucky coach John Calipari's cousin or nephew, depending upon who is telling it.
"I wasn't going to tell it,'' Huggins said. "Cal likes to tell it better than I do. Of course, Cal wasn't dying and I was.''
Anyway, Huggins said the relative - they both now seem to agree it was a cousin - assured him he wouldn't allow Huggins to die until Calipari had beaten him.
Well, Calipari, who was at Memphis at the time, beat Huggins the very next season. Still, Huggins is 8-1 all-time against Calipari - 1-0 vs. Kentucky while at West Virginia, 2-0 vs. Calipari's UMass teams while at Cincinnati and 5-1 against Calipari's Memphis teams, also while Huggins was at Cincinnati.