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Archive for the ‘Kentucky Wildcats’ Category

Get Your Tin Foil Hats Out Because…

Posted by Matt on March 30, 2009

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It must be admitted that I have very few links to support any of my quotes (I’ll add video clips/links as soon as possible) or any of my theories…get your scorecards ready, folks…

11:45AM UPDATE: Here is an ESPN link with an Andy Katz-on-Mike and Mike in the Morning video along with a Jay Bilas-on-Mike and Mike audio link supporting some of the statements below:  ESPN.com

-The ESPN Machine

ESPN’s Colin Cowherd mentioned on his radio show that Memphis isn’t with the likes of UK, UNC, UCLA, and that the job in Lexington is a “top five” position. Colin mentioned John Calipari “has to take the Kentucky job” and that Lexington is a “beautiful city,” among other things.  Andy Katz has added that he thinks Coach Cal is coming to Kentucky, that this move “changes the face of SEC basketball,” and that the hire would automatically make the Wildcats a team to play for again among the other top programs.  I have also heard Jay Bilas (“I would go there in a heartbeat if I were John Calipari”) and Doug Gottlieb (“Kentucky is KENTUCKY”) being on the Cal-to-Kentucky bandwagon.  So what am I getting at?

ESPN has a gozillion dollar SEC basketball television contract starting next season and for a network that the Cat fanatics normally decry as being overwhelmingly “against” Kentucky, all of the talking heads have quickly started playing a new tune despite most saying just days ago that Kentucky didn’t give Billy Clyde Gillispie a fair shake at life in Lexington.  This after claiming the Kentucky crazies “ran” Tubby” out of town two years ago.  A change of tune indeed. (2:15PM Update: ESPN’s home page now has this article –front and center — to go along with the Coach Cal speculation, ESPN.com.  Maybe the tune at ESPN hasn’t completely changed, at least on the hit-or-miss “Page 2”.)

Could the ESPN machine be thinking ratings if they can continue to hype John Calipari as the new head honcho of Kentucky basketball?  Is ESPN trying to get back in to the good graces of Big Blue Nation with the SEC deal on the horizon?  Just keep in mind that ESPN is, ultimately, a business…that’s all I’m asking.

-Coach Calipari Is Playing His Cards

I’ve heard a small buzz about John Calipari’s historical use of the tease to get more money out of his current employer.  Many Cats fans lurking around the message boards are overlooking this minor detail and some are eving saying Calipari heading north is a “done deal.”  What I somewhat suspect and eternally fear is that Coach Cal is flirting with Kentucky to receive a hefty pay raise from Memphis.

It wouldn’t be unprecedented and should be less than unexpected if it does, in fact, go down.

-Benedict Arnold Is Mettling In Kentucky Affairs

Kentucky lurkers thought it was a forgone conclusion that Billy Donovan was heading to Lexington back then and some “sources” even reported an Eddie Munster resignation just last Friday.   However, it was rumored that Rick Pitino advised Billy Donovan to pass on the Kentucky job two years ago and head for higher ground — ground that ended up being Orlando and then Gainseville again.   Most of the The Faithful think Pitino feared Donovan heading to Kentucky and one-upping his former boss (Donovan was an assistant under Ricky P. during the Kentucky glory days), some suspect that’s why Pitino “advised” his former underling to turn down the nation’s winningest program, and even a few even suggest it has happened yet again.

Coach Pitino also suggested that Arkansas’ John Pelphrey and Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford, both of who were players at Kentucky under Pitino, would be sure-fire hires in his (not-so-) humble opinion (ESPN.com).  While I like Coach Ford and feel he’s done well at Campbellsville, Eastern Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma State, some also feel he doesn’t have the experience necessary to right the Big Blue Ship despite having the Kentucky ties and having the familiarity with the fanatical Cats fans.  Ditto that for Coach Pelphrey with an even less-impressive track record (no offense intended, but he missed postseason play in a “down” SEC this year with a losing conference record and a losing overall record).

Is Pitino trying to flex his muscle just enough to remain King of the Bluegrass?  Could he fear a head-to-head and in-state rivalry with the likes of John Calipari (one which may already exist, if only in some people’s eyes)?

Only the man in the white suit has those answers.

-P.S.

It should be noted that I enjoyed seeing Louisville lose yesterday and have now said for more than one year that Rick Pitino is looking increasingly sickly on the sidelines. I am having more and more people confirm my observations as he looked utterly exhausted after yesterday’s loss.

I would also like to add that on this very site (in a comments thread) I had this to say about the nation’s number one #1 seed:

“Lewisveele only beat Kensucky by 3 on a luck last second shot by Edgar ‘Don’t Call Me Sammy’ Sosa.

They’re overrated and they’ll under perform in the tourney according to ‘expert’ expectations like they have every year except their lone Final Four year under Benedict Arnold. They didn’t even play one of the upper half of the hardest Big East schedules.”

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Comments Off on Get Your Tin Foil Hats Out Because…

With Billy Gillispie Out… Big Blue Nation Wonders “Who’s Next?”

Posted by Condo on March 28, 2009

Billy Gillespie is gone, what next?

After two turbulent seasons, Billy Gillispie is gone from the Big Blue Nation. What's next for the 'Cats?

By now (unless you are living under a rock) you’ve heard the news that Billy Gillispie was fired as the head coach at the University of Kentucky yesterday afternoon.

Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said that it really had little to do with wins and losses (although Kentucky did tie for the second most losses this season in school history) and had more to do with the fact that he was not the ‘ambassador to the university that they would like the head coach at the University of Kentucky to be.’

Having said that, Kentucky is now in the market for a new head coach and as a member of “The Nasty Boys” that has been absent for more than a year at this point… I figured this was as good of a time as any to bring myself back to the blogging world with a Top 5 list of candidates that I think the “Big Blue Nation” should consider.

One other thing I’d like to add before jumping into my list is that regardless of who Kentucky hires as their next basketball coach.. so long as Patrick Patterson & Jodie Meeks come back next season and the new coach can keep Daniel Orton committed to Kentucky, they “should” be at least a Sweet 16 team in my opinion next year if not better.

Having said that, lets be honest here, I don’t think  Billy Donovan nor John Calipari, or even Tom Izzo, are going leaving their posts to come to Kentucky, so they will not be on my Top 5 list.  But let’s start with number one on my list…

1.   Jay Wright (Villanova Head Coach, Bucknell ’83)

Most people don’t believe he would leave Villanova for Kentucky after many believe he privately rebuffed UK two seasons ago, but now may be as good of a time as ever for him to leave.  He’s on the verge of a Final 4 at Villanova this season and is still relatively young in the coaching ranks (48 years old this year).  But he’s probably going to lose a lot of his core to this seasons’ team (Scottie Reynolds, Dante Cunningham) and if he is not going to leave for an NBA job, UK is about as close to NBA type pressure as it will get.

Wright’s been to 4 Sweet 16’s in the last 5 seasons at Nova and has recruited to Philadelphia awfully well, which many UK fans want to hear.  He is also probably one of the most personable coaches in America and is very charasmatic, which I believe Kentucky needs more than anything with their next hire.

The only thing tying him to Nova’ right now is the fact that he was an assistant there under Villanova great Rollie Massimino, but the opportunity to leave the rugged Big East for the SEC may be another thing that lures him in.

All and all, I think Wright would be a fantastic hire for the Cats.  But if he turns them down, lets move on to #2 on my list…

2. Rick Barnes (Texas Head Coach, Lenoir-Ryhne ’77)

Another name that most don’t believe would leave his place at Texas for UK after he was also believed to have privately rebuffed UK, but obviously the situations are a bit different now.  Barnes was coming off of a second round NCAA loss to USC and had a strong core in place at the time to make a Final 4 (not including Kevin Durant).  The next year with D.J. Augustin the Horns’ made the Elite 8 before bowing out to Memphis and this season lost in Round 2 to Duke.

Again, like Wright, he’s likely going to lose some key players to graduation or the NBA in Damian James, AJ Abrams, and company and if he’s going to leave, now is as good a time as any from that standpoint.  Again, like Wright, he has a wonderful personality and would be a great ‘ambassador’ that Barnhart says he is looking for, so I’m sure he will get another call.

The sticking point with Barnes is that his teams tend to lack the ‘killer instinct’ for one thing and I personally don’t believe his recruiting has been as strong lately as it has been in the past.  A second thing that stands out is that he’s been around the block a bit having been at George Mason, Providence, and Clemson before settling at Texas in 1998.  So he may see Texas the place he plans to spend the rest of his career.  So we will move on to #3 on the list…

3. Thad Matta (Ohio State Head Coach, Butler ’90)

From Hoopeston, IL, this man has basketball in his blood and is very young at age 41.  He’s a relentless recruiter as evident by the talent he’s been bringing into Ohio State over the past few seasons with Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Evan Turner, and others.  And he’s also seems to be a pretty likeable and personable guy who would represent the university well.

He’s shown that he has been known to be a bit of a ‘job jumper’ as his first job was at his alma-mater, Butler, where he spent only 1 season before moving on to Xavier for 3 seasons, and then to Ohio State for where he has been the past 5 seasons.

One thing that worries me with Matta is whether he is a great coach and great recruiter?  Or is he just a great recruiter and an ‘ok’ coach?  I tend to lean towards the second answer myself, but his last 2 seasons he has had very young teams in Columbus, so maybe it’s just the growing pains of starting freshmen & sophomores.

Either way, given the talent that UK ‘should’ be able to get on a yearly basis if he were to be coach, he would be a good fit.  The question is does he want to leave a place where football is king for a place where basketball rules the landscape?  On to #4 on the list…

4. Mike Anderson (Missouri Head Coach, Tulsa ’82)

Anderson is a bit of a wild card name getting toseed around thanks to the run he is experiencing with Mizzou in his third season on the job.  The team is on to the Elite 8 and will face UConn in a chance to take Mizzou to their first Final 4.  A lot of UK fans will remember Mike from his time at UAB where he took down #1 overall seed Kentucky in the second round of the NCAAs in 2004.

Anderson was a long time assistant to Nolan Richardson at Arkansas and I believe would love to get back to the SEC if he could seeing as how he grew up in SEC Country (Birmingham, AL).  His style of play is very similar to Pitino ball with what many has dubbed “Controlled Chaos” where they press for 40 minutes and try to lure you into a track meet.

The question with Anderson is really a matter of if he can recruit well enough for UK?  At Missouri and UAB, he’s never landed any ‘major’ recruits and he reminds me an awful lot of Tubby Smith.  I’m not so sure Barnhart is going to want to hire a guy similar to that which many people wanted out when he left for Minnesota.

This leads me to #5 on my list and the man I ultimately believe will end up with the job…

5. Travis Ford (Oklahoma Sate Head Coach, Kentucky ’94)

He’s young (39), he’s entergetic, he understands Kentucky basketball probably better than anyone else Kentucky is looking at for the job seeing as how he played under Pitino in the early 90s, and this is his dream job.  I am not so sure that any of the above names on my list can say that Kentucky is truly their ‘dream job’.  I believe Travis can say that.

He brings a style of play that is very similar to Pitino’s and would be welcomed by the UK fan base, not to mention that he is very charismatic and would certainly represent the university well.

The downside is that he doesn’t have much NCAA Tournament experience as he’s only been to the tournament twice (once with Eastern Kentucky, and then again this season with Oklahoma State), and he’s certainly not Kentucky’s #1 choice.

Then again, when UK hired Pitino after the whole ordeal with Eddie Sutton, I don’t think he was the #1 choice either, so maybe this would work.

Regardless of the fact that he’s not been a head coach at a major program but for just one season at Oklahoma State, he did a helluva job with the situation he was put in and almost led them to the Sweet 16 without a real legitimate post player.

I believe that if he was offered this job, he would jump at the opporunity without hesitation.

Other Names Who Missed The Cut But You May Hear About:

Sean Miller (Xavier)
Bruce Pearl (Tennessee)
Bob Knight (Ex-Texas Tech & Indiana Coach)
Avery Johnson (Ex-Dallas Mavericks Coach)

Please keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion of who I feel UK should take a look at and in no way do I have any inside sources that are telling me these are the guys who will be looked at.

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you have in regards to the list, or heck, send us your own list.  Would love to hear others thoughts on the situation at hand for the Wildcats.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | 4 Comments »

What Does Kentucky Need To Do?

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on March 10, 2009

With Saturday’s loss to Florida the Wildcats in Billy G.’s second season are on the outside looking in concerning the Big Dance.

In fact, according to our “friends” at ESPN.com, the Wildcats wouldn’t even crack the last four in or even worse, the last four out.

If the tournament started today, South Carolina, Tennessee, and LSU would be the only  representatives from the SEC, a far cry from last year’s SEC representatives of Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee, with Tennessee making the Sweet 16 for the 2nd year in a row (where they would lose to Louisville).

On the other hand, Kentucky would miss the tournament for the first time since 1991, back when MC Hammer was king of the music world and Will Smith was the “Fresh Prince”.

But despite the fear of what could happen to the Wildcats’ season and, more importantly, the future of Billy G, the Wildcats could do the same thing that Arkansas did back in 2000, win four games in four days to make the field of 64 thanks to this week’s SEC Tournament in Tampa. The Wildcats will open up against Ole Miss Thursday afternoon.

So what does this lead us to assume? From what was said in the Lexington Herald-Leader about Jodie Meeks being ordered to retain his shooting, this after scoring 45 points against Arkansas and dropping a Kentucky-record 54 against Tennessee, Meeks is going to have to block out what was allegedly said by Gillispie during the 2nd half against the Gators and shoot the ball more (and make it).

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Comments Off on What Does Kentucky Need To Do?

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than That

Posted by Matt on January 14, 2009

meeks

54 points IN Knoxville against the hated Vols. A Kentucky record. The lead story on the 11:00PM edition of SportsCenter. And now I arrive to work to find the ESPN homepage splashed with the dominating performance had by one Jodie Meeks right in the face of the that orange-blazer-wearing, too-much-fake-tanned Bruce Pearl. Chris Lofton WHO?

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Vanderbilt Just Saved Our Ass

Posted by Agent Z-Ro on November 22, 2008

In a Saturday that the Football Wildcats had (mercifully) the week off, its previous and its upcoming opponents were duking it out at the creatively named Vanderbilt Stadium. The Filthy Volunteers from the University of Tennessee won convincingly 20-10 behind an apparently impressive second quarter in which they scored all of their 20 points. Offensively UT was running roughshod over the Commodores, compiling 243 rush yards in the contest; but the passing game was hilariously bad, only attempting nine passes and completing just four. With TWO picks! When your QB’s are that bad, I’ll give you the two completions for the picks because technically, they were completed passes. So the Volunteer quarterbacks (they played two) combined for a QB rating of 30.55 (with 6 for 9 passing in sarcastic asshole statland), sickly numbers for a high D-1 program.

The defense was king as they spent the day stonewalling the ‘Dores, allowing only 23 yards on defense on 28 rushes. 28 rushes! That equals up to less than one yard per rush. I would rip on Bobby Johnson for being one dimensional and not opening up the playbook, but the Steamboat Captains also attempted 43 passes, one of which was completed for a touchdown. A Tennessee touchdown. So it was pretty clear that today the ‘Vols established the run game and did not let go of the ball. It was a nauseating game to watch, but that was because of the day-glo orange that was tainting my television screen.

So how does that help us, the Wildcat nation? In the 16 years of Phillip Fulmer’s career, he has never NOT won more than two games in the SEC. His program’s decline has been a pleasure to witness, but let us not forget, he is a coach with seven SEC east titles and a National Championship. He would not just lie down and get thrashed in his last season and go out as ignominiously as only having one win in conference play. But I digress, it really doesn’t matter what that tub of Krispy Kreme’s reputation looks like when he leaves. But it does matter for the players. The Volunteers were mired in a 3-game losing streak and underneath a shadow from the cloud of Fulmer’s impending resignation and a very sour fan base. I have maintained since Nov. 3rd that his announcement that early in the season would provide inspiration and stir up pride for his team, and make the last game of the season against Kentucky a triumphant exit for the coach. Rockne would have be proud. Then the Volunteers showed how much they were willing to fight for their coach with a 7-13 loss to Wyoming at home. Yet they rallied against Vanderbilt today and got their second conference win, and with that we can only hope that they will be content with the domination of the state of Tennessee, and proceed to lay down against us.

I have been a fan of UK football since the Curry era, and in my entire life the Cats have not eaten Tennessee in football, 23 years. There have been many, many chances in that time, most notably in the last few years. But it has always resulted in a loss. 23 years. Imagine everything that has happened since November of 1984, but the one thing that hasn’t happened is UK beating UT in football. And GOD I hate Tennessee. For just a sampling of the list of reasons, my friend from the University of Alabama will take over:

So rest up boys, you have a coach to disgrace and a streak to kill.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Football | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

At Least I Still Have The Bengals…Right?

Posted by Matt on November 19, 2008

Last night’s Kentucky at North Carolina basketball game:

train-wreck

(Dramatization.)

“The Debacle in the Dean Dome.” That’s what they’re calling it.

And by they I mean me.

Kentucky narrowly escaped a mere single-digit loss thanks to 28 turnovers to start the 2008-2009 campaign 0-2 for only the third time in the program’s storied history. North Carolina now sits just 14 wins shy of Kentucky’s all-time mark — the one record Wildcat fans have grabbed at straws with as the glory has faded from this once-dominant regime. A 19-point Tar Heel victory kicked off ESPN’s college basketball coverage with the #1 team in the Nation’s two best players idly watching from the bench as if to say, “the team doesn’t need us for these has-beens.”

I woke up this morning — much like ZRO did post-VMI embarrassment — hoping it was all a bad dream. That the visions of that rat Roy Williams applauding gleefully from the sidelines and Dickie V.’s 18 Duke/Coach K. references were all merely nightmares within the depths of my slumber.

A nightmare it may have been but oh-so-real it was.

I immediately headed for the showers, hoping to wash away the stank of losing and searching for a single glimmer of hope in the coming weeks — and unfortunately it’s not Longwood (that’s what she said) at home next Monday.

In fact, as I stepped out of the shower it dawned on me: at least I still have the Bengals…right?

My much maligned band of nobodies is on a three week non-losing streak. Something that cannot be said about the basketball OR football Wildcats.

Cincy completely bamboozled the Eagles on Sunday, snatching a tie from the jaws of victory after tricking Donovan McNabb in to believing that there were no ties in the NFL, that the next step would be penalty kicks.

Only the Bengals could provide such heart-warming tales like the acquisition of lineman Digger Bujnoch, literally signed out of the West Side of Cincinnati after no other NFL team would have him. A man who once earned a paycheck delivering Salisbury steaks to Mike Brown while working for his parents’ catering company, Booj’s, is now suiting up for the orange and black attack (I can’t make this stuff up).

And it is fitting this holiday season that the Bengals are now staffed primarily by players left behind by teams that lack the foresight of Cincy’s front office as Mike Brown’s heart has grown three sizes this season. The Digger Bujnochs, the Chris Crockers (surprisingly not this Chris Crocker), and even the Cedric Bensons are our very own Island of Misfit Toys a la the Christmas classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

While I agonize in the state of my basketball Wildcats I still have these Bengals…my Bengals.

No other team could provide the emotional roller coaster ride or the laughs as the Bengals can. No other team could tug at the spirit with stories of sacrifice and redemption…for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th times. And no other team’s best player has gradually grown to resemble Little Richard since his arrival:

littles

So when you’re gathered around the dinner table next week with your families for Thanksgiving, remember what you DO have (Chris Henry and Mike Brown) instead of what you DON’T have (a winning record after two games, ball security, a viable option at point guard, or a sober head coach) because, hey, at least we’re not Louisville fans:

louserville

“Lewisveele!”

Posted in Cincinnati Bengals, Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball, NFL | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

That Was Depressing

Posted by Matt on November 18, 2008

If you had 23rd Turnover in the “When would MJ turn off the Kentucky game to do laundry for tomorrow?” Pool, please step forward to claim your prize.

Winner receives a coupon redeemable for one date-night with Charlie Hustle to the Spearmint Rhino…which is certainly more exciting than watching Kentucky basketball…

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

UK-VMI- The View From Section 217

Posted by Agent Z-Ro on November 18, 2008

Whether you have heard about it, saw it, or lived through it, Friday night’s loss to VMI was definitely a turd brown stain on the checked blue and white Kentucky jersey. I’m not going to wax poetic about the intricacies of coaching college basketball, because I am not an expert on the subject, nor am I going to lament about the final score. There are many other sports blogs that will ponder over that for this week and I want to be original, so this is all about the things that did not translate to TV. My friend obtained 2 tickets for the game and we went along, talking about SEC sports of all types. These are just random observations in no particular order of importance:

– Downtown Lexington will always be one of the greatest areas in all of college basketball to be at before a game. The waves of blue clad people are endless and always expanding as you walk along.

-Point of discussion and my opinion on it: There is no way that the SEC could ever serve alcohol at games. People get crazy enough at them already. Did you see a Bama fan killed two LSU fans? And that wasn’t even at a game. AND they had won!

– Going in as alumni rather than students is clearly better. You get to walk into a nice, decorated lobby and feel the heaters. Student entrance looks and feels more like prisoner transfer.

– I don’t care how many times I’ve done it, as soon as I turn a corner and see Rupp arena, it takes my breath away. The place is a goddamn cathedral of basketball.

– Patrick Patterson is a spectacle to see. You can read all the hype in the papers and internet but seeing that guy in person is impressive. He is jacked,and he is huge. With the ultra tight jersey, clown parachute pants, and the ‘fro, he looks like he just stepped out of Thunderdome. He should have a bandanna and ultimate warrior arm bands. We should work on a nickname with that.

– Pre-game warmups filled me with apprehension about this game. VMI was energetic, precise, and most importantly, relaxed. They looked ready, and that was my first tip-off of the coming storm.

– After the first couple three’s dropped in without so much as a clank of the rim, no one has really reacted, just sitting back and analyzing play. UK fans are interesting in this respect; they are rabid, undoubtedly, but only because they have researched the line-up like panty lines in a Victoria’s Secret catalog. We know the in and outs of the players, and a redneck behind me lets me know how “them boys looked in open practices”. It’s creepy how a 43 year old man is completely comfortable sharing his intimate knowledge of 15 18-23 year old men.

– More three’s are falling. It’s so quiet the shoe squeaks echo.

– Something I learned from the game: Man press will make you shit your pants, if I can glean anything from our guard play.

-Kentucky is now losing big. I can really appreciate VMI’s coach for playing the time-out game well. Anytime the crowd really started getting into it there would be a quick time out. Sometimes the Mo’ carried through but it was a good way to protect his players. The guy is out of control, acting out (rather emphatically) what he wanted his players to do, but he is controlled and aware at all times. It’s like he almost brings a military-like precision to the game. Hmm…

– Post about Patterson again: Seeing him beside the 4 guys on the court under 6’3″ makes him look even more like a giant. Unfortunately, it is a giant that has to guard a shooting forward. He is fast for a big guy, but he isn’t fast for a small guy. He’s been game-planned and the low post double teams are rendering him useless.

-I swear to God the Cats are stoned. Anytime we score a basket, we run down the court and start talking or looking off somewhere, while an Army-trained basketball player stabs the knife of the three into the kidneys of our scoreboard.

-I black out. I have terrible nightmares about turnover-laden basketball and being outrebounded by midgets in camoflage. I wake up several hours later in my bed screaming but Auntie Em and Uncle Henry are there to assure me it was just a dream with a cup of cocoa and a pre-warmed crack pipe. Then I have to build a go-cart with a ocelot. I realize I’m still dreaming and wake up just in time to see the final score.

If someone could let me know what happened that would be great, I missed the second half.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Jared Lorenzen Has A Son?

Posted by Matt on November 11, 2008

bilde

I normally don’t post on things making rounds through the blogosphere (Ed. Note: with the exception of Allison Stokke) because by the time I find something, too many bloggers have already had something to say and probably said it better/funnier than I can.

That being said, I just couldn’t pass on this one.

Coming to us via Varsity 845 is the story of Ellenville (NY) Central High School senior quarterback Tony Casamento, who tips the scales at 305 pounds. Yes, their quarterback weighs as much as a college lineman.

Now I am not going to go on record making fun of this fatass because I think he has some sort of glandular problem or something; I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention.

What I will point out is the striking resemblance young Tony has to former University of Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen, who also topped out at well over 300 pounds during his food-destructing prime.

3dc8b4688d957-53-1

The inevitable comparisons have conjured up memories of Kentucky football seasons gone by, recalling such endearing Lorenzen nicknames as “The Hefty Lefty,” “Pillsbury Throwboy,” “The Round Mound Of Touchdown,” and “U.S.S. Lorenzen.”

Ah, those were the good ol’ days.

So to Casamento I say: If nobody else accepts you as a transpositioned quarterback (I know its tough feeling like one person stuck in the body of another), know that you have a home being a fat quarterback in Lexington.

We’ll even save the #22 jersey for you.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Someone Forgot To Tell Kentucky They Had A Game Today

Posted by Matt on October 25, 2008

Discuss this article now over at ACC vs. SEC!: Someone Forgot To Tell Kentucky They Had A Game Today

The last time the University of Kentucky Wildcats were ran out of a football stadium it was a 49-0 loss on the road to LSU during the 2006 season.  At that moment the Cats were 3-4 and at an impasse, if you will, on the season, forced to dig deep in order to recover.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Kentucky decided to finish strong, going 5-1 in their remaining six gamest including a victory over Clemson in the Music City Bowl, the Wildcats’ first Bowl game in seven years (at the time) and first Bowl victory since 1984.

Fast forward to 2008.  After an electrifying, albeit very late, 13 point comeback in the final five minutes of last week’s game against Arkansas, the Cats looked poised to turn their season around with quarterback Mike Hartline’s new found confidence — he did, after all, earn an ESPN helmet sticker for his two touchdown passes in the final four minutes against the Razorbacks.

Today, Kentucky took their 5-2 squad and 7th ranked scoring defense in to The Swamp to take on the mighty Florida Gators team that hung 51 points on the road against the same school that last dismantled my Wildcats.  The problem is someone forgot to tell Kentucky they had a game today.

Florida scored 28 points in the first 12 minutes of the game — including two one-play touchdown drives on the heels of back-to-back blocked punts of Kentucky’s Tim Masthay.  Trust me, it didn’t get any prettier after that.  Add another blocked kick in the form of a Lones Seiber field goal attempt to go along with a Mike Hartline interception returned for a touchdown to start the Second Half and you have yourself the ingredients for a world class blowout.

Throw in some other random plays that were probably poorly defended (sorry for the lack of detail but I just couldn’t bear to watch) and you have a final score of 63-5 with a special thanks going to Florida punter Chas Henry for the botched punt that nearly doubled our score with a safety late in the 4th Quarter.  We needed all the help we could get.

After today’s embarrassing loss — coming two years to the month after the aforementioned spanking at the hands of LSU — many fans may be asking: where do we go from here?

Contrary to what some my expect, I am going to leave the crucifying to another blogger and go out on a limb and say that rest assured, Kentucky can still go up;  the wheels haven’t fallen off just yet.  Coach Brooks still has this team in a much better position now than it was when he inherited it in 2003 and anyone who disagrees can look directly at the recruiting classes between 2002 and 2009 (not to mention those two Music City Bowl victories he has lying around).

According to Scout.com, the 2002 recruiting class for the University of Kentucky contained 1 4-star, 1 3-star, and 17 1-star recruits.  In contrast, Brooks’ current class of 2009 high school graduates is comprised of 1 5-star, 1 4-star, 11 3-stars, 5 2-stars recruits, and only 1 1-star recruit, good enough for the 23rd best recruiting class in the Nation.

Unfortunately some reading this will say that the 2009 class cannot help us now and they’d be 100% correct.  But this blogger is not giving up on what the Wildcats still have on the field this year, understanding that there is a lot of talent that is no longer on the field thanks to injuries — most notably ones of the season-ending variety to super play makers Dicky Lyons, Jr. and Derrick Locke.

Kentucky is just a mere win away from being Bowl eligible for the third straight year and if the Wildcats can manage to squeak in to post-season play this season, it will be the first time since the Paul “Bear” Bryant era of the 1950s that this team has gone to three straight Bowl games, adding to the history the Rich Brooks-led Wildcats have already made.

At the end of the day Big Blue Nation never expected to beat Florida today, let alone win the National Championship this year, but what fans of Kentucky did expect is another Bowl appearance and another Bowl victory and both are still well within reach and that is what is most important, especially for recruiting.

Nevermind today’s loss; what is done is done and fans need to quickly move on because a loss by 58 and a loss by less than 8 are both still losses.  As embarrassed as I am by today’s performance, as many Big Blue fans are, we must implore the team to press on and come home from Starkville with a victory next week, setting the table for a three game stretch that includes Georgia and Tennessee with (hopefully) Bowl eligibility already in hand.

Despite the fact that the first exhibition basketball game is just 12 days from today, I urge the Wildcat faithful to not look towards basketball season too quickly.  Granted someone forgot to tell Kentucky they had a game today but I am confident that it won’t happen again.

Not, at least, with what is on the line for the Cats over the next four games: making history.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Football | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Baller’s Official SEC Preview: Kentucky Edition

Posted by Bob Swerski on July 7, 2008

Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Baller’s AVS Official 2008 SEC Preview: Kentucky Edition

2007 Record- 8-5 (3-5)
Returning Starters- 15 (5-Offense, 8-Defense, K, P)

Players To Watch Out For: Dicky Lyons, Tony Dixon

Key Losses: Andre Woodson, Rafael Little, Keenan Burton, Steve Johnson, Wesley Woodyard

2008 Strengths: Run game on offense should be OK with a veteran OL returning and many decent RBs. Also, the defense should finally be respectable this year after being a joke the past few years.

2008 Weaknesses: QBs have no experience, WRs have no experience. Offensively, its going to be a rough year.

2008 Overview: If Coach Brooks can find a decent QB to replace Woodson, the Cats can have another good year to build upon. But if not, don’t be shocked to see the Cats having just 4 wins again.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Football | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

April 1, 2008

Posted by Matt on April 1, 2008

Well, the original plan was to “shut the site down” as a joke for April 1st — original, I know. But considering the mood is a bit of a somber one due to the unexpected passing of Kentucky’s own Bill Keightley, it just didn’t seem appropriate.

All jokes aside, I was down enough to begin with knowing one of my childhood heroes, Ric Flair, was set to retire once-and-for-all when the news of Mr. Wildcat’s death hit the airwaves. Now I am not trying to compare a retirement to a death as the situation surrounding Bill is tragic one, and I am also not claiming I had any personal connection to the man, but the end of two very great eras in this sports fan’s fanhood have come to an end over the past 48 hours and pulling an April Fools Day prank just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

I could put it in to words what Bill Keightley meant to Big Blue Nation but I couldn’t have done it any better than Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio and if you still don’t completely understand where this fan is coming from then I suggest you read Mr. Wildcat Bill Keightley (1926-2008). I suspect, however, that whether or not anyone outside of Kentucky knew who Mr. Wildcat was, die hard sports fans will understand that it is tough to see a legend fall, knowing that a sports stalwart is gone forever.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, The Nasty Boys | Tagged: | Comments Off on April 1, 2008

Mr. Wildcat Has Passed

Posted by Matt on March 31, 2008

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The long tenured equipment manager for the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, Bill Keightley — who was more affectionately known as “Mr. Wildcat” — has passed away at the University of Cincinnati Hospital after a fall from a bus at Great American Ball Park, home of his beloved Cincinnati Reds, WKYT in Lexington is reporting.

For those of you who don’t know Mr. Wildcat or his legendary status in the Kentucky program, I liken it to Joe Nuxhall passing away recently and his relationship with the Cincinnati Reds. Keightley’s tenure goes all the way back to the Adolph Rupp era of the Wildcats and he has been the equipment manager for every Kentucky head coach since then in the team’s illustrious history, winning three National Championships in the process.

The 81 year-old Keightley had just finished his 48th season with Kentucky after starting as assistant equipment manager in 1962 and then as equipment manager a few years later. Mr. Wildcat has become a Lexington icon and a stalwort on the bench for every game, home and away. It is a tough, tough loss for Big Blue Nation.

Link: WKYT

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Profile Of The Past: Memorial Coliseum – Part 4 Of 4

Posted by Matt on March 18, 2008

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Part 1 (link)

Part 2 (link)

Part 3 (link)

Characteristics In The History Of Higher Education

The style and design of Memorial Coliseum illustrates two important characteristics in the history of higher education: the increasing ability to build large, imposing structures on a continuously growing institution and the growing emphasis and interest in athletics in higher education as more than merely an extra-curricular activity. Many were skeptical during construction regarding the size of Memorial Coliseum that a building of that magnitude would ever be useful or fully utilized on a college campus. History since then goes to show that in regards to Kentucky men’s basketball, they have far exceeded the expectations of those who designed Memorial Coliseum and fans are now filling an arena with more than three times the seating to its capacity in Rupp Arena. The current utilization of the facility for various collegiate athletic events, mainly in women’s athletics, as well as for numerous casual campus events shows how far campus life and the size of state-funded universities has come in just fifty years, which is a small frame of time in the complete historical record of higher education.

Depiction of History and Heritage

The University of Kentucky does a good job in using and depicting history by continuing to make buildings and facilities from the past, such as Memorial Coliseum, currently relevant in today’s world. Through renovations and upgrades, the university is able to keep historical buildings in working condition and useful for the current landscape of campus and extensive involvement in campus life.

There is a balanced mix of historical buildings and modern architecture on the campus of the University of Kentucky and though the campus may not be as entrenched in tradition and lore as many other institutions, the use of a historic building in Memorial Hall as part of the school’s flagship logo shows an embracing of the past by the administration.

Campus Community Members

Future campus community members need to realize the history and importance of architecture around campus and how and why each building was erected. In the case of Memorial Coliseum, it was nearly a nine year process from idea to completion and was built to serve the students as a complete athletic, physiological, and recreational facility to further campus life. The naming of the building was in honor of Kentucky’s own sons and daughters who died in World War I and in the Korean Conflict. Knowing the lasting legacies of events that took place in Memorial Coliseum and the legendary faces that walked the halls allows one to appreciate what the arena means to this campus, enabling effective work within the campus.

An example specific to Memorial Coliseum of an expectation for administration to know the historical importance of a building on campus was the unique situation created by the disposal of planks from the previous wood flooring during renovations in 2007. Many people were franticly trying to retrieve a piece of the basketball flooring from the construction dumpsters and most did not understand why the athletic department would throw away items that held such historical value on this campus. The approach of learning the history and importance of architecture is not limited to Memorial Coliseum, merely the research is, and thus it applies to all buildings on the campus of the University of Kentucky as well as any architecture on any college campuses and beyond. To appreciate something one must know it first.

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Selection Sunday

Posted by Matt on March 16, 2008

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I have never been as nervous for a Selection Sunday in my entire life but Joe Lundardi’s most recent Bracketology (link) — updated at 1:00AM this morning — has Kentucky still in at as #10 seed and Joe’s is widely accepted as the most accurate.  Villanova and Arizona State are both member’s of Lundardi’s “Last Four Out” and both are teams Bobby Knight and Jay Bilas say should get in over Kentucky.

What does that mean?  Well with few games left today it means Kentucky fans need to root for the favorites, catch some of today’s NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway to pass the time (and a good time it is), and hope for the best.  I, for one, think they’re in with considerations for the name on their jersey, injuries, and natural disasters.  Whether or not that is fair I will leave up to the viewing public to decide.

The road to the Final Four begins tonight and there will be some teams sweating it out making for an exciting selection show.  The Selection Sunday telecast starts at 6:00PM and if Kentucky doesn’t get invited to the Big Dance: send help.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

Profile Of The Past: Memorial Coliseum – Part 3 Of 4

Posted by Matt on March 12, 2008

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Part 1 (link)

Part 2 (link)

Connection With Campus Plan

Memorial Coliseum was built on the north east edge of campus directly across from Stoll Field at McLean Stadium, otherwise known as the home of Kentucky’s football team from 1916 until 1973. This created a complete facility that served all of the athletic, recreational, and physiological needs of the students and student-athletes and was located adjacent to Alumni Gymnasium, the previous home of Kentucky basketball, and the main dormitories at the time

Since then, campus has built up around Memorial Coliseum but it continues to fulfill the original mission for students and is far from forgotten. The building is sill the center piece on Avenue of Champions with a long, broad sidewalk extending from the main undergraduate class room building and down across Stoll Field, dead-ending in to the main entrance of Memorial Coliseum. In recent history, additional student housing, the Student Center, and various off-campus and on-campus eateries have all been built up adjacent to and around Memorial Coliseum. Nearly fifty-eight years after its completion, H.L. Donvan’s dream is still the heart of a campus area design dedicated to student life.

Legends and Lore

There is not much in the way of lore about Memorial Coliseum passed down from various generations of students, such as ghost stories or mysteries, but the building is no stranger to campus legends. Any athlete who put on a Kentucky jersey was almost always a legend in their own right but the building is unofficially known as “The House that Rupp Built” in honor of the long-tenured and legendary men’s basketball coach, Adolph Rupp, who would later get an arena built in his honor. Rupp is a legend of epic proportions and marched his armies of Wildcat basketball teams on to the court of Memorial Coliseum every season for 22 years, winning an unprecedented 22 Southeastern Conference Championships and two National Championships along the way.

An extension to the legend of Adolph Rupp that could be considered lore for Memorial Coliseum and the men’s basketball program is that, upon completion, the Coliseum was considered a “white elephant” by many. Due to the shear size of the building, people were skeptical that it could be fully utilized or that the seats could be filled to capacity. Coach Rupp was not only able to fill the seats of Memorial Coliseum each game but was also able to dominate the Southeastern Conference while doing so. Ironically enough, skeptics made the same observation about Alumni Gymnasium, the previous home to Kentucky basketball, but were silenced when the program was forced to move.

To be concluded…

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Profile Of The Past: Memorial Coliseum – Part 2 Of 4

Posted by Matt on March 7, 2008

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Part 1 (link) 

Distinctive Features

Considering the exterior of Memorial Coliseum is fairly simple in design and color, it may only be fitting that there is little in the way of symbols, icons, or monuments that can be directly linked with the arena. This apparent lack of distinctive features, however, does little to detract from the overall uniqueness of the building considering the structure alone is a Lexington icon. The sheer imposing nature of the size and the conspicuous location of Memorial Coliseum, coupled with the fact that it was home to the legendary Kentucky men’s basketball team for nearly 25 years, has burnt the image of the arena in to many people’s memory as a landmark of its own.

Functions

Despite the fact that Memorial Coliseum was finished in 1950, its original conception came in 1941 and it was the brain child of the President of the University of Kentucky at the time, H.L. Donovan. Mr. Donovan wanted a student facility that would adequately support Kentucky athletics and students’ health and physical education. From the moment it was completed, Memorial Coliseum served as the primary arena for the men’s basketball team from 1950 until it moved to the team’s current home, Rupp Arena, in 1976 and was the home of the swimming and diving team until the completion of the Lancaster Aquatic Center in 1989. The building has also housed the women’s basketball team from 1950 until present day, the women’s volleyball team from the team’s creation in 1977 until present day, and is also the current home-gym of the women’s gymnastics team.

The functions of Memorial Coliseum are not limited strictly to sanctioned athletics, however, as the building houses many athletic administration and training offices and is part of the adjoining practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The valuable space inside is also utilized for various student activities such as the Dance Blue dance marathon for charity, the Midnight Finals Crunch Brunch, a stress relieving gathering for students during final exams, and men’s basketball student ticket lotteries.

To be continued…

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Profile Of The Past: Memorial Coliseum – Part 1 Of 4

Posted by Matt on March 4, 2008

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Date of Construction and Renovation(s)

Memorial Coliseum is a sports facility located on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Construction of the building, built as a tribute to those from the state of Kentucky who were killed in World War I and in the Korean Conflict, was completed in 1950 on what is now known as Avenue of Champions as part of a $3.9 million dollar construction project. The arena, which was the replacement for the nearby Alumni Gymnasium, had what could be seen as its grand opening on December 1, 1950 when the first Adolph Rupp-led basketball team held court in the brand new 11,500 seat facility with a 73-43 win over West Texas State.

Since the structure’s debut, it has seen extensive renovations beginning in 1990 when a then $1 million dollar construction project reduced capacity by 3,000 seats from 11,500 to 8,500 but added various facilities including athletic offices, training and weight rooms, and student-athlete lounges. Additional renovations to the rear of the complex were completed in January of 2007 involving nearly $30 million dollars and included all new, state-of-the art training and athletic facilities for the men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as brand new offices for the athletic department; this addition to the Coliseum is known as the Joe C. Craft Center. The final step in the most recent renovation process occurred in the summer of 2007 and included general interior maintenance that culminated with a brand new gym surface that sparked a fan movement to retrieve pieces of wood from the previous Memorial Coliseum floor from the construction dumpsters.

Description of Architecture

Memorial Coliseum features a fairly basic design where seating rises up and out from the court on each side with little-to-no seating at each end of the court. This is visually evident from an exterior view with what appear to be inclined additions to the main part of the building protruding outward. The design for Memorial Coliseum is a simple gymnasium design and is similar to a large-scale version of a typical high school gymnasium or other area arenas such as the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. The building features yellow stone trimmed in gray with the main entrance flanked by the two original ticket offices and facing what was considered Euclid Avenue at the time of completion. The Coliseum engulfs an entire city block on the east side of Avenue of Champions and contains enough space to fill a seven-story skyscraper. This was an extremely large undertaking for a college athletic facility and many were skeptical that it could be filled to capacity simply by a college basketball game.

To be continued…

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Profile Of The Past Preview

Posted by Matt on March 3, 2008

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Over the coming days and weeks, starting tomorrow morning, I will be releasing a four-part series on the University of Kentucky’s famed Memorial Coliseum, affectionately known as “The House That Rupp Built.”  Titled Profile Of The Past, this casual write up was originally part of a term paper I compiled for a graduate school class and I hope die-hard Kentucky fans and college basketball historians alike will enjoy it.  The first part of the series will be released around 10:00AM tomorrow with each of the remaining three parts to be released over the next two weeks and just in time for March Madness.

Thanks again for your continued support!

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It’s Not About Wins And Losses

Posted by Matt on February 26, 2008

UPDATE: Discuss this NOW over at ACC vs. SEC: It’s Not About Wins And Losses

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The Kentucky student body puts on an annual fund raiser each year called “Dance Blue” and it is an all night ‘dance marathon’ charity to benefit the University of Kentucky’s Children’s Oncology department, benefiting kids with cancer that need help financially. This year we raised nearly $430,000 as a student body in just the third year of operation and the total seems to double each year.

The rule for those who are taking pledges is that they can’t stop moving for 24 hours on the floor of the famed Memorial Coliseum. There are games, food, live music, and fun and people are encourage to watch the festivities from the bleachers if they’re not apt to pull an all-nighter (us college kids do it on a semi-regular basis). It sounds like a lot, but when you look at whom you’re fighting for, 24 hours without sleep is spit in the ocean compared to what these children fight against each day.

Dance Blue starts on a Friday evening and ends on a Saturday evening and Coach Billy Clyde showed up towards the end of this year’s festivities and below is the video:

Seriously, watch the video if you haven’t already, it behooves you to do so. Non-Kentucky fans included.

Wins or losses aside, if you can’t appreciate Billy Gillispie as a human being after watching that video then you are not human yourself. Coach Gillispie gets choked up at least three times by my count and then ends the video on a strong note, showing no signs of doing what he did for publicity as he immediately sneaks off stage. That night was clearly about the children with cancer and Billy G. knew it. We should all keep those kids in our thoughts, not just during Dance Blue but on a daily basis.

At the end of the day, it’s not about wins and losses it is about doing something positive in life and it is videos like this that make me proud to be a Wildcat.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Message Boarders

Posted by Matt on February 24, 2008

I recently wrote about Kentucky’s bad media day yesterday and while researching Scott Van Pelt’s shout out to The Cats Pause, I was reading other various posts on the message board and came across this one (I am not a card-holding poster there, by the way):

“Gillispie ran over to Joe all excited and grabbing Joe’s arm. He was obviously very proud of him and he was letting him know. Coach G was smiling ear to ear and you can tell he was praising Joe but joe just stood there, never smiling back or saying anything? Wonder what was said and why Joe was so emotionless???”

I don’t know if message board comments are copyrighted but if they are just sue me, you’ll get about three Cup Noodles out of me in the lawsuit.

In response, I have this to say:  OMFG, Joe C. is totally going to transfer nowz!!!11

In all seriousness…MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS FREAKING TIRED.

IF there is ANY team in the entire universe that that has fans who actually try to interpret the physical appearence of emotion more than Kentucky fans then please post the team name so I don’t feel like my teams’ fans are the epitome of obsessed nerds. I even heard Jodie Meeks “looked” reluctant to link arms on the bench with Mark Coury when the outcome of the game was still up in the air…

Seriously people, why does it matter what Crawford’s facial expression’s looked like?  He’s a senior who will play his last game as a Wildcat in about a month and he is beginning to consistently drop bombs on the oppostion…why do we even care why he looks this way or that?  He has never been known for showing emotion…deal with it.  In an impressive “And 1” moment during the game yesterday, Joe finished by flexing and shouting towards the sideline a la Kelenna Azubuike and I was thinking, “wow, it has been 4 years but I think I have just seen the first signs of life on Joe Crawford.” 

That is just how he is and the endless speculation about players’ body language as if they’re suppose to assume they’re on camera 24/7 is beginning to bother even me and I am a Kentucky fan.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

A Weird Media Day For Kentucky

Posted by Matt on February 24, 2008

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I would like to congratulate the Tennessee Volunteers, they beat Memphis on the road tonight and are now the #1 team in the Nation. Thus, at this point in the space time continuum, I can say that both the Kentucky football team and Kentucky basketball team have defeated the #1 team in their respective sport this season. Suck it.

Kentucky went on to defeat a well-playing Arkansas team today but the story of the game was CBS cutting away from a 4 point game, give or take a point, with roughly 45 seconds to go in a game with HUGE implications to show us the EPIC Duke versus Saint John’s tip off — and it was epic, trust me. It’s Duke…Dick Vitale was seen pitching a tent.

It just had to be Duke, didn’t it? Insult to injury. Listen media folk, wonder no more why Kentucky fans think the world hates them (and more on this later).

The majority of Kentucky fans missed the entire last minute of a VERY important game while I was switched back for the last 7 seconds here in Richmond; CBS, you’re too kind. Long story short, Kentucky fans should bitch and bitch loud and often. I have done the leg work for you because I am that awesome. Contact CBS m’here:

CBS Television Network
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
Main Number:(212) 975-4321

http://www.sportsline.com/help/contactus

That is CBS Sports Feedback…make sure to select CBS Sports from the drop down menu. They have kind of disenfranchised most, though, as you have to have a Sportsline ID to send feedback…

However, this wasn’t the only Kentucky moment in the media tonight. At the end of the post-GameDay Sportscenter broadcast, Scott Van Pelt had this to say (and I am paraphrasing):

Kentucky fans think we hate them and we didn’t get to their highlights tonight but Kentucky did beat Arkansas so there, thats for my friends over at The Cats Pause.

This can be viewed as one of two things…

1) Scott, who apparently posts over at Rivals.com, was generally sorry and was genuinely giving a shout out to The Cats Pause since ESPN didn’t actually have the highlights from the blown CBS telecast.

OR

2) Since it is no secret Kentucky fans think ESPN hates Kentucky and favors Duke/ACC and since it is no secret that Kentucky fans are VERY active on Internet message boards, then Scott Van Pelt’s comments were a sarcastic pot shot on Big Blue Nation’s passion.

Interpret however you’d like. Send all bitchings to ESPN’s Ombudsman (though I must say, I have tried and it does little good).

I have my own thoughts and I’ll keep them to myself, but realize Scott’s closing remarks were made just moments after he inadvertently used “pissed” on air and then corrected himself, explaining that it was just him “talking and thinking at the same time” and that he “thought he was back on the radio for a moment.”

Whatever.

Go Cats.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Calling All Kentucky Fans

Posted by Matt on February 18, 2008

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I am trying to push membership for the SEC side of things and Kentucky in particular, but you don’t have to be a fan of either to get involved. Get over to ACC vs. SEC, register (no confirmation needed), and start talking sports! TaySC is an admin over there and is a great guy who would be glad to help you out. Friendly forums and good discussion, what else can you ask for? If not for me, do it for yourself.

I am registered over there and all the cool kids are doing it. You want to be one of the cool kids, don’t you? My posting name is TNBMatt so look for me…

Link: ACC vs. SEC

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

25th Avenue South Blues

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on February 13, 2008

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Before Tuesday’s game against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Kentucky was sitting pretty in second place in the SEC East with big wins over Vanderbilt and Tennessee at home and seemed prepared to turn the corner in what had already been, for some, a lost season in Year One of the Billy Clyde Era in Lexington.

Vanderbilt, on the other hand, was trying to build on what had already been a historic season on West End Avenue, reaching 20 wins faster than any Vanderbilt squad in school history and trying to make noise in the race for the SEC East crown.

Tuesday night, the Kentucky squad that won five straight entering the game against Vanderbilt ran into something that has snake bitten the team for the past five years.

Memorial magic.

Vanderbilt came out Tuesday night like a team on a mission, jumping out to a 41-11 lead at halftime and refusing to let Patrick Patterson and company come back into the fold, something that has not happened a lot for the ‘Dores lately in games against South Carolina and Georgia where they took the foot off the pedal and let teams have a chance to win.

Then in the second half, Kentucky just self-destructed; they self-destructed to the point where Billy Clyde received a technical foul after Joe Crawford was called for a charge early on in the second half.

Sad, right?

This game was supposed to be a turning point for Kentucky, mainly because it was on National television and 25th Avenue South was going to be rocking.

But instead it looked like the debacle that I remembered from last year when Cincinnati came into FedEx Forum and got stomped all over the place by the Tigers, so bad that the good people at ESPN cut away to the USC-Oregon game.

Obviously, on Tuesday night, ESPN had no other choice when it came to what happened in Nashville.

The best game of the evening was already played up Interstate 65 in West Lafayette.

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Kentucky Gets A Little RPI Help

Posted by Matt on January 29, 2008

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No, not Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from which the snazzy logo from above was conveniently stolen from but ratings percentage index (RPI) — the fancy number that makes, or breaks, a college basketball team’s NCAA Tournament chances.

The ‘Cats have moved up to 131, up roughly five spots from yesterday, thanks to San Diego’s upset of #20 and two loss Saint Mary’s. The Toreros pulled off their second impressive upset of the season by beating the Gaels 63-44 at home. Unfortunately that only brings USD to 11-11 on the season but Kentucky needs all the help that they can get.

By my count, Kentucky still has five games left against teams in the Top 50 of the RPI with a sixth game against #53 Mississippi State later this season as well. Follow all of the day-to-day RPI action for your team at Ken Pomeroy’s link below.

Linkage: Ken Pomeroy’s RPI

Linkage: ESPN.com

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 1 Comment »