Morning Newspaper for March 2nd

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The big news today is that Tennessee managed to beat Florida in Gainesville.  That victory ties up South Carolina and Tennessee, who are now both one game ahead of Kentucky.  Not that it leaves UK with much hope for an SEC East title, since Tennessee would have to beat the Gamecocks and then lose to Alabama, and USC would have to lose twice because they swept the 'Cats in the regular season.  But if that did happen, my math says that UK could still win the East in a tiebreaker with Tennessee.

Now, for the news.

Kentucky Basketball News

  • Has Kentucky crashed and burned?  This guy is dead wrong in his first paragraphs.  If Kentucky receives a bid to the NIT, we should be good sports and take it, and quit acting like a bunch of jerks too good for everyone else.

    This sort of hubris really ticks me off.  We may not even be worthy of an NIT bid this year, but if we get one, we should gratefully and thankfully accept, and do our best to win.  This author's asinine crap, in my opinion, is just plain unethical and a big reason why Kentucky fans are viewed so badly elsewhere.  What kind of poor sportsman would do that?  Talk about reactionary!  His tirade about "the money" just makes no sense to me  -- if this was the NCAA tournament, would he care where the money went?

    I don't take any issue with his complaints about Gillispie.  He is entitled to that opinion and fairly defends it.  But the "turn down the NIT" crap is just really sad, and in my opinion, reflects very badly on Kentucky fans.

  • Mitch Barnhart squelches the, "Gillispie on the hot seat" talk.  Good.  But I agree that this contract thing is now a suppurating sore that needs urgent antibiotic ointment.  Get it done, coach.
  • The two Billys are peas in a pod this year.  I wonder if Donovan feels any heat?  I'm thinking no.  But then again I could be wrong.
  • Trey Grayson's embarrassing Twitter tweet gets picked up by the New York Times.  Great.  Nice job Trey, you really made the Commonwealth look good on that one.  Boys and girs, can you say "Faux pas?"
  • Chris Diggs reviews the LSU game.  Failed execution seems to be the theme.  Even LSU new that Gillispie was trying to tell the team the right way to defend it, they just wouldn't.
  • John Clay has a bunch of LSU-Kentucky links, in case you missed any.
  • Matt Jones takes Gillispie to task for "throwing a player under the bus."  I have seen all coaches call out players in the media, and Gillsipie has only begun doing this very recently.  Clearly, taking the blame on himself wasn't working, so I'm not quite willing to complain when he calls guys out a little, particularly upperclassmen like Perry Stevenson.  Tubby Smith famously called out Azibuike when he was a junior with "Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane," and I haven't heard anything that strong or direct from Gillispie.  Yet it seems to me he is getting more heat than Smith did.  Maybe he needs to throw a little humor in there -- "Perry looks like the beanstalk, but plays like a bean," or something.

    Frankly, I think this criticism of the coach is misplaced, and really constitutes nothing more than piling on.  It is common, and it has happened at Kentucky with every coach I can remember.  Let's save a little of the self-righteousness, we may need it later.
  • Danny Jett reminds us to stay positive.
  • Jody Demling is back.
  • Derrick Johnson at UK Wildcat Country says the 'Cats' NCAA hopes are not dead yet.  Maybe on life support, but ...
  • The State of the Big Blue Nation:  Mood Indigo.  This is a great piece by John Stevens writing for Rush The Court.  I find a lot of humor in it, and much to appreciate even if I don't agree with his proposed solution to the Pitino Problem.

    Very fun read, if you can just keep your wits about you and laugh a little.

  • Bluegrass Sports Reporters says everything is gonna be all right.
  • This via The Daily Gopher.  While I continuously lament the fact that TDG can't seem to get enough of gigging Gillispie, the piece they linked does provide an excellent cautionary tale about Alabama football.  Yeah, they eventually came out all right, but was it worth it?

Kentucky Football/Other Sports News

  • Kentucky sets a record for strikeouts against Western Michigan.
  • Lady Cats defeat the Gamecocks in Columbia.  I think the men should ask them for some pointers.  The Hoops team is now eligible for the post-season.

NCAA Basketball News

  • What the heck?  The Gamecocks drub us like we propositioned their little sister, and get thrashed by the Commodores?
  • Kansas waxes Missouri.  The Jayhawks are really surprising me, and playing better than maybe anyone in the nation right now.  More from Rock M Nation and Rock Chalk Talk.

NCAA Football News

  • EDSBS' Curious Index is full of goodies.

Other News of Interest

  • The Duct Tape Bandit.  Hilarious.
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