Last night, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Co. vindicated their decision to forgo the NBA for one more shot at a national championship by dismantling Michigan State like a Lego toy in front of almost 73,000 people.
It isn't terribly surprising that North Carolina won the game -- they were clear favorites. What was surprising, at least a little bit, is that a Tom Izzo coached team would perform so poorly on such a big, friendly stage. It is clear that the experience of the Tar Heels in big games really came to the forefront in this one, because they remained poised and focused throughout, taking advantage of a bewildering number of Michigan State miscues to rack up a huge first half lead which they never relinquished.
Congratulations to the Tarheels. The difference between all-time wins now stands at 4 games between UK and North Carolina. The stretch drive in the race to 2000 begins next year, and it could get very exciting.
Now, for the news.
Kentucky Basketball News
- Jodie Meeks to test the waters of the NBA draft, but will not hire an agent. It's a freebie, he is wise to give it a shot. His stock may never be higher.
- More questions about the high cost of coaches. I think we are just seeing the beginning of the boom. What I don't get is all the angst about coaches making millions in a tough economy. Nobody was concerned about them when they were working for free or nearly free just to get a shot at being a college coach.
- The New York Times Quad blog takes a look at next year's teams, and UK winds up 5th, just behind the evil Cardinals. Astonishing. We go from the NIT to the top five in one year? I'll believe it when I see it, and I hope I do, but color me skeptical at the moment.
- True Blue Kentucky gives us a list of important upcoming dates for recruiting, and all-star game information.
- Calipari assistant coach Josh Pastner is the new Memphis head coach. Good call, I think. Too bad for Kentucky, though.
- G.J. Vilarino decides not to play in the Derby Festival Classic.
- The Chicago Tribune also decides Kentucky is a top ten team next year, although not a top five team like the Quad reckons.
- Mike Miller notes that coming back to school is paying dividends these days, and lists some players who ought to give college at least another year.
- Las Vegas thinks next year's version of the Wildcats are pretty, too.
- Chris Fisher says Pastner's hire at Memphis is going to make waves here in the Bluegrass.
- Jon Hood will play in the Derby Festival Classic, but his father is not sure how much. ***NOTE*** You will be able to watch live streaming of the Derby Festival Classic right here on A Sea of Blue. Better, just go to Freedom Hall and watch it.
- Mike Miller at Beyond the Arc has Kentucky a top 20 squad next year at #17. Now that's more like it, in my opinion.
- The Derby Festival Classic will showcase top talent, according to Larry Vaught.
- Marc Maggard reports that Jon Hood's foot is 100% healed, and he has zero restrictions.
- Ashley Judd gets Deadspun.
Kentucky Football News
- UK's passing game is showing real progress, particularly in the receiving corps.
- UK walk-ons pushing for time. I have heard good things about Coshik Williams.
Other Kentucky Sports News
- The Bat Cats get swept by Ole Miss.
NCAA Sports News
- Memphis gets Leonard Hamilton a raise.
- Sean Miller to Arizona. I didn't see this one coming.
- Randall Cobb and Kyrus Lanxter will be lining up beside one another at receiver this year. The two are apparently close buddies.
- Cincinnati.com bemoans Xavier's return to the ranks of stepping stone for basketball coaches. Western Kentucky can empathize.
Other News of Interest
- The Kentucky Kernel says Lee Todd must continue to be more accessible to students at UK.