No one roots for Goliath, and UK is Goliath. I think that's pretty apt, and you can read about it below.
Also, A'dia Mathies is a finalist for yet another POY honor, and the UK diving team is headed to the NCAA's.
Tweet of the Morning:
Hey, I love that Phillips has finally embraced Twitter, and is trying to become cool. He might even be succeeding -- I'd have found this attention-getting if I were a recruit. Pity he couldn't unleash his inner John Calipari while he was at UK.
Fans are right to get excited about the new regime. Fans are right to plan to show up in droves at the Spring game on April 13. Fans are wrong to expect instant gratification.
Good luck with that argument, bub.
Has any other player trolled the UK fan base as much as Willie Cauley-Stein? All season, Willie has tweeted the fan base about negative messages he’s been sent, the team’s disappointing finish to the season, and now, whether or not he’ll go pro.
That’s what you get for following kids, especially sharp kids that know how ridiculous it is for adults to follow the daily lives of college-aged players they don’t even know. You get trolled. And every one of you deserve to be trolled. Fooz. :-)
Everyone loves an underdog, from the New York Jets winning Super Bowl III, to the 1980 US Men’s hockey team, to Buster Douglass knocking Mike Tyson out. But for every David, there’s a Goliath. A team or person that didn’t win because the underdog did the impossible. And even when Goliath isn’t as fierce or as formidable as he’s perceived to be, there’s still joy in the little guy winning. Just asks the folks at Robert Morris.
This is exactly right. We have to embrace the role of Goliath. He was a badass, after all.
ESPN analyst Chad Ford moved Kentucky center Nerlens Noel back up to No. 1 on his NBA Draft Big Board on Tuesday. His advice for the other three UK freshmen: Stay in school.
I think it’s good advice, but I’m not completely sure. Willie Cauley-Stein probably has a chance to go high this year, but then again, after he learns to play the game, he won’t get any shorter or less athletic. So maybe staying would be best at this point.
The other two guys are no-brainers to me. They’d languish in the D-league. WCS would have a chance to make a roster.
Major college sports operate in a perverse system that generates billions of dollars a year off the backs of free labor, and both Kentucky and Louisville are willing participants. But if no basketball program does a better job of making the system look ridiculous than Kentucky, perhaps no basketball program is right now doing a better job of epitomizing the lies on which that system is built than Louisville.
Okay, a warning is in order. I’m not in the habit of linking partisan political websites like Think Progress, even when they are talking sports. But this article attempts to balance the one in the Wall Street Journal that referred to UK as the "Death Star," and makes some fair points that deserve consideration.
Also, just as the author of the WSJ piece was a Louisville fan, the author of this article is Kentucky grad. Please don’t call me "Fair and balanced," though, that slogan is taken, and when it comes to UK and U of L, I’m neither.
Other UK sports
- Softball tops Lipscomb, 8-1 // The Kentucky Kernel
Kentucky (19-5) rallied from a 2-0 hole after three innings, plating eight unanswered runs over the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings for an 8-2 win. UK collected its eight runs on eight hits and eight walks, also getting plunked by a pitch and stealing two bags.
Kentucky is starting to get into a groove now.
For the second straight season, University of Kentucky women’s basketball standout A’dia Mathies has been named one of 12 finalists for The State Farm Wade Trophy, as announced by The State Farm Wade Trophy Committee, along with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport. The award is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I women’s basketball player.
I hope she wins, but honestly, she’s got too much competition, I suspect. Namely Britney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, and Skylar Diggins, all of whom have much, much more national buzz.
- UK divers to compete for NCAA championships // The Kentucky Kernel
"Nah. I have no interest at all in playing offense," Clowney said according to the Greenville News, adding an emphatic, "forget it."
Heh. Coaches around the SEC are on their knees, thanking God right now. What an athlete.
The latest from Josh Weill (née J.L. Blue) over at his new online magazine, Agonica. Good stuff.
Minnesota coveted VCU’s Shaka Smart, but his former boss, current Golden Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague, couldn’t convince Smart to come to the Twin Cities (he should know Smart is loyal to VCU) for the head-coaching job from which Tubby Smith was just fired. According to sources, the Gophers have now turned their attention to Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg and Butler’s Brad Stevens. We’ll see, but I’ll be shocked if either were to go to Minnesota.
You know, I hate to say things about non-rival, inoffensive schools like Minnesota that might anger their fans, but just as UK couldn’t expect to go out and hire Charlie Strong away from Louisville or Mark Richt away from Georgia during its head football coach search, the Gophers don’t have a strong enough program to try to bring in coaching stars. They succeeded with Tubby Smith only because Smith was already looking to leave.
That’s not true of Smart, Stevens or Hoiberg. The are bona-fide stars, have no connection to UM, and would be making at best a lateral move to go to Minnesota. The Gophs are going to have to set their sights lower. By all means, contact these people, but don’t get your hopes up.
By the way, I heard that there’s a guy out there who has three final fours and a bunch of other accolades selling a house in Westwood to go job hunting …
The 35-year-old Virginia Commonwealth head coach will remain with the Rams after signing a contract extension that will keep him in Richmond through the year 2023, Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated is reporting.
Hmm. Following in the footsteps of, or so it seems. He was only under Billy D. for a year, but it seems to have had an impact.
I know the NIT is all kinds of interesting for readers of this space.
No list of great NCAA championship game moments is complete unless Keith Smart’s jumper for Indiana in 1987 is on it.
True, that was a great final game.
- NCAA Tournament 2013 TV schedule: Sweet 16 action begins Thursday // SBNation.com
- Ranking the Sweet 16 matchups // CBSSports.com
Other sports news
New Orleans Hornets rookies Anthony Davis and Darius Miller played in front of their college coach, Kentucky’s John Calipari, for the first time this season on Wednesday night at the New Orleans Arena.
Good for him. Makes me nostalgic for last year, although that doesn’t seem to take much these days. Via Aaron’s blog.
Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter left the court in obvious pain against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night with what team officials said was a dislocated left shoulder.
Oh, that’s not a good thing. Those hurt, and can require surgical repair. I had one in my youth, and it never did heal properly, although I never had it evaluated for surgery – in those days, you just waited a few days or weeks for the pain to go away. Via Aaron’s blog.