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Sunday Wildcat Brunch for February 22nd

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This morning, the big news is that the Red River Rivalry went in favor of Texas, and Blake Griffin's team finally dropped a game after a long winning streak.  Obviously, my comments to the question I asked in the BlogPoll Round Table was wrong, plain and simple.  Congrats to the Longhorns, better luck next time to the Sooners.

This, and more, in today's news.


Kentucky Basketball News

  • Miller plays like a star.  It's nice to see Darius Miller finally play like we all knew he could.  I would love to see him sustain that, but history suggests that he will be up and down.  But when he is up, UK will be very tough.
  • Vinnie Zollo is continuing to improve and beginning to turn some heads.
  • Balance is great, but Patterson is critical to UK's success.  Patrick was amazing yesterday.
  • Pearl says the Vols quit.  I would agree they did not play their best, but quit?  How do you quit when you have as many offensive rebounds as Tennessee did?  Offensive rebounds are the ultimate hustle stat.  Did UT get too caught up in defending Meeks?  Yes, but they made a decision to let everyone but Meeks beat them, and that's what happened.

    I think Pearl is finding that maintaining the underdog role he used so effectively his first few years is hard.  Tennessee hasn't been the underdog in the SEC for some time now, and he's kidding himself if he thinks he can turn Tennessee into the Kentucky of the future.  Bruce has tried to re-route the SEC through Knoxville, but everyone except him still thinks it goes through Lexington.

    Pearl is doing great, but he has to realize one very important thing -- in basketball, Tennessee is not Kentucky.  In football, Tennessee is among the legendary programs in the SEC, but it got there by decades of excellence, just as Kentucky did in basketball.  Proclaiming yourself the new king of the SEC (yes, I know he has never actually said that, but sometimes what you don't say speaks louder than what you do) denies history, and denies the many decades of Kentucky magnificence.  It won't work, can't work, and hasn't worked.

  • Mark Story apparently takes a shot at the heavily-tatted Vols.  Funny.  Story notes that UK did not make Meeks available for the post-game press conference, and calls it odd.  Not by my lights.  Gillispie did not object to Jeannine Edwards' question because he wanted to be hateful.  Gillispie genuinely believes that this is a team game, and acted to deliberately thwart an attempt to further lionize Meeks at the expense of the other young men who played so well.

    I say, "Well done, Coach."

  • Everything's better with Patterson.  Well, duh! :-)  It may seem glaringly obvious, but it does bear saying.  There was an upside to Patterson's forced hiatus -- in his absence, Pattersons varied hurts have largely healed.  It showed yesterday.
  • Gillsipie opening up?  Hmmm.  Maybe ...
  • Tennessee stops Meeks, but not UK.
  • Yesterday was Miller time!
  • Pearl says his harsh comments are all about " ... honoring the game."  Really?  I guess I just don't see it.
  • The Quad at the New York Times takes note of the UK game yesterday.
  • I always said that Gillispie recruited Scotty Hopson half-heartedly.  Hopson confirms that in this article.  [Via Aaron's UK Blog.]
  • Strapless Living is a blog I've never encountered before, apparently run by a young woman who is a UK fan, and who attended the game yesterday.  Her observations about adjacent fan behavior are simply priceless.  I found myself laughing uproariously through the whole thing.  Nice piece of writing there, too.
  • Daniel Orton and Jon Hood took in the game yesterday.

Kentucky Football/Other Sports News

  • Kentucky vs. Miami of Ohio in Cincinnati next year?  It could happen.
  • UK ladies travel ot LSU today.  Can the Hoops team win one on the road?

NCAA Basketball News

  • Stalking Darrin Horn says that South Carolina was not impressive yesterday against the Razorbacks, even though they won.
  • Texas defeats Oklahoma.  Well, I was wrong about this on in my Round Table comments.  An Oklahoma perspective is here.
  • Alabama defeats Mississippi State.
  • Florida handles Vanderbilt.
  • LSU just keeps on rolling.  Circle the 28th on your calendar, folks.  Biggest game of the year in Rupp Arena, in my opinion.
  • UCLA falls yet again, this time at Washington State.  The Bruins are fading faster than a spray-on tan.
  • North Carolina dropped by the Maryland Terrapins.  Ouch.
  • Dayton falls to St. Louis.
  • In defense of John Pelphrey.

NCAA Football News

  • Mountain West is going to push the BCS for a guaranteed bearth.  The author of this post seems to think that they have a weak case, and that this is more of a stunt than something likely to happen.  I agree with him.  The MWC should shut up and win, and maybe they will be taken seriously.  One or two teams does not make a BCS conference.
  • Heh.  Team speed kills.

Other News of Interest

  • Chris Lofton was home from Turkey to take in the UK game yesterday.
  • Erik Daniels and Joe Crawford continue to make noise in the D-league.