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Big Blue Nation Linkapalooza: Elite Eight Edition

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Twin sons of different mothers?
Twin sons of different mothers?

Kentucky is now in their third straight Elite Eight. The last time that happened was in the period between 1995-1999.

Now, for today's links:

Kentucky's John Calipari: A big winner in dire need of a title // Mark Bradley

Even if you don’t like Calipari, you cannot in good conscience say that he wins big only because he recruits big. He takes great talent and comes close to maximizing it, and with the one-and-done nature of his programs he’s always doing it on the fly. His 2007-08 Memphis Tigers won 35 games, but lost Derrick Rose to the NBA; the next season Memphis won 33 games. Calipari’s 2009-10 Wildcats won 35 games, but saw five players depart early; the next season Kentucky went to the Final Four.

I'm not sure if this article is fair or not, but you can decide for yourself.

Anthony Davis: Kentucky freshman forward Anthony Davis is growing into superstardom //

Staying out of foul trouble Friday will be paramount for Davis, who was saddled with four fouls during the Wildcats' lone regular-season loss in December to Indiana.

"I tell them it's not football," coach John Calipari said. "It's not a touchdown. We'll score seven seconds later. If you broke down, let him score. Don't foul. I say it over and over."

Exactly right. Defend, but if you get beat, give it to him. With Davis in the game, many midrange shots become high-difficulty or fast break opportunities.

Former Kentucky QB Tim Couch honored by Maker’s Mark // Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

Cool bottle.

WKU's Ross Bjork will be next Ole Miss athletic director //

Congrats to Bjork. Welcome to the SEC, but Ole Miss is a tough place to start.

Kentucky Going To Stick With Strategy Of Having Far-And-Away Better Athletes At Every Position // The Onion
Sent to me by JL Blue. Classic Onion.

Sleeping with the Enemy: Nerlens Noel Special Edition - Georgetown, Syracuse or Kentucky? // Casual Hoya

The three schools vying for Nerlens Noel's services debate the benefits of their respective schools.

Duke Blue Devils' Austin Rivers leaving for NBA draft, sources say // ESPN
Oh, the humanity! Coach K with 2 one-and-dones in a row? What's this world coming to?

"False statement" about NBA led to inspirational effort from Kidd-Gilchrist against Indiana // vaughtsviews

"I was mad. It was a false statement. I knew it was a false statement. I love my teammates and everything like that, but it was a false statement. I think it was a distraction. It wasn’t true at all," said Kidd-Gilchrist.

Heh. ESPN, feel free to piss MKG off anytime you want. I like him when he's angry.

John Calipari Is Photogenic, Full Of Expressions //

Well, now, this is funny!

Calipari admits UK’s defense "aggravated" him against Indiana // vaughtsviews

"We lead the nation in field‑goal‑percentage defense all year. Normally, we’re holding people to 56, 55, 59 (points). They had more layups in the first half than we have had scored on us for the year," said Kentucky coach John Calipari after the 102-90 win. "Now part of it was Anthony (Davis) was out (with two early fouls). The other part was we were just getting broken down. We were playing pick‑and‑roll defense so poorly that they were getting whatever they wanted.

Oladipo broke us down repeatedly off the dribble and pick and rolls.

Calipari and players talk about Kentucky win // John Clay's Sidelines

If you haven't heard the coach's comments, you might want to watch this.

As Indiana learned, Kentucky is a different breed of cat // Mark Bradley

To view the faces of the Indiana Hoosiers early Saturday morning was to see incredulity on parade. They’d hit 52.2 percent of their shots against an opponent than on average had limited teams to 37 percent. They’d made eight turnovers in 40 frenzied-yet-focused minutes. They had, as coach Tom Crean kept noting, scored 90 points.

And they’d lost by 12. They were like Sham in the 1973 Kentucky Derby: They’d run the race of their lives, but they’d run it against Secretariat.

There might be a better analogy out there, but I have no idea what it would be.

Eloy Vargas glad his mother finally got to see him play at Kentucky // vaughtsviews

Emmert, Calipari share views on one-and-done //

Emmert says exactly the right things.

John Calipari's 'Cats keep on rolling along //

Kentucky’s inability to guard Indiana in the first half without Davis on the court at least gave future opponents some reason for hope. If you can get Davis in foul trouble, Kentucky’s outstanding defense isn’t nearly as imposing.

But it’s tough to find other flaws. This team simply doesn’t make the mental mistakes you might expect from a freshman-laden squad facing such high expectations.


Kentucky makes mockery of student-athlete hype //

Calipari’s record at Kentucky and the previous stops along his coaching trail, along with the apparent approval of University of Kentucky leaders, offers proof that his No. 1 priority is winning games. Any effort to suggest Calipari’s true interest is trying to provide a college education, a degree, falls apart when looking at his record, the players on his past two Kentucky teams and the outlook for players on his current team. His goal seems to be to win and make his players instant millionaires.

This is a stupid article from a man who apparently has an education, but has no interest whatever in putting it on display. How stupid? Sadly, there is more:

Most schools try to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, but Kentucky, which probably will win this year’s title, is almost running a semi-professional program with an unfair advantage over those schools and coaches who attempt to abide by the NCAA guidelines.

Yes, this dufus actually said "unfair advantage," and meant it. He fails to even address the fact that the rules in question are not even the NCAA's rules, but the rules of professional basketball. He doesn't care. He only intends to make the point that Calipari is making a mockery of the NCAA model of a student athlete as if he could somehow ethically do something else.

Maybe, in the minds of Calipari and UK officials, million-dollar contracts totally negate the need and importance of a college degree.

Those millions absolutely do negate the need for a college education. How do we measure the value of an education anyway? Isn't it supposed to prepare us for a successful career, or is it just something we show people so they know we're smart? Professional basketball happens to be a lucrative career that doesn't require a diploma, of which there are fairly many out there. Acting is only one example, but there are more.

This is what I mean by education for its own sake. It's worth its cost only if the person deems it so, or provides the foundation for a successful career, not because some ivory-tower academician thinks everybody needs one. This is sour grapes from a sour mind.

Kentucky 102, Indiana 90: Hoosiers' comeback season ends in shootout. // The Crimson Quarry

If, before the game, IU fans had known that IU would score 90 points, would shoot 52 percent from the field, would have its best turnover performance of the season (11 percent), and that Anthony Davis would have another subpar performance, most of us would have thought that the Hoosiers stood an excellent chance of winning. As it stood, however, Kentucky beat IU in a way that IU has handled many of its opponents this year: by taking it to the rim and finding their way to the foul line. UK shot an excellent 35-37 from the line, dominated the offensive boards at their end (44 percent, compared to 33 percent for IU), and the nation's number one team avenged its earlier loss to IU and ended the Hoosiers season.