Today is the regular season's last Saturday of basketball, and from here on out, it's tournament time in one form or another. Win and advance, lose and go home. Pretty soon, that will have the ultimate finality about it.
Here are today's links:
Kentucky proves ready, if Syracuse awaits // bellinghamherald.com
Miller confirmed the added attention to practice against zones.
"We've definitely worked on it a lot more," he said. "I think you can tell how comfortable we are with it. We even played a little zone (against Georgia), which I don't think I've ever done under Coach Cal."
If Kentucky continues to improve their zone offense, as the game with Georgia suggests, can any zone be effectively employed? I'm not so sure.
Kentucky Wildcats rally past Florida Gators at SEC Women's Tournament // The Tennessean
"It says a lot about (us)," Wildcats Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "I’m not sure how level my head was staying when we were down 14 (in the first half). That’s a real good job by the players.
I'll be covering the semifinal game against LSU today at 4:00. Greg will be about some personal affairs, so I am giving him a hand.
Rick Bozich: Time for Dr. Bo's awards // The Courier-Journal
For what it's worth. I would say he has few, if any surprises, although I might quibble about leaving John Jenkins off the starting lineup for the SEC.
Basketball Prospectus // Not Your 2010 Duke
I keep hearing that Duke stands a good chance of earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and when I hear something like that enough times in March, even very early March, I tend to give it some credence. The NCAA tournament selection committee hands out those top seeds based in large part on the number of good wins that a team records (and on the number of bad losses that they do not suffer), and, as we'll see, on this metric the Blue Devils do indeed look very strong. But I'm here with a word of caution for you as you fill out your bracket this season. You should know that if Mike Krzyzewski's men do indeed earn a No. 1 seed, they'll be the weakest team we've seen on the top line in years [My emphasis].
I can't read the whole article because I'm not a subscriber, but this opening paragraph really is right.
Kentucky Sports Radio // Davis overtakes Robinson in ESPN Player of the Year poll
ESPN has been taking a straw poll of 54 national basketball writers over the course of the season to track the outlook in the Player of the Year race. Each of the writers surveyed has a vote in at least one of the four major POY awards (USBWA, Wooden, Naismith and AP), so it is probably the most accurate projection of how the actual voting will look as it goes down over the season’s final weeks. That’s why I’m pleased to tell you that Anthony Davis, for the first time this season, came out on top of the voting.
I suspected this would happen pretty soon. It has been building up around the media now for almost a month.
PUNCH SHOTS: Knight anything but chivalrous about Kentucky // delcotimes.com
Some think it’s a joke and he should be scolded by his. I say, good for Knight for sticking to his guns.
So what if he’s way off base and blatantly wrong? He’s a man of principle. Always has been, always will be.
Can anyone decipher the logic in these two paragraphs? Can anyone figure out in what context they make sense?
Stated another way, this would read: "Good for Bobby Knight for sticking to wrong principles." Say what?
Kentucky Sports Radio // Kentucky setting a new standard in the BPI
Remember me telling you about the BPI, ESPN’s new power ranking system, a few weeks ago? Remember, Jay Bilas and a fleet of ESPN analysts created it to compete with the unreliable RPI? Well, the BPI is picking up in popularity and with good reason. According to the latest rankings, ESPN says Kentucky is setting a new standard of dominance and consistency in the BPI, and has the highest pre-tourney BPI they’ve seen in six years of analysis:
Well, this is the best team in the country we're talking about. Just don't tell Bobby Knight.
Kentucky Sports Radio // Today’s Tornadoes Were Real
I pray that all our readers made it through yesterday's frightful storms safe and undamaged. Our prayers go out to those who have lost family, friends, homes, and property.
How the SEC West would have looked if it still existed // The Daily Bama Blog
Wow. Just wow.
For Kentucky fans, it’s hard to find something to worry about // WildcatCorner.com
Inevitability fills the air around the Kentucky Wildcats.
THAT's what scares me. :-)
SEC Morning Five: 03.02.12 Edition // Rush The Court
Kentucky has come a long way since 2009 when Georgia came to Lexington and spoiled Senior Night. On March 4, 2009, the Bulldogs beat the Wildcats 90-85 while UK was under head coach Billy Gillispie. What a difference a couple of years make. At the end of Gillispie’s era at UK, the Wildcats’ future was in question as they were coming off a 3-5 end to the SEC season and a trip to the NIT. Now, the Cats are fresh off a Final Four trip, and are hoping to attend another one this year. And of course, the Wildcats are looking to go a perfect 16-0 in conference play for the first time since 2003. A lot has changed, and John Calipari deserves way more credit then he gets for that transformation.
College Home Teams Can Pick Their Brands of Basketballs // NYTimes.com
The home team in N.C.A.A. basketball plays with its preferred ball during the regular season, and because each brand has a distinct feel, it is another reason it is hard to play on the road.
Interesting story. I know when I played, the ball really made a difference, particularly the grip. I have small hands, and a ball with a poor grip was a real pain to handle.
Via Mike Miller.
Is there a three-way POY chase? // CBSSports.com
That's the ever-lasting argument: value to a team vs. actual ability/talent and achievement that's been displayed in a given year. Without Anthony Davis, Kentucky is still very good. It doesn't make him nearly as valuable to the Wildcats as Green is to Michigan State and Thomas Robinson is to Kansas.
I think that speaks more to Davis' ability than anything else. Value to the team is always highly relative to the quality of the other players, and in my judgment, should be a negative in the POY discussion, if anything. We are not handing out the most valuable player award, but the best player award.
Southern Illinois fires Chris Lowery; may go for Bruce Weber // CollegeBasketballTalk
Wow, back to the future. That would be a big story if it happened, or should be. Weber has struggled lately at Illinois, and I think the Illini might be ready for a change.
D’Antoni Hoping to Get Jorts Back in Rotation // ZagsBlog.com
"I’ve got to find the time. It’s got to be right. I’ve got to feel right about it, but the way he plays, anytime is good."
Think back to Josh Harrellson at the beginning of his senior year after he got de-Twittered by Calipari. Would any of you have imagined a statement like that coming from an NBA coach about Harrellson?
You just can't make this stuff up. Real life is truly more amazing than fiction sometimes.
Jay Greeson: What if Bruce Pearl still led UT Vols? // GoVolsXtra
That we're even discussing the Vols and the postseason without waiting for the punch line is a testament to the job Martin has done in his first season in Knoxville. In fact, forget the SEC honors: If Martin somehow finds a way to get these Vols -- a collection of misfit pieces picked to finish 11th in the 12-team SEC before the season -- he deserves national coach of the year recognition.
I think Martin has done a spectacular job, but I doubt he will win national COY. He's very likely win SEC COY, though, I'm pretty sure that the other coaches can't bring themselves to vote for Calipari no matter how many games he wins.
But if anyone other than Coach Cal deserves it, it is surely Martin.
Gators get chance to spoil UK’s perfect SEC season // Gainesville.com
"The biggest thing is we have not had any duds, and normally, you go through a season, you're going to have two or three duds, and you hope they are against teams (where) you can win," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "So we go to Florida. It's going to be a really hard game. It will be a sold-out arena. They are going to be going crazy down there. You know, my thing is, look, let's just make it hard for them and see what happens."
The Wildcats are likely to make it very, very hard for them.