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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Conference Championship Edition

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Nation. Florida St. and Auburn to face off in the final BCS Championship. Kentucky volleyball faces Michigan St. today for the right to go to the Sweet Sixteen. More.

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So it will be Auburn and Florida St. in the BCS Championship game. Once again, the SEC proves that it is the best conference in America, even if Auburn loses. I had a feeling that Sparty would undo Ohio St. I think we all knew that Florida St. was too good to lose their spot in the BCS Championship game.

So if Mark Stoops had stayed one more season, he'd be coaching in the biggest game of the year. I wonder how he feels about that looking back on the season?

Tweet of the Morning:

Stuck in Dallas all weekend. Wow.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
  • Neal Brown reflects on quarterback play. I am officially over the football season, and have consigned it to history. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped, but to be fair, Stoops and Co. doggedly preserved redshirts to an almost manic level with an eye toward real improvement. I expect to see it, and I think I will.

  • In the end, I think losing 6,000 seats from Commonwealth Stadium will be a good thing. We are not Alabama or Tennessee, and if we start selling the place out every game, we can always expand it later. Getting a high-quality experience is more important than capacity at this point.

Kentucky basketball
  • Trey Lyles and Devin Booker put on a show for Coach Cal and the UK fans had Marshall County Hoop Fest. Love hearing about these two guys leading their teams, and Booker in particular being a deadly 3-point sniper. You can never have too much shooting.

  • John Clay's article on Kentucky's loss to Baylor. Consider:

    Kentucky lost to Baylor by being unfocused at the end. The Cats shot just 35 percent in the second half, just the third time in nine games this year that Calipari's club shot less than 50 percent in the final 20 minutes.

    To be fair, there were plenty of distractions in Texas, even beyond the weather. The epic first game of Friday's doubleheader kept pushing back the start time of the men's game. Baylor's Austin said his team would be up and ready to go out on the floor, then have to go back in the locker room and try to stay active.

    So are you willing to give them a pass on the excuses in the second paragraph? I say the "distractions" were just as bad for Baylor as for us. You could plausibly argue that it affected Kentucky more because of their youth. But I wouldn't.

  • When your opponent says you aren't tough, you can probably believe them.

  • The predictable media meme of "inexperience." Can this get any more tired? Yes, it was a factor, but a bigger factor was clearly the fact that Kentucky lacked the quality that all great basketball teams have — a refuse-to-lose attitude.

  • So Kentucky now has some competition for Montaque Gill-Caesar in the form of Mike Krzyzewski. Good. Calipari, earn your keep.

  • Yes, Coach, I think this is right:

    "I played the guys way too many minutes. I was trying to get out of the gym. It was a big mistake. They’re not able to play, that’s a high school. That’s an AAU thing. I’m staying on the court 38 minutes. There’s no way and that’s not their fault, I’m the one that played them that many minutes. These guys shouldn’t be playing more than 28-30 minutes. Any of them because they can’t play any more minutes."

    But seriously, is this an indictment of his team's conditioning? His coaching? Both?

  • Okay, I love me some Leon Rice, coach of Boise St. Check this quote:

    "Two of the classic mistakes — fight a land war in Asia and underestimate Cal with his freshmen,’’ Boise State coach Leon Rice said.

    Any coach who paraphrases The Princess Bride is automatically on my good side.

Other Kentucky sports
  • Volleyball sweeps Duquesne, moves on to NCAA Tournament second round. They face Michigan State, who defeated Ohio, today at Memorial Coliseum at 4:00. If they win this, it's Sweet Sixteen time.

  • I'm still agog at the women's game in Arlington Friday. That was one of the best college basketball games ever played, in my opinion, men or women.

  • Kentucky vs. Baylor an instant classic. Well, if not, the term has no meaning.

  • SB Nation's Swish Appeal on the Kentucky-Baylor game:

    It took one hour of basketball on the court, three halves worth. It took four hours to play in real time. It was the highest scoring game in Division I women's basketball history.

College football
  • Florida St. leaves no doubt. Really, as if there were any real doubt before the game and after Jameis Winston was not charged in the sex crime investigation.

  • Sparty takes down Ohio St., but you knew that judging from the number of comments in the football thread. I really had no dog in this fight.

  • This is how Land Grant Holy Land opens their post-B1G championship game article:

    704 days. That's how long it's been since you last felt the sting of defeat, Buckeye fans, and, in that time, your coping muscles likely have atrophied from disuse.

    Read the whole thing, it's pretty good, and fairly short.

  • Of pressing concern to college football: Whither Mack Brown? If Brown gets the axe, the shock waves will be felt all over the country. If it happens, some top program will lose their head football coach to the Longhorns, and that is nearly a foregone conclusion.

  • Alabama fans are ... less than totally pleased about the outcome of yesterday's SEC championship game. I feel you, 'Bama fans. We had to go through the same thing last season in basketball. Ugh.

  • Team Speed Kills projects the bowls. Georgia-Michigan in the Gator? Me likey. LSU-Nebraska in the Outback? Another one I like. Texas A&M vs. Miami in the Chick-Fil-A works for me, too.

  • Bud Elliott talks about Florida St.'s big win over Duke. Kinda matter-of-fact, but then again, it was Duke football. Despite the great season the Blue Devils had, Florida St. was never really in jeopardy in this game.

  • Dennis Dodd says there's no CFB controversy about Auburn-Florida St. I agree, and that's probably a good thing. I don't think the BCS will be missed whatsoever, and it will be interesting to see who gets to claim the last BCS championship.

College basketball
Other sports news
Other news
  • Is going small the new trend in bourbon? Craft distilleries are exploding in Kentucky. As a bourbon lover, it's an exciting time. I have to find a way to work some of these in.