Tonight, the Kentucky Wildcats take on the Mississippi St. Bulldogs to try to continue their quest to solidify an NCAA Tournament bid. Obviously, a loss at home against a team as weak and personnel-depleted as MSU would derail that bid for sure.
Tweet of the Morning:
When watching Stephen Curry get tossed around by Roy Hibbert, do you think Jeff Van Gundy was screaming at his TV, "Go for the leg!"— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 27, 2013
Dang, Jay, this was so close. The proper Karate Kid reference is, "Sweep the leg."
- Football workouts are happening. Here's the video:
UK Football: Long-suffering Wildcats fan is buying into Mark Stoops // centralkynews.com
I’m the furthest thing from a Pollyanna when it comes to UK football. Too many scars. In my mind’s eye, it’s 5,000th down and Mark Higgs is still trying to get over the goal line against Tennessee in 1987.
This is a great reference that long-time UK football watchers can really appreciate. Read the rest of the piece, I think you will enjoy it. It is written from the perspective of a jaded long-time fan who has rediscovered a reason for hope for the first time in a while.
Blue/White Spring Game to be Ticketed Event With Reserved Seats // UKAthletics.com
A2D2 had this last night, but in case you missed it:
The annual Kentucky Football Blue/White Spring Game, set for Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium, will be a ticketed event this year with reserved seating.
Gone are the days of easy ticket availability, it’s the price, I hope, of impending success. If so, it will be well worth it. I live for the day when tickets to Commonwealth Stadium are routinely tough to find.
Wildcats finding improvement, success without Noel // The Sun Herald
To a player, Saturday night’s 90-83 overtime victory over Missouri marked Kentucky’s best all-around performance this season. Mays’ 24 points led four Wildcats with 16 or more points and outdid one of the SEC’s best offensive teams, but Kentucky’s resolve in overcoming a 13-point first half deficit demonstrated its growing poise.
To me, it’s not just the outcome of this game against Mississippi St. that matters, but how well Kentucky plays. It’s easy to get up for the Missouri Tigers when your back is against the wall, but it’s much harder when a struggling team comes into your home arena after a big win.
This doesn’t fit the definition of a trap game, but it has some of those characteristics. If UK is to make it to the tournament, a letdown against the Bulldogs is not a way to convince the selection committee of your newfound prowess.
*Breaking:* Andrew Wiggins’ Itinerary Discovered // Ky Cat Stats
We here at Ky Cat Stats have intercepted the proposed agenda for tomorrow’s Official Visit with Andrew Wiggins. Looks like John Calipari has a full day scheduled for Mr. Wiggins. Here’s the breakdown:
Heh. Pretty funny.
Other UK sports
- Shepherd Dazzles in Relief of Home-Opening Win // UKAThletics.com
Mathies Selected to Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Midseason Watch List // UKAthletics.com
Kentucky women’s basketball senior guard A’dia Mathies has been selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as one of 20 players on the 2013 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Midseason Watch List, it was announced on Tuesday.
Congratulations to A’dia, she really deserves it.
NCAA closes Johnny Manziel amateurism rules loophole // SI.com
College football and basketball players hoping to cash in on the Johnny Football "loophole" should hold off before they retain intellectual property attorneys. A Texas A&M official said Tuesday that while the NCAA would allow Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to collect damages if his corporation’s lawsuit against the maker of the "Keep Calm and Johnny Football" T-shirt pans out, the governing body of college sports told Texas A&M it would consider an intentional copyright violation for the purposes of funneling money to a player to be a violation.
Two things: Copyrighting something like "Johnny Football" ought to be impossible, which speaks to the absurdity of copyright law. Nobody should be able to call facial features like unibrows, nicknames and moles on their lip "intellectual property."
Second, of course a lawsuit that had the effect of paying off a player by abusing the legal system should be an NCAA violation. The NCAA doesn’t even like it when their own people abuse the legal system, don’tcha know.
That is, when somebody in the organization is smart enough to recognize an abuse of the legal system when they see it …
Hurtt Notice of Allegations // Hurtt.pdf
Via Mr. Hanky
- 3-point shot: The brutal Big Ten // ESPN
Late Night Snacks: Minnesota helps solidify its tourney spot by knocking off No. 1 // CollegeBasketballTalk
Nice to see IU go down to Tubby Smith. This just reinforces the view that the distance between the top teams and everyone else is pretty small this year, maybe smaller than any time in the last five or six years
No. 8 Florida falls to 0-4 in close games this season // CollegeBasketballTalk
The Volunteers are doing it with defense – they held Florida to under 1 point/possession, just like they did nearly everyone they have played in this six-game stretch.
I’m not sure if the fact that the Gators have not won a close game all year really means anything. Kentucky had a similar problem back in 2010-11, and they made it to the Final Four. To me, this looks like more of a coincidence than anything else.
It didn’t hurt Tennessee that they were down to five rotation players with yet another key injury, although this one looks to be only a one-gamer.
At this point, it’s fair for us to start asking whether or not this Florida team is truly a national title contender, isn’t it? Unless you consider beating Missouri (without Laurence Bowers), Ole Miss or Kentucky (in the game that Nerlens Noel got injured) in Gainesville a quality win, the Gators have really done nothing of note since beating Marquette by 33 points (again, in Gainesville) back in late November.
Probably fair, but if Florida is healthy or near-healthy at tournament time, they are a contender.
Big win for Minnesota; no panic for Indiana - Men's College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
Smith was so concerned with the team’s recent slide that he recently hired a sports psychologist to talk to his players.
He tried that when he was here, too. I don’t remember how that worked out, but it certainly seemed to help in this case, and even if it was just the placebo effect, it was probably worth it.
Bracket update: 1-line shakeup, Vols soar // ESPN
Vols one of the first four out? Wow, pretty impressive move late by the Volunteers, and don’t forget, the Arkansas Razorbacks have been making their case lately.
The SEC is coming on late. Not sure it will matter in the end, though.
Vols Outmuscle Florida, Drop #8 Gators 64-58 // Rocky Top Talk
This doesn’t finish the run to an NCAA tournament bid. It probably doesn’t even put the Vols on the right side of the bubble. But it makes tournament talk realistic as long as Tennessee keeps winning. The next one is in Athens on Saturday. Go Vols. Beat Georgia.
This is probably right, but honestly, Tennessee’s schedule is set up for a hungry team in need of help. Two road games to very beatable opponents, and a home game against Missouri, a team that struggles on the road.
Tennessee 64, Florida 58: Gassed Gators don't have enough on the road // Alligator Army
PANIC! if you think that Florida without a frontcourt player to spell Murphy or Patric Young is the Florida we’ll see in the near future, when Yeguete returns from injury. PANIC! if you think that Florida without Frazier, an elite three-point shooter, is the true Florida. PANIC! if you think that a road loss to Tennessee, a team with a fair bit of talent that is on a five-game winning streak and took many of its losses to good teams, is a bad loss.
Heh. He’s got a point, and I think that a healthy Florida is good enough to win the whole thing. Of course, they aren’t healthy yet …
Other sports news
How much credit does John Wall get for Bradley Beal's emergence? // Bullets Forever
Is John Wall helping Bradley Beal get better? Pro and con.
New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis injures left shoulder in loss to Brooklyn Nets // NOLA.com
I always had worries about Davis’ durability:
New Orleans Hornets rookie power forward Anthony Davis appeared to badly injure his left shoulder with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter of the 101-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Davis collided with Nets center Brook Lopez, who blocked a Davis’ shot attempt under the Brookyn basket. Davis came away from the contact grimacing in pain and holding his left shoulder.
Cwap. This just stinks.
- I think this video is excellent. Enjoy: