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Wildcat Quickies: Happy New Year Edition

2017 is here. Boom is going to the league. Chip Kelly will be fired. More.

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NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Kentucky vs Texas A&M Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year, BBN! Best wishes to you in 2017. From a Kentucky athletics standpoint, 2016 was a good year. I mean, you can’t complain about the football team going bowling for the first time since hiring Mark Stoops. Not to mention, Stoops is carrying a top-25 recruiting class into this next calendar year. Plus, the basketball ‘Cats won another SEC title, and it looks as though the team that Cal is carrying into 2017 is poised to do that and a whole lot more.

Oh, and those top-25 ranked Lady Wildcats are looking pretty darn good as well. It’s been a good year for Kentucky’s major sports, and 2017 is showing a lot of promise to be even better.

As far as the rest of the sports world’s 2016, it was wild. The Golden State Warriors finished the regular season with the best record in NBA history (73-9) only to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals and give way to Cleveland’s first NBA Championship (don’t mean a thing without the ring).

Then the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, which was even weirder, and the Cleveland Browns almost went winless in 2016 (although they did go an entire calendar year without a win).

These are just a few of the crazy things that happened in sports. In the end, there were legendary National Championship games in both college basketball and college football, we saw what was arguably the greatest baseball game of all-time in Game Seven of the World Series and we got an instant classic NBA Finals series. I, for one, hope 2017 is just as exciting in the sports world.

Tweets of the year

Your quickies

Boom Williams explains NFL Draft decision - SEC Country
Williams said that this seems like the “perfect time.” Boom’s entry into the draft means that Kentucky will lose its veteran running back. However, it does mean the backfield opens up for Benny Snell. We’ll have to see how that plays out.

Georgia Tech survives Kentucky comeback bid in chippy TaxSlayer Bowl - ESPN
The ‘Cats threatened GT’s lead late, but the Yellow Jackets responded to put the game out of reach. Mark Stoops was quite angry and there was tension on both sides during the game.

UK, GT fans brought their wallets with them to Jacksonville - News 4 Jax
With this bowl falling on New Years Eve, right after Christmas, Jacksonville businesses saw a nice little bump in business with Kentucky and Georgia Tech fans in town.

Lady Cats begin SEC play against Tennessee - Lex 18
The Kentucky women’s team will play against a Tennessee team that has won four straight. It’ll be in Knoxville at 4 p.m. today on ESPN 2.

Stoops says one game can’t get his team down - SEC Country
OK, so Kentucky lost their bowl game. They still won seven of their last 10, upset Louisville, held the lead in the SEC East for a moment, and found out that their best player is a true freshman. Kentucky will be just fine next year (almost certainly better than they were this year).

Stephen Johnson wins bowl MVP for Kentucky - KSR
Being the MVP for the losing team doesn’t really mean much, but if anyone deserved it, it was Johnson. Johnson had 175 passing yards and 1 passing touchdown, as well as 49 rushing yards (a team-high) and 1 touchdown on the ground as well.

Alabama takes down Washington in CFP semifinal - USA Today
The Crimson Tide are on their way to a second consecutive National Championship appearance, as they beat Washington 24-7 in the Peach Bowl.

LSU overwhelms Louisville in the Citrus Bowl - Fox Sports
Louisville got snubbed from the Orange Bowl and then got obliterated in the Citrus Bowl. The Tigers shut Lamar Jackson down, and LSU running back Derrius Guice tore the Louisville defense apart in the second half to carry LSU to a 29-9 win.

Ronda Rousey says she needs time to reflect and think about future - Yahoo
Could we see another long break before Rousey’s next fight, or is this the end of the road for her?

Chip Kelly reportedly going to be fired by 49ers - NBC Sports
Simply put, Chip Kelly’s NFL career has not gone well.

Michigan finishes 10-3, same record as last year - Fox Sports
Perhaps it had been different if Jabrill Peppers had played, but Michigan fell to Florida State 33-32 to bring their record to 10-3. Michigan football is certainly better under Jim Harbaugh, but they’ve found themselves at the same level they were at last year.

Clemson gets Alabama rematch after blowing out OSU - ESPN
This is one rematch I’m happy to see. After Clemson demolished Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, they now take on Alabama in the National Championship for the second year in a row. Last year’s game was an instant classic; let’s hope for the same this year.