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Friday Quickies: Big Blue Weekend Edition

A weekend full of blue is on deck as we head into the new year.

2016 CBS Sports Classic - Kentucky v North Carolina Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Starting today, we’ll be treated to a Big Blue welcome to the new year.

Today will see the Cats host the Cards in their annual hardwood rivalry, followed by the gridiron Cats facing Northwestern in the Music City Bowl.

Then on Sunday, the basketball Cats return to Rupp for their SEC opener against an up-and-coming Georgia squad.

All of this comes before the clock strikes midnight Sunday as the new year arrives. Let’s hope this year ends on a high note and sets up for a special 2018 in Big Blue Nation.

Tweet of the Day:

The holiday spirit can be used throughout the year!

Your Quickies

UK football: Music City Bowl head coaches have become fast friends | Lexington Herald Leader
Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald have become fast friends since it was announced that they would face off in the Music City Bowl.

From Bowl to Bowl, The Evolution of Kentucky's Offensive Depth Chart | Kentucky Sports Radio
Unexpected attrition has set back Kentucky's offensive depth chart since the last bowl game.

Calipari: Padgett 'is doing a great job' with Louisville Cardinals - LCJ
Kentucky's John Calipari complimented Louisville basketball interim coach David Padgett and also attempted to downplay the rivalry.

BOZICH | 3 reasons Kentucky will defeat Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News
The computer formulas and the Las Vegas odds favor Kentucky in the Wildcats' basketball game against Louisville Friday in Rupp Arena.

UK women end non-conference schedule with another loss |
After being up 12 points at halftime, Kentucky women’s basketball failed to find its rhythm in the second half and fell to Middle Tennessee 57-62 on Thursday evening.

Might UK-U of L rivalry be the tonic that makes the Cats fight? | Lexington Herald Leader
John Calipari questioned his team’s will to win after a loss to UCLA last weekend. A game against archrival Louisville on Friday seems well-timed to bring an intense effort. But with a historically inexperienced team, Calipari suggested that he can’t be sure of that.

Podcast: A lesson on perspective; previewing Louisville, Georgia - Coach Cal
Metz Camfield and Brent Carney begin the latest episode of Behind Kentucky Basketball with a lesson on the importance of perspective, and the impact someone's prior outlook on the Wildcats can have on their current outlook following UK's loss to UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic.

For Stoops and UK, a second chance to leave a positive final impression | Lexington Herald Leader
Kentucky takes on Northwestern in the Music City Bowl on Friday afternoon in Nashville.

Music City Bowl | Eddie Gran says A.J. Rose could see larger role - LCJ
The 2006 Music City Bowl was a breakout game for future NFL star Stevie Johnson, could another Wildcat follow suit this year?

Stephen Johnson has looked good during bowl prep | Lexington Herald Leader
Kentucky’s Stephen Johnson has struggled through some injuries late in the season, but Coach Mark Stoops said the senior has looked good in weeks leading up to the Music City Bowl.

Mark Stoops, Pat Fitzgerald weigh in on NFL draft prospects skipping bowls - LCJ
Could any of UK's junior draft prospects skip the Music City Bowl? It doesn't appear likely.

UK basketball will face new-look Cards for the first time Friday |
Two major in-state rivals, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, are set to play basketball this Friday in Rupp Arena.

Mixed Signals Surround Denzil Ware at UK Bowl Practice | Kentucky Sports Radio
Suspended outside linebacker Denzil Ware actually returned to practice, but his teammate's remarks leave his future in doubt.

Calipari: 'Our backs are against the wall' - 247
After playing just four games in a span of 22 days, Kentucky will now play four games in eight days.

Former Kentucky player Alex Poythress earns full-time Indiana Pacers contract | Lexington Herald Leader
Alex Poythress, the former Kentucky standout who has been splitting time between the G League and the Indiana Pacers this season, was signed to a full-time contract by the Pacers on Thursday.

With help from Kentucky basketball, Centre and Thomas More colleges win - LCJ
For two NCAA Division III athletic programs in Kentucky, basketball exhibitions against UK provided a financial windfall and unparalleled experiences.

Who wins between the 0-16 Lions of 2008 and today's 0-15 Browns?
The Cleveland Browns are one loss from joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16. Both teams earned their records, and both had moments that defined those seasons.

Bud Dupree: James Harrison's Release 'No One's Fault on Our Team'
Steelers edge rusher Bud Dupree said Wednesday that James Harrison can only blame himself for being released on Saturday. "It's no one's fault on our team, why he got cut," Dupree told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise on 93.7 The Fan. "He cut his self. He came in, he didn't want to do anything that made us better.

Dez Bryant Says 'Probably Not, Hell No' When Asked If He'd Take Cowboys Pay Cut
As the Cowboys formulate their plans for the offseason, wide receiver Dez Bryant apparently won't make things easier for the team. According to the Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill, Bryant responded "probably not" and then "hell no" when asked Wednesday if he'd consider taking a pay cut ahead of the 2018 season.

Eli Apple Suspended by Giants for Week 17 for Conduct Detrimental to Team
A tumultuous season for Giants cornerback Eli Apple has come to an early end. The team announced Wednesday that Apple will be suspended for Week 17. "We have suspended Eli for a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team," interim general manager Kevin Abrams said.

Chris Simms' Week 17 NFL Picks
Picking NFL games in Week 17 can be tricky. It's hard to know which teams are going to rest starters and which are going to put forth inspired performances. Obviously, there are teams that have a lot to play for in Week 17. Some are fighting just to get into the postseason. Others are jockeying for seeding.

Apple apologizes for iPhone slowdown drama, offers $29 battery replacements - The Verge
Apple says batteries are "consumable components," and is offering anyone with an iPhone 6 or later a battery replacement for $29 starting in late January through December 2018 — a discount of $50 from the usual replacement cost.

9 of the year’s best under-the-radar films you can watch at home - Vox
A coming-of-age story, a ballet documentary, a movie about rats and racism, and more.

Netflix’s Bright shines a light on divide between critics, audiences on Rotten Tomatoes - Polygon
Discussion about that divide flared recently over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which received more than 100,000 reviews and an audience score hovering around 56 percent — much lower than the critics’ “Certified Fresh” score of 91 percent.

'Steve Jobs' is an Italian company — and Apple can't do anything about it - The Verge
Steve Jobs jeans, anyone?

41 Things That’ll Help You Be A Better Adult In 2018 - BuzzFeed
2018 is truly going to be your year.