The Kentucky Wildcats are back at home after securing a sloppy victory on the road at Ole Miss. The Florida Gators come to town today after a massive victory over Tennessee in Gainesville earlier in the week.
Both Kentucky (31) and Florida (41) are looking to climb in the NET and help secure their spot in the NCAA tournament, a precarious task for both teams. The winning team can feel better about a tournament berth while the loser will have very little, if any, wiggle room left for the rest of the season.
The game itself is big but an even bigger event is happening today in Rupp Arena: the retiring of Mike Pratt’s jersey.
It’s a unique and hard earned honor to get one’s jersey retired up in the rafters of historic Rupp Arena. Mike Pratt deserves the honor as both a player and a broadcaster. He played alongside the legendary Dan Issel for Adolph Rupp in the late sixties and was first team SEC in 1969 and 1970. After his time at UK, he had a run in the ABA with the Kentucky Colonels again with his friend Dan Issel.
After his time in the ABA he coached at UNC Charlotte from 1978 to 1982. He returned to Kentucky as the color analyst for the basketball games for two decades. He was inducted into the Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
I got to know Mike through my work at ESPN Louisville. He was kind, funny and always quick with a joke. He carried his friendship with Dan Issel over to sports talk radio on ESPN 680 on their show “Sports Talk with Dan Issel and Mike Pratt.” Dan still does the show daily from 10-12 with new co-host Louis Rabaut.
Pratt richly deserves this honor as much for his time as a player as his time on the radio. He carried the banner for BBN everywhere he went and was instrumental in convincing Mitch Barnhart to hire John Calipari. Cal and Mike became good friends.
Tweets of the Day
Celebrating Mike Pratt before retiring his jersey at halftime of our game Saturday night pic.twitter.com/im3Q8lMCAz— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 4, 2023
Win this one for #22.
Video3 watch our boy put that left arm and grab that bar pic.twitter.com/cTKcYPRBvI— Kcoats22 (@kcoats22) February 4, 2023
His progress continues to inspire and amaze!
Two Wildcats set to play in senior bowl | Cats Pause- Chris Rodriguez and Keidron Smith will play in the 2023 Senior Bowl. The game is at 2:30 PM on the NFL Network if you’re looking for something to watch before the basketball game.
Kentucky vs. Florida: Big Blue Preview | UK Athletics- A nice breakdown of the game and Mike Pratt’s jersey ceremony.
Cats vs. Gators predictions | Cats Illustrated- A win here seems likely but I think it’s going to be very close and will come down to the wire. Can Kentucky get stops and hit big shots down the stretch the way they weren’t able to against Kansas?
Aaron Bradshaw and DJ Wagner wow in Bluegrass debut | KSR- John Calipari along with his players and staff watched Bradshaw score 21 points and Wagner score 18 points in a blowout win for Camden. They were also there watching recruit Billy Richmond.
College basketball top 25 picks | CBS- It’s a major day in college basketball teams as top 25 showdowns are abound across the country. Of course Duke and North Carolina are featured as the only non-top 25 matchup. Because of course.
Austin Rivers and Mo Bamba among a host of ejected players | ESPN- And it’s a second straight night with a brawl in the NBA. This time the Wolves and the Magic were involved as Mo Bamba and Austin Rivers initiated the bench clearing fight. Five players total were ejected and the Wolves went on to win the game 127-120.
Behind the messy exit of Texas and Oklahoma | SI.com- Texas and Oklahoma were expected to join the SEC by now but it looks as if the teams will not join the conference until the 2025 season.
Ranking the top 25 rivalries in college sports | SDS- Kentucky and Louisville is criminally low on this list at #11. There isn’t a more bloodthirsty rivalry when the teams are at their peak but unfortunately Louisville has been the pits in both football and basketball for several years so they’re not exactly holding up their end of the bargain. The constant overrating of Duke/UNC is gross.
Join me after the game as I break down the action and take your phone calls and texts on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife UK Postgame Show.
Follow the leader, ESPN Louisville.— ESPN Louisville (@ESPN680) September 3, 2021
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