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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Return Of Swag Edition

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News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Kentucky defeats Missouri convincingly. NCAA loses in Federal court over Penn St. More.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats re-introduced themselves to their swag by routing Missouri last night in Rupp Arena in a style reminiscent of the Kansas and UCLA games. The entire Big Blue Nation thanks the team for not putting them through another overtime thriller.

Tweet of the Morning

Heh. They’ll worry about Duke, all right. Have no fear. But at least until Saturday, the concern-trolling about Kentucky from most of the media will give way to hand-wringing over Duke.

Maybe the only interesting thing Doug Gottleib has ever said.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
Kentucky basketball
  • What we learned from Kentucky’s rout of Missouri. Hey, they spelled "rout" correctly, awesome!

    The Cats summoning their swagger looked like a "buzz saw" in basketball shoes, as coach John Calipari described it afterward. And that felt "nice," he said, after last week’s dispassionate pair of near defeats. Kentucky improved its record to 16-0 in the same devastating style it won those first dozen dazzling games.

    Are we getting to the point where Kentucky will be depicted as some kind of a monster (gorilla, werewolf, Godzilla, etc.) with a chainsaw where their dangly bits should be, a la 2007 LSU football?

  • Calipari’s post-game comments:

  • Three things about the Kentucky-Missouri game last night.

  • Tigers run into Kentucky "buzz saw." No matter what you call them, this Wildcats team, when focused on the defense, can deliver some brutal maulings to young or undertalented teams.

  • Malik Monk is a freak show:

    Hat tip: NBC Sports

College football
College basketball
  • Duke goes down hard last night to Miami in Cameron Indoor. Duke once again folded like a trade show display. The Blue Devils’ relationship with defense is nodding, at best, regardless of their statistics.

    A smart Duke fan noted the problem last night in one of the Duke fever swamps: Duke is becoming a "system" team, like Oregon in football. They run a system and never really deviate, and that is generally to pressure guards just past half court and deny the easy perimeter pass. Most teams panic, try to force the pass and give up turnovers or allow themselves to be trapped.

    All it takes is a one-on-one move by an athletic player to force the entire defense into a death-spiral of rotation. I have explained this before — closely guarding teams far out on the floor produces a spread floor with lots of big gaps that an athletic back court can exploit, as long as they don’t pick up the ball. You have to break Duke down and get by them. The defense then becomes very vulnerable. C. L. Brown has more here.

  • Consider:

    Offense hasn’t been a problem for Duke thus far. The team ranks second in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, and it boasted the ACC’s highest scoring average (83.8 points per game) entering Tuesday. But once again, the Blue Devils had trouble containing a talented offense. The ‘Canes shot 52 percent from the floor, hit 10-of-20 3-pointers and knocked down 22 of their 30 free throws. Angel Rodriguez dropped 24 points, including four treys.

  • Tennessee really looked good last night against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Vols turned the Razorbacks over a bunch, including 11 steals. Donnie Tyndall is trying to bring a Pitino-like match-up zone to the SEC.

  • Texas A&M defeats Mississippi State.

  • Notre Dame’s starting center suspended, the rumor is for the remainder of the season.

  • Some early bracketology from Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation:

    Thanks to competitive middle-tiers, the SEC, Pac-12 and, to a lesser extent, Mountain West could see their collective fortunes improve as the weeks tick on. The same cannot be said for the American, which sees a significant drop-off in quality past its middle tier of SMU, Tulsa, and Tulane. Of that trio, the Golden Hurricane – victors at Temple on Saturday and over UConn on Tuesday – looks to be the best bet to sneak in.

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