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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
March 20th, 2017

The Cats Open as Underdogs vs. UCLA

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You may have already seen Kentucky’s updated odds to win the National Championship.  Slightly behind UCLA, it reflects Vegas’ thoughts on the Friday night game between the Cats and the Bruins.

UCLA is a one-point favorite over Kentucky after opening as a pick-em.  Regardless of seed — the Bruins are a three and UK is a two — and proximity — Tennessee is much closer to Kentucky than California — Vegas is buying the Bruins’ flavor of the month.

I like my team, but no matter how much you like your team, always remember to gamble responsibly.


FiveThirtyEight: Kentucky has a 40% chance of making the Final Four

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FiveThirtyEight, a popular statistics website, liked Kentucky’s chances in the South Region before the games began, but they’re even higher on the Cats after the first two games. Neil Paine increased Kentucky’s odds of advancing to the Final Four by 22%, making them the favorite out of the South Region. The Cats now have a 40% of winning the South Region, followed by North Carolina at 34%, UCLA at 14%, and Butler at 12%.

That’s exciting enough, but he also gives Kentucky an 11% chance of winning the national championship, the third best of any team left in the field :

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Awesome. For more, click the links below.

[FiveThirtyEight, Bracket]


Anthony Davis was a proud Wildcat last night

@PelicansNBA

@PelicansNBA

Things have been so crazy around here today we haven’t had time to do your daily BBNBA roundup, but I will share this very cool picture from the New Orleans Pelicans’ Twitter account, which shows Anthony Davis sitting in front of his locker, where his 2012 Kentucky jersey hangs. Davis reportedly wore his Kentucky jersey into the Pelicans’ arena before leading his team past Karl Towns and the Timberwolves, 123-109. Karl had 33 points and 6 rebounds in the game, while Anthony had 28 points and 12 rebounds and DeMarcus Cousins 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Check out full highlights of Karl and Anthony’s duel below:

Hopefully we’ll see more former Cats break out their old jerseys as the week goes on.


WATCH: Drew goes on “Inside Edition”

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When Drew told me this morning he was going on “Inside Edition” to talk about the video of Gregg Marshall’s wife, I thought he was joking. Turns out, he wasn’t. Check out this teaser clip of the interview, which might be the most absurd thing I’ve ever seen:

Whatever. I told him I’m not going to be impressed until he ends up on “A Current Affair.”


Jeff Ruby will buy graduation dinner for students at 7 area universities

Northern Kentucky students may not be getting a free steak after Kentucky beat the Norse on Friday night, but Jeff Ruby has one heck of a consolation prize. This morning on Bill Cunningham’s show on 700WLW, Ruby announced he’s going to buy graduation dinner for every student who graduates from the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Dayton, the University of Louisville and Vanderbilt. Ruby owns steakhouses near all of these schools, and is inviting every student who’s enrolled in the next four years to come to any of his restaurants to receive a complimentary steak dinner as a graduation present.

Ruby says he’ll release more details later this week, but the news also comes on the heels of his announcement that he’s naming a steak after the Northern Kentucky Norse at his Cincinnati restaurant The Precinct:

Meanwhile, Malone’s promise to buy every UK student and faculty member a steak dinner if the Cats win the national championship is still out there…

[LEX18]


CBS: Kentucky’s defense could take them to the Final Four

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Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write this season: Kentucky’s defense could take them to the Final Four. Oh yes, the Cats’ defense, which we have said several times this year was the worst of the Calipari Era, has suddenly come together in the postseason. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander has a great breakdown of Kentucky’s improved defense, which he says could take them all the way to Phoenix:

UK’s not been an elite defense team all season, but it looked elite on that end of the floor against a top-10 team in Wichita State. It was fitting that Adebayo ended that game; I wrote last week that he’s the key to unlocking Kentucky’s title hopes . His ability as a defender inside and out (how many big man are playing that kind of D in a pivotal game-ending sequence and coming with a help-block? It’s crazy impressive) is downright vital to Kentucky’s chances.

Kentucky held Northern Kentucky and Wichita State to 35.6 percent from the field. It averaged nine blocks per game and averaged 35 defensive rebounds the first weekend. Kentucky played in the defensive style that Calipari aspired to back in the preseason. Not surprising that UK stepped up the way it did. Cal gets his guys to perform in this tournament like few coaches can. The Wildcats have to keep their averages close to those clips going forward to get out of Memphis as the champ.

While we’re all focused on the Cats’ issues on offense, specifically, Malik Monk’s slump, Norlander makes some great points. Kentucky’s defense, which haunted them vs. UCLA in December, has improved ten-fold in recent weeks; similarly, whereas Kentucky had no answer for TJ Leaf at the four-spot in the first game, Derek Willis is a different player now. Watching Willis, Malik Monk, and De’Aaron Fox adopt Dominique Hawkins and Isaiah Briscoe’s attitude on defense has me feeling better about the rematch with the Bruins, and if Malik Monk warms up? Forget about it.

[CBS Sports]


Kentucky will hold its open practice at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday

Kentucky doesn’t play UCLA until late Friday night, but the fun really starts on Thursday at the open practice. Kentucky will hold its open practice Thursday at 3:00 p.m. CT at the FedEx Forum in downtown Memphis, which is where the regional games will also be played. It’s open to the public and the media, so if you’re around, come on out to enjoy it and say hi to me, Drew, Matt, and Ryan.

If you haven’t been to one yet, the open practice isn’t really practice, it’s just a glorified warm-up session. But, the team does ham it up for the crowd with dunks, threes, and the traditional halfcourt shot. They also end every open practice by going around and slapping fans’ hands, which always turns out to be a cool moment:

See you there.


Matt and Drew will be on Finebaum today

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As if today isn’t crazy enough, both Matt and Drew are going on “The Paul Finebaum Show” this afternoon to discuss the craziness that went down in Indianapolis this weekend and the SEC’s surprising run in the tournament. Tune in to see Matt at 3:30 p.m., and Drew later on at a time TBD.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer updated its story from earlier in which the NCAA denied asking Drew to take down the video. The article now includes quotes from Matt, who spoke to David Worlock, the NCAA’s Director of Media Coordination/Statistics, on the phone last night.

Worlock denied that anyone from NCAA asked Franklin to remove the video. Sources say the order to take down the video came from an employee of the Indiana Pacers, acting on a request from Wichita State, who cited the NCAA’s rules on posting video during a game. Wichita State has not responded to a request for comment.

But Matt Jones, the founder of Kentucky Sports Radio, claims Worlock is lying.

“David told me personally after the game to take the video down,” Jones said. “This is totally false.”

Because this day keeps getting crazier, Drew will also be on “Inside Edition” later tonight, so check your local listings.


More video of Lynn Marshall’s profane enthusiasm

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Y’all didn’t really believe I only had 20 seconds of video, did you? You know me better than that.

After a quick interview with Inside Edition in which I was asked if Lynn Marshall used the F word in the game, I decided I would give the people what they want and share one of her many F-bombs.

I also shared a clip of her telling Malik Monk to get in the weight room, one of her go-to insults throughout the afternoon:

The NCAA claims I lied about being told to delete my first video, so I’m sure they won’t have any problem with me sharing these.


SEC Basketball: Turns out it actually does mean more

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Lost in all the excitement around here has been the storyline we least expected: SEC Basketball actually does mean more. Five SEC teams made the tournament, and after the first two rounds, three are still standing: Kentucky, Florida, and South Carolina. Additionally, the teams that were eliminated, Vandy and Arkansas, would have pulled off upsets if not for a stupid mistake and some terrible officiating. Everyone’s been giving SEC Basketball crap all season, so it’s only fair that we spend some time praising it today, starting with…

South Carolina’s stunning upset of Duke last night

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

South Carolina ruined 90% of the sportswriters’ nights when they knocked off Duke last night 88-81. Not only did the Gamecocks endear themselves to the entire nation by sending the Blue Devils home, they did it in convincing fashion, controlling the game in the second half. After an inconsistent regular season, Frank Martin’s squad has finally found its footing, and in front of a friendly crowd in Greenville, they did the unthinkable, scoring 65 points in the second half after shooting only 20% from the floor in the first. Their joy at the end of the game was infectious:

Can they knock off Baylor?

And how about Florida whopping up on Virginia?

@SINow

You don’t have to tell Kentucky fans how good Florida is. The Gators beat the Cats by 22 earlier this season in Gainesville. While Florida has ebbed and flowed this year, they looked every inch the team that whopped up on Kentucky during their 65-39 rout of Virginia on Saturday. Virginia’s not known for a thrilling offense, but the Gators still held them to 29.6% shooting and 1-15 from three-point land. The Gators looked convincing in every facet of their 26-point win.

And you better believe BBN will be cheering for their SEC brethren when they face Wisconsin on Thursday night.

Arkansas got hosed by the officials

Arkansas would have pulled off a monumental upset of their own if not for some questionable officiating vs. North Carolina last night. The Tar Heels jumped ahead by 17 in the first half, but the Razorbacks stormed back and took control of the game until the final minutes. With 49 seconds left, Joel Berry walked and committed a charge vs. Arkansas’ Adrio Bailey, but the refs didn’t call it, and when his erratic shot bounced off the backboard, Kennedy Meeks got a tip in. Here’s a GIF of the play from Yahoo Sports:

A minute earlier, Arkansas was called for a shot clock violation, but the footage showed Meeks blocked it. So, North Carolina survived.

Vandy: Screwed themselves

By now you’ve seen Matthew Fisher Davis’ mistake at the end of the Vandy/Northwestern game. No need to relive it, and even if I wanted to show it to you, I can’t because the NCAA won’t let us.

Kentucky: Wow, we really did get tougher thanks to the SEC

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When it comes to Kentucky, you could argue the Cats learned to win in close games because of so many close calls in the SEC, a notion that used to embarrass us but now, bizarrely, we’re taking pride in. Frank Martin may have put it best when describing his team’s resiliency on “SportsCenter” last night.

“I just don’t like the fact that everyone always wants to pick on our league,” Martin said. “The only reason we won today is that our league got us ready for this moment. We play some unbelievable teams that unfortunately, they were young, and as the year went on, they got better and better. At the end of the season, I kept having to answer we weren’t playing well. We were playing good teams on their home courts…Our league, the SEC, got us ready for this moment.”

Same. Crazy.


Kentucky’s updated odds to win the National Championship

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What do the oddsmakers think of Kentucky’s chances to win the NCAA Tournament now that they’ve advanced to the Sweet 16? Bovada.Lv just released the latest odds, and Kentucky has the fifth best at +1000, or 10-1:

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As always, gamble responsibly.


Kentucky gets no respect in ESPN’s re-seeding of the Sweet 16

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Hey, let’s talk about basketball! It’s been a busy morning around here, but Drew’s battle with the NCAA and Gregg Marshall’s wife is going to have to take a backseat for a minute, because we have a bone to pick with ESPN. Myron Medcalf re-seeded the teams in the Sweet 16 and according to him, your University of Kentucky Wildcats are only the 10th best team left in the NCAA Tournament:

10. Kentucky Wildcats (Reseed: 3, previous seed: 2)

The Wildcats have three players who will probably secure slots in the first round of the NBA draft this summer (De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk). So how did they end up in a single-digit affair with Northern Kentucky, eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time, and locked into a one-point game in the final seconds against double-digit seed Wichita State (yes, the Shockers deserved better from the selection committee) after making just 33 percent of their shots in the first half of the win? Well, Monk is just 6-for-21 overall and 2-for-11 from the 3-point line through two rocky tourney games. The Wildcats seem more surmountable and less Kentucky-like when he’s off. He may shake that funk in Memphis this week. But if he doesn’t? Well, Kentucky’s ride could end.

The two best teams left, according to Medcalf? Kansas and North Carolina. Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Michigan, Arizona, UCLA, Florida, and West Virginia are also all rated above Kentucky.

The more bulletin board material, the better, right?

[ESPN]


Get your Sweet Sixteen gear at the KSR Shop!

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What a win for the ‘Cats against Wichita State! Kentucky is on to the Sweet Sixteen in Memphis! Kentucky Branded and the KSR Shop has you covered with special Sweet Sixteen t-shirts! Head to ShopKSR.com now to celebrate.

 

[Come get your Sweet Sixteen tees at the KSR Shop]


Drew’s story about Gregg Marshall’s wife is now national

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn’t know about Drew’s video of Gregg Marshall’s wife going crazy at the game yesterday, you probably do now, because it’s everywhere. Here are some clips of national outlets discussing the incident, which is just absurd.

Good Morning America:

Deadspin: NCAA Forces Writer To Delete Video Of Wichita State Coach’s Rowdy Wife

Mike & Mike:

VICE Sports: NCAA Makes Reporter Delete Video of Wichita State Coach’s Wife Being Loud

Hilariously, Drew’s video isn’t even the funniest of Marshall’s wife yesterday. Check out Kennedy Hardman’s footage, which includes a giggling Ryan Lemond:

And this picture from the Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com’s Travis Heying:

Even more ridiculous is the fact that one of KSR’s biggest enemies, Pat Forde, agrees with us that Marshall was “intense”:

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Want to know what Marshall was saying?

If you can’t tell from that little picture, look who is behind Forde:

Well, what’s going to happen next?

UPDATE: The story is now on People.com.

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Now the NCAA is denying they made Drew take the video down

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Well, if the NCAA hoped to sweep this story under the rug, they just messed up big time. In a story about Drew’s video of Gregg Marshall’s wife by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Rob Tornoe, the NCAA denies they asked Drew to take the video down.

After the game, Franklin was writing his game story when he says two NCAA tournament officials came up to him and demanded he remove the video from his Twitter feed.

“I argued but didn’t want to jeopardize my NCAA credential going forward as I cover Kentucky and the team tends to make long tournament runs each year,” Franklin said, noting that in his eight years covering the team, this is the first time he has experienced anything like this.

Worlock denies that anyone from NCAA asked Franklin to remove the video.

As someone who was sitting right next to Drew when all this happened in the media room, I can say that is 100% false. Two NCAA officials came over to us while we were working, tapped him on the shoulder, and demanded he take the video down. I believe their exact words were, “You’re going to have to take that video down.” After Drew said he would even though he didn’t understand why, they insisted it was because the video was CBS’ “intellectual property.” After I asked for an explanation, they said that any video footage taken in the bowl of the arena during the game belongs to CBS, and did not leave until they saw Drew take down the tweet.

There were three other reporters at the table around us who witnessed this moment, and Worlock told Matt on the phone last night to take Drew’s video down:

Sorry, NCAA, but in this case, the facts are not optional.

[Philly.com]