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March 20th, 2019

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 132: NCAA Tournament Picks


It’s the moment America we’ve been waiting a year for — the bracket is out, and our college basketball insider Aaron Torres makes his picks. Aaron goes region by region, game by game and tells you who he likes and why.  Highlights:

A Game-by-Game Tournament Breakdown: Aaron goes through each individual game and tells you who he likes, why, and what the key matchups will be. What players do you need to know? What teams could be Cinderella? Aaron has all the answers.

Upset Picks: Aaron has a bunch of upsets that could potentially shake up your bracket. He has two No. 12 seeds upsetting five-seed, and one four-seed that he is positive won’t get out of the first round. Also, could the defending champion Villanova Wildcats be in trouble?

Who’s going to win it all? Finally, Aaron makes his Final Four and national championship picks. He tells you the one reason Duke won’t win the title, and why Tennessee-Virginia might be the game of the tournament. Is Kentucky in the Final Four? Who wins the title? Stay tuned for Aaron’s final picks!

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show on Instagram too.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Expect Comfortable But Not Dominating Win Tomorrow

(Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)

I don’t think many are expecting Kentucky to have much trouble with Abilene Christian tomorrow in Jacksonville.  Outside of a hot shooting performance by ABU, UK is just superior in almost every way imaginable.  John Calipari teams seeded 3rd or higher are 13-0 in 1st round games during his career.  But I feel like you see a trend in those 13 games:

1992 (UMASS, 3 seed): defeated Fordham by 27
1993 (UMASS, 3 seed): defeated Penn by 4
1994 (UMASS, 2 seed): defeated SW Texas St. by 18
1995 (UMASS, 2 seed): defeated Saint Peter’s by 17
1996 (UMASS, 1 seed): defeated Central Florida by 22

2006 (Memphis, 1 seed): defeated Oral Roberts by 16
2007 (Memphis, 2 seed): defeated North Texas by 15
2008 (Memphis, 1 seed): defeated UT-Arlington by 24
2009 (Memphis, 2 seed): defeated Cal-St Northridge by 11

2010 (Kentucky, 1 seed): defeated E. Tennessee St. by 29
2012 (Kentucky, 1 seed): defeated Western Kentucky by 15
2015 (Kentucky, 1 seed): defeated Hampton by 23
2017 (Kentucky, 2 seed): defeated Northern Kentucky by 9

Just 2 of these games were decided by under 10 points.  For those who remember the NKU game from 2 years ago, that score was about as close as NKU deserved to be.  UK was comfortably ahead for almost that entire game.  But you also see that just 5 of the 13 games were decided by over 20 points.  Which is interesting because as a 3-seed or higher, you are theoretically playing one of the 12 worst teams in the field.  I doubt UK covered very many of these spreads.  But they also were not in threat of losing any of these games expect for the 1993 UMASS-Penn game.

So what should we expect tomorrow?  I expect we will come away from the game with little moments of stress but unimpressed by the overall performance of the Cats.  And if you are a betting person, for entertainment purposes only, I think Abilene Christian +22.5 is not a bad bet.


KSR Show Thread 3/20: Live from Jacksonville

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from Jacksonville, Florida. Tune in to hear about the gang’s trip to the Sunshine State and the latest on PJ Washington’s mysterious foot injury.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.

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FINAL DAY: 2 for $32 tees to prepare for the madness!

It’s tournament time and the KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are here to celebrate all the madness. If you love new tees, this deal is for you! Head to ShopKSR.com to buy 2 short sleeve tees for $32.

Check out all the great KSR tees, new Kentucky themed t-shirts, and more. Sale ends at midnight!

[KSR Shop]


Today On KSR: Hello from Jacksonville!

Hello from sunny Jacksonville!

The Kentucky Sports Utility Vehicle touched down in Duval County late Tuesday night, just in time for the crew to check in to the hotel and go directly to bed after a 15-hour day. I won’t say we are well-rested today, but we’re kinda-rested and ready to provide you with unbeatable web, radio, television and social media coverage from the first day of NCAA Tournament events at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Here is what’s on tap for the day…

Kentucky will hold its open practice at 3:25 p.m.

If you’re in the Jacksonville area, whether it be as a permanent Floridian or someone in town early for the games, get on over to the arena to catch 40 minutes of open practice from the Cats. And if you’re interested in scouting Kentucky’s opponents, Abilene Chrisitan goes at 11:45 a.m., Wofford is immediately after Kentucky at 4:10 p.m., and Seton Hall goes last at 5:40 p.m.

Coach Cal and the players’ pre-tournament press conferences begin at 2:45 p.m.

The players are up for questioning first, beginning at 2:45 pm here in Jacksonville. John Calipari will take over at the podium at 3:00 p.m. The whole thing will be streamed live and we will carry it for you here on Kentucky-Sports-Radio-dot-com so you can follow along like you’re there.

I suspect one of the first things out of Calipari’s mouth will be an update on the status of his star player, PJ Washington. Log on to KSR or turn on notifications on the KSR app to find out what that update is.

So what’s up with PJ Washington anyway?

The rumor mill sent Big Blue Nation into a panic as whispers circulated the interwebs and group chats around the Bluegrass about a possible significant foot injury to Kentucky’s All-American. Jeff Drummond of Cats Illustrated was the first to actually report anything once he got UK to confirm that Washington was indeed hobbling around campus in a walking boot. “A precautionary reason,” Drummond was told.

There is no sense in overreacting at this time because we will soon know the truth once Calipari addresses the media from Jacksonville. I will say, though — Cal sure seemed confident in his many interviews on Sunday and Monday, not like someone would if they had just learned some damaging news. Washington has been in the boot since the team got back from Nashville, so unless Cal buried his concerns behind his smile and swagger, he did not seem too worried. My very uneducated guess is Washington may sit out Thursday to recover from whatever is bothering him and then he will play Saturday. Again, that is a complete guess, so don’t read it as anything more. If the injury is anything beyond that, then we can set our heads on fire.

Hang in there until 3:00 pm.

Have you entered KSR’s Bracket Challenge yet?

If not, click here to get going. You have until noon tomorrow.

Win $250 from the Action Network!

KSR’s Wednesday Pick ‘Em Contest is now live. Click here to make your picks and you could win $250. It takes like one minute to fill out.

Get to KSBar and Grille to make your tournament picks for the first two rounds.

Stop by the best sports bar in Lexington to get your picks in before 12:15 pm tomorrow afternoon to participate in the KSBar Bracket Challenge. If you can beat KSBar’s “experts” (we use that word lightly in this case) you win the following:

Beat Shannon The Dude, win free beer cheese and chips.

Beat me, win free fried banana pepper rings.

Beat Ryan Lemond, win free Chili Gillispie.

Beat Matt Jones, win free hummus and chips.

Beat all four and that’s four free appetizers. What a deal!

Game of Thrones Trivia tonight at KSBar and Grille.

To my fellow Game of Thrones fans out there, get to KSBar tonight for a special Game of Thrones-themed trivia night. I’m pretty jealous I can’t be there; then again, I am at the NCAA Tournament so I can’t complain.

Today’s March Madness TV schedule:

NCAA Tournament First Four:

6:40 p.m. ET | (16) NC Central vs. (16) North Dakota State | truTV
9:10 p.m. ET | (11) St. John’s vs. (11) Arizona State | truTV

NIT Tournament

7:00 p.m. ET | (6) Toledo at (3) Xavier | ESPN 3

7:00 p.m. ET | (8) Norfolk State at (1) Alabama | ESPN U

7:00 p.m. ET | (6) Harvard at (3) Georgetown | ESPN 2

7:00 p.m. ET | (6) Wichita State at (3) Furman | ESPN 3

9:00 p.m. ET | (8) Sam Houston State at (1) TCU | ESPN U
9:00 p.m. ET | (5) Butler at (4) Nebraska | ESPN 2

CBI and CIT Tournaments

Do you really care?

KSR radio in an hour. Tune in!


Kentucky Lights up the Scoreboard in 16-3 Victory Over Xavier

UKathletics

Last season when Kentucky took on Xavier, it was the first game in the final season of The Cliff. With a packed house on an unusually warm February night, Xavier beat Kentucky 3-2 in extra innings to deflate the send-off of Cliff Hagan Stadium. This season, Kentucky got back at the Musketeers by welcoming Xavier to Kentucky Proud Park with a huge 16-3 victory.

As evident by the final score, hitting was contagious in what was Kentucky’s best offensive performance this season. This performance was lifted by four big blue bombs and eight of Kentucky’s starters getting a hit. The four home runs matched Kentucky’s high against Austin Peay in the season opener.

The most significant bomb came from the senior infielder Alex Rodriguez. It was the first home run of his career in the blue and white.

A-Rod would also record a career-high four RBIs.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Kentucky home run derby without T.J. Collett, who blasted a three-run shot for his seventh home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 10-run lead for the Cats. Directly after Collett was Jaren Shelby, who decided to get in on the fun as well to make it a 14-3 lead for the Cats.

Breyon Daniel would cap off the home run party with a solo shot in the seventh to give Kentucky a 15-3 lead. The Cats would tack on one more on a bases-loaded walk in the eighth.

The big lead meant that Kentucky got to utilize their bullpen a lot last night, as Mingione sent nine Cats to the mound. Alex Degen got the start, going only 2.2 innings, but it was sophomore right-hander Trip Lockhart who was credited with the win. When Lockhart entered the game in the third, the Musketeers were threatening with the bases loaded, but Lockhart was able to catch the batter looking to get the Cats out of a jam. Lockhart went 1.1 innings.

The Johnny All-Staff performance for Kentucky only gave up three runs on four hits. Despite walking seven batters, the Cats were able to strike out 14.

Kentucky will be back in action for game one of a weekend series against No. 13 Texas A&M at Kentucky Proud Park. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ or streaming on UKathletics.com on the UK Sports Network.


March 19th, 2019

KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Day presented by Liquor Barn

A message from our sponsor:

Kentucky-proud and locally-owned, Liquor Barn has been serving Big Blue Nation for over 30 years! Liquor Barn and Party Mart are where Kentuckians go to celebrate life. With more than 4,000 Spirits, 5,000 wines, 3,000 Beers, and 700 Kentucky Proud items, we are your celebration destination! Visit any Liquor Barn store to discover all our Kentucky Proud products, find exclusive bourbons, and chat with our certified bourbon and wine experts. 

Download the new Liquor Barn app to order for pick-up or delivery, save your favorites, and get exclusive deals. Use code BBN18 for one month of  *FREE delivery!

Visit LiquorBarn.com to shop now, download the app, or see what’s happening in your local store. GO CATS!

*Delivery available in Bowling Green, Danville, Elizabethtown, Louisville and Lexington areas. Promotion covers delivery fees only. Minimum order for delivery is $20. Complimentary delivery on all orders of $75 or more. Must be delivered to an address. Must be 21+ to download the app and accept a delivery. Valid photo ID required.

You can be a part of KSR’s Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 BasketballBenny

#9 Sarahbeth Taite

#8 Big Blue Express

Never forget.

#7 John Robic’s Hair

I’m gonna say no…

#6 Lynn Bowden

It’s March and I’m way too excited about football.

#5 Matt Jones

These tears are only “precautionary”, as well.

#4 TheBluegrassBoys

Someone get Josh Harrellson on the phone.

#3 Mayor Linda Gorton

Now *that* is how you achieve a high approval rating.

#2 Burke Garner

Uncanny…

#1 Randall Cobb

I’m not sure how I feel about this…


Hey Kentucky: Does North Carolina scare you?

To get to the Final Four, Kentucky’s most likely going to have to go through North Carolina. The Tar Heels have improved a lot since the Cats’ 80-72 win back in December. Do they scare you now? Chris Tomlin asked fans in Nashville for their thoughts on Roy Williams’ squad.

In case you missed it, last night Matt and Perrin Johnson broke down the entire bracket:

For tonight’s full episode, visit HeyKentucky.com.


Texas newspaper columnist really wants your attention

Mac Engel of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote a column about the upcoming Kentucky-Abilene Christian game in the NCAA Tournament. He called it, “Abilene Christian will slay John Calipari and his merry band of NBA bums from Kentucky.”

“Take heed you obnoxious followers from Kentucky, ACU is coming to get you, Cal’ and Ashley Judd, too,” Engel writes. “UK is done. Coach Cal has never seen a squad like ACU … with the possible exception of the NCAA investigators.”

The piece is mostly written as satire, so don’t take it all to heart and let it ruin your day. And I’ll give Engel some serious credit for the attention-grabbing headline and the tweet he sent to link his story. He accomplished what he set out to do, which is get people to notice his work.

Hopefully we get a follow-up story Friday afternoon after Kentucky mops the floor with Abilene Christian.


UK Fans of the Days want updated NCAA Tournament odds

In less than 48 hours, Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament run will be underway. What do the Cats’ chances to win it all look like in the eyes of the oddsmakers? Here are the latest odds from BetOnline.ag.

Kentucky vs. Abilene Christian

  • Abilene Christian +22½ (30% of the money)
  • Kentucky -22½ (70% of the money)

Kentucky to Reach the Sweet 16

  • Yes -330
  • No +270

Kentucky to the Reach Elite 8

  • Yes -110
  • No -110

Kentucky to Reach the NCAA Final

  • Yes +500
  • No -650

Kentucky to Win the NCAA Tournament

  • Yes +1200
  • No -1600

If you were curious, Duke’s still the favorite to win the tournament at +250.

Duke +250
Gonzaga +500
Virginia +600
North Carolina +800
Michigan State +1200
Kentucky +1200
Tennessee +1800
Michigan +2200