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February 18th, 2019

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 123: Kentucky Beats Tennessee + What’s the Worst City in America?

It’s Monday, it’s college basketball season and you know what that means: We’ve got ourselves another edition of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast! Aaron is joined by Nick Coffey to discuss Kentucky’s massive win over Tennessee, mid-majors vs. big schools on the bubble, plus the most important question in the history of the podcast: What is the worst city in America? Highlights:

Tennessee-Kentucky Recap: The guys discuss the game of the weekend in college hoops, Kentucky’s triumphant and dominant win over Tennessee on Saturday at Rupp Arena. Is there any doubt that Kentucky is back amongst the elite of college basketball? Does this change the way the guys think about Tennessee? Plus, is Kentucky still being underrated nationally?

Should Mid-Majors or Power Conference teams get Priority for At-Large Bids? The guys also get into the oldest debate in college basketball. The guys argue make the case for teams like Murray State and Indiana. Aaron explains how the computers have hijacked any chance for mid-majors to get these bids.

Plus, the guys share their thoughts on what the worst city in America is, along with a history lesson.

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.

The OTT Podcast: Anyways, how about that win over Tennessee?

Kentucky’s win over No. 1 Tennessee was so good The OTT Podcast crew sacrificed their Sunday nights to talk about it. Tune in as Tyler and Fake Barney discuss the thumpin’ of the Vols — which Barney predicted — and what it means moving forward. Highlights include…

— How great it felt to be the show in college basketball again

— Our predictions for the new AP poll

— Why the “overrated” chant is really overrated

— The social media follow that made Tyler fangirl on Sunday

— What happens when you report an iTunes review

…and much, much more. You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly on your phone by subscribing to The OTT Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s Episode is brought to you by:

Want to do the SEC Tournament right? KSR is partnering with Bridgestone Arena to offer premium seating at the 2019 SEC Tournament in Nashville. For more information on pricing and availability call (615) 770-7888 or click here.

KSR Show Thread 2/18: Recapping a great weekend

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, the gang will recap Kentucky’s huge win over Tennessee, which made for an epic weekend in Lexington. Tune in or miss out!

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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Today on KSR: Savoring the win over Tennessee

Does the weekend have to be over? I don’t know about you guys, but I reveled in the win over No. 1 Tennessee all day yesterday, pretty much making up excuses to get out of the house so I could sport my Kentucky blue all over Nashville. It was one of those games I just couldn’t get enough of, eating up each moment through highlights, recaps, and social media like a starving man at a buffet.

For the first time in a while, it felt like Kentucky Basketball was BACK. The Cats didn’t just beat the number one team in the country, they ran them off the court, making even the most casual basketball fan sit up and take notice. For one blissful night, Duke and Zion Williamson were shoved to the side and Kentucky was the show again, a much-needed shot in the arm as we barrel towards March.

In fact, as Mitch Barnhart pointed out, it was a pretty incredible weekend for UK Athletics all around:

At some point today, we’ll move on and focus on Missouri but for now, I’m going to savor the win a little longer, sharing my favorite photos by Dr. Mike of a fantastic day in Lexington throughout the morning post (you can see them all on our Facebook page). Let’s go over today’s agenda.

Where will Kentucky land in the polls?

If Kentucky hadn’t lost to LSU, I think they’d crack the top three, but on the flip side, I don’t think they would pummeled Tennessee like they did had they beaten the Tigers. (Anger is a great motivator.) I predict this week’s top five will be 1) Duke, 2) Gonzaga, 3) Virginia, 4) Kentucky, 5) Tennessee. I have a sinking feeling the AP voters will still keep the Vols ahead of the Cats despite Saturday’s win, but if so, even more reason to beat them in Knoxville, right?

More important than the AP and Coaches Polls are the NET rankings, which will also be updated today. The Cats are currently No. 6 behind Gonzaga, Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, and Houston. I’ll bring you the new rankings when they drop and also update Kentucky’s team sheet. Less than a month until Selection Sunday! Speaking of, Seth Davis currently has Kentucky as a No. 1 seed:

I’m sure Joe Lunardi and the Bracketheads will release new projections today too, so stay tuned.

Who will win SEC Player/Freshman of the Week?

Earlier this month, PJ Washington shared SEC Player of the Week honors with Tennessee’s Jordan Bone. After a dominant performance vs. the Vols, will PJ bring it home again? He definitely deserves it. We’ll find out in a few hours.

John Calipari in the morning

How is Cal feeling about his squad’s big win after a day of reflection? He’ll tell us on this morning’s SEC Teleconference, a call I’m sure he’ll take while walking into Dunkin’ Donuts, on the elliptical for his morning sweat, or any situation in which there’s a lot of background noise.

Kenny Payne in the afternoon

With Cal doing media in the morning, Kenny Payne will handle this afternoon’s media opportunity. Check the site around 2 p.m. for a live stream and recap of his comments, which are usually more insightful and interesting than Cal-speak.

Recruiting updates, including the latest on Keion Brooks

If you were too busy celebrating the Tennessee win to check the site yesterday, you missed some scoop from young Jack Pilgrim. Sources tell KSR that five-star forward Keion Brooks canceled his visit to Michigan State and is closing in on a decision, possibly in the next week. The timing of this news is particularly interesting because Brooks was in Rupp Saturday night on an unofficial visit. Will a perfect night in Rupp make Brooks a Cat? Check the site later today for the latest from Jack.

A new episode of “The Journey”

First we win, then we wait for a new episode of “The Journey,” KyWildcatsTV’s excellent behind-the-scenes YouTube series. We won’t get the Tennessee episode until tonight, but last night, UK dropped a sneak peek on Twitter:

All-Star Game results

Team LeBron beat Team Giannis in the All-Star Game, which included two former Cats. Anthony Davis only played five minutes in the game due to a shoulder injury, but put up five points, including a three. Karl Towns was 5-7 from the floor for 11 points, 3 rebounds and an assist. This dunk was a nice highlight:

New OTT Podcast is here

Big wins call for emergency podcasts. Fake Barney took time out of his Sunday evening to chat with me about Kentucky’s thumping of the Vols. The episode is already available on The OTT Podcast feed on iTunes, and will drop on the KSR feed in just a bit. Speaking of podcasts, it’s Oscars Week, and the gang at 2 Guys, 1 Girl, Santa invited me on to pick winners. You can find that on iTunes or Soundcloud.

Happy birthday, Erin Calipari

The eldest Calipari daughter celebrates another trip around the world today, hopefully by slaying some more trolls on Twitter. Don’t worry; her dad remembered.

ANYWAYS…radio in an hour. Go seize that Monday morning.

February 17th, 2019

John Calipari now has a winning record against teams ranked No. 1

John Calipari is pretty good at coaching the No. 1 team in America. Turns out, he’s pretty good at beating the No. 1 team in America, too.

Kentucky helped themselves immensely by beating No. 1 Tennessee inside Rupp Arena Saturday night. But the players and the fans aren’t the only ones who have something to smile about. The victory also pushed John Calipari to a 5-4 record over top-ranked teams, making him the only coach with a winning record over teams ranked No. 1 in the nation (out of coaches who have faced the highest-rated team at least seven times).

Throughout the storied history of college basketball, 87 different coaches have had the pleasure of facing off against the No. 1 team at least seven times. Now, John Calipari is the only one above .500. He’s 2-2 during his time at Kentucky.

And haters will still try and say he can’t coach.


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Keldon Johnson: “Our vibe was just to keep our foot on their throat”

Despite a second-half push by the Volunteers, Kentucky came away with the 86-69 upset over the country’s top team. The 17-point win was good for the Wildcats’ largest margin of victory over a No. 1 team in program history (because a 15-point win over No. 1 Florida back in 2003 was just too close). The Volunteers were relentless until the end, continuing to foul up until there was less than a minute left in the game, despite their double-digit deficit.

Remember, the NCAA’s new tool for March Madness selection and seeding partially relies on margin of victory, unlike the RPI system used in previous years. This season, losing by ten or more will cost a team more come Selection Sunday than losing by single digits. On the other side of the coin, a team is given more “props” for a double-digit win than they are for a game-winning buzzer beater. But, it all caps at a 10-point margin, supposedly to encourage good sportsmanship. A 34-point loss doesn’t hurt more than an 11-point loss, but it does hurt more than a one-point loss. So, yes, it’s plausible Tennessee continued to foul even when a win seemed impossible to try to break Kentucky’s lead down to single digits. But the Cats weren’t going to let that happen.

Our vibe was just to keep our foot on their throat,” Keldon Johnson said. “Just keep executing, no matter what the score is. Don’t pay attention to the score; don’t pay attention to the time. Just go out there and execute and do what the coaches say to do.”

Of course, the Cats did let up for a few minutes, giving Tennessee the perfect opportunity to make a run. The Volunteers took advantage of Kentucky’s lapse and promptly went on a 13-0 scoring streak. But thanks to the Cats’ generous cushion from earlier in the game, Kentucky was able to withstand the attack.

“When they made their run, we just came back and locked in on defense,” Johnson said. “We knew offense would come, so we came in and locked in on defense and just grinded it out.”

Maintaining a lead is something the Cats have frequently struggled with this season. Letting their foot off the pedal was a large part of the reason why Kentucky lost to LSU just days ago. But they’ve learned from that experience and now better understand the importance of “doing what we were doing to get that lead,” according to Johnson.

And although they never had control during that horrible game at the start of the season, Kentucky’s performance against No. 1 Tennessee showcased just how far the Cats have come since their Nov. 6 matchup.

“After that, I didn’t think we’d be playing as well as we are now,” Tyler Herro said of the blowout against Duke. “We’re continuing to get better every day, coming to practice with the right mindset and pushing each other to be better.”

And what if they keep doing all of those things? Well, Herro’s feeling pretty confident.

“If we bring that same energy we brought tonight, when we share the ball like we did and lock in on defense like that, we can beat anybody in the country.”


Brittany Renner cheered on the Cats from Rupp Arena Saturday night

Brittany Renner: Instagram model, author, fitness guru and… UK fan? Apparently. The “social media personality” was cheering on the Cats at Rupp Arena Saturday night, based on this post on her Instagram. Oh, and by the way, she has five MILLION followers.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Brittany Renner (@bundleofbrittany) on

She captioned the photo #BBN. The picture got nearly 290,000 likes and over 2,500 comments (and counting) on Renner’s Instagram account, @Bundleofbrittany.

If you’re not super familiar with the “big names” of Instagram, you may not know who Renner is or why she’s so famous. But just trust me: she’s a big deal. And hey, maybe Keion Brooks saw her? By the looks of her photo, five million followers gets you some pretty sweet tickets.

Kentucky Sweeps Austin Peay with a Dominating 11-1 Victory

Regina Rickert

The winning in the Lexington keeps happening as Kentucky baseball opens their season with a sweep over Austin Peay with an 11-1 victory today in Clarksville, Tennesee.

The Cats busted the game open in the 8th inning in this one. Holding a 5-1 lead already, Kentucky batted all the way around scoring six runs in the inning, due in most part to the errors made by the Austin Peay defense. With one out already in the inning, Ryan Shinn got on board due to a throwing error then Kessler got a hit that put Shinn and himself in scoring position. Austin Peay would load the bases to get a double play, only to hit Breydon Daniel and allow a run to walk home. From there Kentucky’s bats would do the talking as Cam Hill had an RBI single, followed by Jaren Shelby and TJ Collett who both had RBI singles.

TJ Collett has kept his hot streak up to start the season as he was the only offense for Kentucky in what was a pitcher duel through the first five innings. Collett had three hits, an RBI and a double today; he finishes the weekend with seven hits, seven RBIs, four runs, and two home runs.

Another guy who kept his big weekend up was JUCO transfer, Dalton Reed. After hitting a home run on the first DI pitch he saw, and hitting a double yesterday, Reed went yard again today. This time it was a three-run blast that got the scoring started for the Cats and his second home run in the blue and white.

Jaren Shelby had a big day as well, going for two RBIs and he had a double. The middle of Kentucky’s lineup has proved to be a problem this weekend, and you can only look forward to more production coming from these three going forward.

It was a Johnny All-staffer today for the Wildcats as they sent seven different pitchers to the mound against the Governors. Freshman Dillon Marsh got the nod to start the game and went four solid innings, only giving up two hits and a run. From there, the bullpen shut down Austin Peay as they didn’t allow the Governors to put another run on the board.

Lexington native, Carson Coleman was the winning pitcher.

The Bat Cats will be back in action next week, at Texas Tech. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 pm. This Kentucky’s first road sweep since they Swept Texas A&M back in March of 2017.


Campbellsville native J.B. Holmes WINS PGA Event, beats Louisville native Justin Thomas

What a weekend for Kentucky. After two days of victories, Campbellsville native J.B. Holmes adds another accomplishment to the growing list: win a PGA Tournament. Holmes just claimed victory at the Genesis Open at the Riveria Country Club in Los Angeles, California. He finished with a (-14).

The Genesis win is the 36-year-old’s fifth win of his PGA Tour career. Holmes’s first two victories came in 2006 and 2008. In 2011, he had brain surgery to treat a condition called Chiari malformation. But by 2012, he had already rejoined the PGA Tour, and in 2014 he won the Wells Fargo Championship. Sunday night’s win in California is his first PGA win since then. As if winning isn’t sweet enough, Holmes also hit a hole-in-one Friday afternoon.

Not only did Kentucky get the tournament win, but the Commonwealth actually delivered a 1-2 punch. Despite owning the lead at the beginning of the final day of action, Louisville native Justin Thomas came up just short behind Holmes. He finished in second place with a (-13).

Here’s the final putt to seal the deal for Holmes:

Holmes may be getting criticized online for his slow style of play, but at the end of the day, he’s taking home a PGA Tournament victory. Congrats to both Kentucky boys!

Kentucky’s Loss to LSU was a Key Motivator in the Victory over Tennessee

Losses are never fun, and there’s always the cliche that this year’s basketball team has adopted, “you win, or you learn.” Most people hear that and kind of dismiss it, but this Kentucky team looks like they’ve learned from their loss to LSU. Even though we all hate losing, let’s be honest, Kentucky needed that loss.

After an incredible 10-game win streak, beating five ranked teams in that time, the Cats looked to be running out of gas. They looked complacent, and the defense wasn’t up to par. They fooled around and let teams come back from big leads multiple times, and it finally came back to bite them on Tuesday night. Granted, LSU won on a questionable call, but the optimistic view thinks it actually might have been a good thing.

Coach Cal agrees, Kentucky needed that loss.

“I hit them right after the game with LSU, it was a tough loss, but we needed it,” Said Cal. “Our team is changing we’re not the defensive team that we’ve been, we have individuals changing how they were playing when they were successful. We need to get it back; we need to go back to what we were, and sometimes you gotta get knocked in the head to know that. The loss to LSU, probably helped us win this game.

Getting back focused and to the team, they were in the early part of the winning streak was a big point of emphasis.

“We knew what happened on Tuesday was unacceptable,” Said Keldon Johnson. “We came out this game locked in. Even though we had a couple of mental lapses, we stayed locked in the whole time.”

This team has done a complete 180 since the first game against Duke. That game took a big hit on their confidence, and as a team that is predicated on their confidence, seeing them respond more focused while keeping that confidence nearly four months removed from the Duke game is a good sign.

“I think it kind of brought us back to Earth, after our 10-game win streak,” said Tyler Herro. “We were high on each other, but getting back to focused and sticking to the game plan and executing…I think we’re confident always, but the loss to LSU put us back.”

Let’s not forget the 2014-15 season. Was it fun to watch them to pursue an undefeated season? Absolutely and of course we wanted to see them go 40-0, but there was a chunk of the fanbase that felt like that team needed to lose just one game to handle adversity to be ready for March. Just like the South Carolina loss in 2014, the overtime Arkansas loss in 2011, and the Vanderbilt loss in the 2012 SEC championship, the LSU loss feels like the loss that can propel this team into a deep March run.

Am I saying Kentucky will win every game here on out? Not one bit, they could easily lose in Knoxville, and a loss in the SEC tournament is plausible as well. But, I think we look back on the LSU loss and say that was the turning point that elevated this Kentucky team to another level.

Without the loss to LSU, Kentucky may have lost to Tennesee. I don’t know about you, but if I had to pick only one game to win between those two, I’m taking Tennesee every time.