A few random notes from around the state:
–First up, UK Hoops. The ladies won a tight first round game yesterday against Liberty and advance to play Michigan State on Monday. Tip is scheduled for 7:20 in Louisville. A pep rally is scheduled to begin at 5:00 for the team at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and shakers will be distributed to those who attend. Then, the crowd will form a tunnel with their hands for the team to walk through as they leave the hotel and get on the bus. The question of who’s bringing the orange slices has yet to be determined, but full details on the pep rally can be found here.
–It’s been mentioned before but is worth noting again that John Wall and John Calipari were named the Rupp National Player and Coach of the year. It is a great honor for both and ensures that Evan Turner won’t make it a clean sweep of the player of the year trophies. No word on where Kevin Stallings finished.
–The 20th ranked Kentucky baseball team dropped the first two games of a weekend set with #19 Ole Miss and are playing now to try and salvage the series. The Wildcats are 14-5 on the season but have lost three out of their last four. The UK softball team has taken two from Arkansas and plays today for the sweep. They stand at 19-9.
–Shout out to Shelby Valley, who took the state title back to the mountains last night in a 73-61 win over Ballard. They were barely challenged in the Sweet 16, winning every game by double digits and crushing Paducah Tilghman’s dreams along the way, which is fine by me.
–The Kentucky Bisons knocked off the Bluegrass Stallions 100-91 to claim the ABA Eastern Conference championship. Brandon Stockton and the Bisons will play Southeast Texas for the championship in a series beginning Tuesday, and will be looking to repeat as champs in a rematch of last years’ finals. KSR will be shut out of the championship yet again, as Woo and Bobby Perry couldn’t take the Stallions to the promised land. (HT: AllKyHoops)
–The Kansas message boards are thoroughly entertaining. Just now, they’re welcoming Bill Self back to the hot seat, questioning their team’s arrogance and choosing which teams they now hate. It’s good fun.
Now back to watching the tournament. Gonzaga couldn’t have competed with Syracuse if they got to use the rock ‘n’ jock goals, and the Orange has looked impressive through the first weekend. Now, our attention turns to the full slate of afternoon games: GT-Ohio State, Michigan State-Maryland, Missouri-West Virginia and Cornell-Wisconsin (for the right to face the Cats). Feel free to use this space to discuss and I’ll be back in a little while.