On Wednesday morning I left Louisville for Charlottesville, Virginia…..arrived seven hours later….went to the UVA-Duke game…..did lawyer stuff today….and have just gotten back to Louisville after another seven hour drive, just in time for a snow storm. Good times! So we will leave it a bit short tonight…..
— The Florida game looms large on Sunday and I for one cant wait for the event. Leave aside the fact that there may be 6-8 inches of snow on the ground, but the game has a lot of interesting subplots. First, and most importantly, it may be an elimination game for the tournament for Florida and a “Win and You’re In” game for Kentucky. Florida has now won an astonishing 7 straight in the series and it is time for that streak to end….and with a tournament berth on the line, what better time. Then you add the subplot that it is Senior Day for a twosome that Kentucky fans have truly embraced this season….then you add the fact that Billy Donovan is returning to Rupp for the first time since he turned down the Cats this past fall…..then you add the fact that Jai Lucas will hear his name for the first time in Rupp since his decision (will he get booed?….I hope not, or at least not any more than the other Florida guys….my guess is Calathes gets it the worst)….and it is quite the event. Lots of national writers are planning on being in town as this game has once again proven to be a great season-ender for college basketball in the SEC.
— By now you likely have heard the story about Michael Porter and his shoulder from Wednesday night, but if you havent, it bears repeating. Porter knocked his shoulder out of socket during the game, but did not come out. He told Coach Gillispie that he knew with UK’s foul trouble that they needed him out there and he had to fight through it before getting the shoulder popped back into place. An extremely tough performance for Porter and one that he definitely deserves praise for fighting through.
— As far as the future goes, three quick notes. Scotty Hopson played tonight in the regional tournament and both Billy Gillispie and Bruce Pearl were reportedly in attendance. These two may be the finalists coming down the home stretch for a late-choosing McDonalds All American….great subplot to the continued building rivalry. And I was told today by someone close to the staff that the Bud Mackey option is a real one….potentially as a walk-on….should be interesting to watch. Finally, June Buchanan star Clark Stepp will be visiting for the UK-Florida game on Sunday. Coach Cox is calling him regularly and there is a lot of interest in having him join the team….he doesnt have a scholarship offer yet, but apparently is of high interest to the UK staff. Three in-state kids all concievably still on UK’s radar…..interesting indeed.
— Joe Lunardi (of Bracketology fame) now has the Cats in the Dance for the first time this year. Listen here to Tom Leach’s interview with him today. Great stuff….
More throughout the day, including a bit more on the Clark Stepp story, some info on what to expect Sunday in Rupp and the report on the UVA-Duke trip. Remember on Sunday, I will be doing the show in Lexington on 1300 AM from 9-11 AM. I will have Gregg Doyel in studio with me for the last hour and it should be great. Until then, watch Rondo absolutely POSTERIZE Jason Maxiell….