South Carolina come on and raise up!!!! Having spent a lot of my time in the other Carolina, I love the fact that folks in the Palmetto State refuse to cede the use of “Carolina” as their name, leaving off the South and infuriating the Tar Heels above them. The Cats head down to Columbia tonight to play a marquee Tuesday night ESPN game against Dave Odom’s squad of rebuilding Cocks. In what seems like an annual tradition, ESPN has picked up this game for one reason and one reason only…..because they smell the potential for an upset. South Carolina, at least under Odom, has always played UK well…..in part because they combine the two necessary ingredients for defeating a Tubby Smith team….athleticism and clutch three point shooting. Thus the networks circle this game and usually put it in a prime slot, expecting the potential for a dramatic loss.
Well what about this year? Kentucky has re-entered the AP Top 25 (although the SID top 25, otherwise known as the ESPN poll still thinks that the Cats arent worthy….but oh yeah, Alabama is certainly a top 10 team….please) and this game gives them the first national stage in quite some time. Thus it is CRUCIAL for the Cats to try and win this road game and keep the positive momentum flowing. South Carolina is coming off the improbable…..back to back NIT titles. Now some would look at that and say……BAH, back to back NIT titles is like dating Roseanne Barr and Margaret Cho back to back…..yes you got two celebrities that dont even play for your team, but they are Roseanne and Cho. But others (like me) would say, you have to have game to get celebrities…even if they are famous lesbians….and you have to be talented to win the NIT. But this year’s Gamecock team is missing the key ingredient of past editions…..Renaldo Balkman, AKA Humpty Hump, has moved onto New York, thus losing a key ingredient to the team that always gave UK fits and nearly beat Florida three times last season. Without Balkman, the Cocks are not nearly as athletic and do not create matchup problems like last year, as seen by the Florida whooping put on Carolina last weekend.
However even if this isnt your older gay brother’s Gamecock team, this isnt going to be a walkover. Winning on the road in the SEC is still a difficult endeavor, as seen by the fact that only two teams have done it so far this season. In addition, the Cats need to win this game in the worst way….in part to stay relevant nationally, but also to keep the upward momentum around the program. The Cats will have a rough stretch to end the season. In the last ten games, some (meaning me) have said that going 6-4 may be a great accomplishment….but it only becomes a great accomplishment if they go into those games having taken care of business early….and that means winning this contest. I will have my prediction later, but Tuesday night is one I will be sweating….and not just because I find South Carolina girls so doggone cute.
Did you watch the Golden Globes? A movie called “Babel” (starring Angelina Jolie’s man Brad Pitt) which exactly no one has seen won Best Drama. Forrest Whitaker won best actor and gave a speech that had me questioning whether he can speak (just kidding Forrest, it was nice). Borat was named Best Comedy Actor and was hilarious (did you know he dates the girl from Wedding Crashers?). “Ugly Betty” won Best Comedy which is why I hate awards shows as “The Office” and “Entourage” are on a complete other level. And worst of all, stupid “Grey’s Anatomy” won Best Drama on TV when the two best shows on tv “The Wire” (maybe the best show ever) and “Friday Night Lights” were not even nominated. Stupid Hollywood. At least Jack Nicholson was crazy…..and oh yeah, Louisville lost again.
Finally here is a great video from the usually boring Tubby Smith Show.. It is Ramel and Joe showing some personality at the new UK Practice Facility while giving a tour for the cameras. Good stuff and worth watching…..