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Jack Armstrong’s Monday News and Views

Good morning and happy Monday to you, my KSR brothers and sisters.  As we get going this morning, we do so with the optimism of a new postseason and a team that appears primed to make a push and surprise a few people thanks to a crop of young players.  With that being said, it only seems fair that we pause this morning and wish a happy 46th birthday to Jack Armstrong.  The former Major League pitcher finished his career with three teams (Indians, Marlins and Rangers) in three seasons, but will be forever remembered by Cincinnati Reds fans for his part in the Wire-to-Wire 1990 season.  Armstrong won 8 of his first 9 starts and was named the National League starter in the All-Star game before tailing off and then re-appearing for three scoreless innings in Game 2 of the World Series.  It was an up-and-down performance that was reminiscient of a certain basketball team’s season this year and one that, hopefully, indicates the best is yet to come.  So, for that, we honor you, Jack Armstrong.  May you have a happy birthday and may the Cats make a run to the Final Four.

Now onto a few UK notes…

 – Now that we’ve got all of that regular season nonsense out of the way (right Cal?), the Cats can finally focus on seeding for the NCAA Tournament.  Coach Cal used the media like a wet rag again after the game Sunday, telling them that the win over the Vols “moved the seed” (ahem, Pitino) and again saying that road struggles should not be factored into a neutral site event.  Calipari might be correct on the latter part of the statement, but it’s tough to see Kentucky’s NCAA seed moving a whole lot at this point without getting help elsewhere.  Provided they don’t collapse in the SEC Tournament, they will likely be a four, since the draw does not give them opportunity for quality wins.  Regardless of how they fare, a five seems to be as low as they could probably go.  However, climbing up to be a three, which would be an obviously better slot and allow you to avoid the top seed for an extra round, would require not only winning the tournament, but also some help from the teams ahead of them.  Certainly possible, but it’s again out of UK’s hands.  They’re most likely looking at a four as of this moment.

 – The idea got thrown around last season and ultimately got no support and it’s been mentioned some this year, but you can expect support of non-divisional SEC Tournament to pick up some steam after the way the East has made the bottom half of the bracket heavy.  Thanks to Kentucky’s victory, they not only get a bye, but also a very favorable draw in the SEC Tournament thanks to the way the divisions split.  The Cats face the winner of South Carolina-Ole Miss and, most likely, Alabama-Georgia to make the title game, while Florida will face either Tennessee or Arkansas in their first game and then Vandy or Mississippi State.  It’s a draw that is incredibly favorable for the Cats.  I’ll take it.

 – In a game that was tremendously ugly for long stretches, the final body of work was a thing of beauty and came at a perfect time.  The Cats were able to find answers to a number of the questions that have been lingering and now have a tremendous amount of momentum heading into the postseason.  They won a close game, came from behind, won on the road, found a go-to player (Knight), a guy who won’t back down from a fight (Liggins), got clutch contributions from guys that struggled for the first 35 minutes (Jones and Harrellson), found a bench contributor (Vargas) and executed beautifully on out-of-bounds plays.  As Cal said, the team “grew up” in Knoxville Sunday.  We’ve feared all season long that it wouldn’t happen, but like all great procrastinators, the Cats appear to have gotten up to speed and now appear ready to make the grade when it counts the most.

 – If you want an incredible stat, then consider this:  When Josh Harrellson grabbed an offensive rebound with 5:35 left and the Cats down one, it was the first of 11-straight rebounds for Kentucky.  The Cats did not allow the Vols to pull down a board for the final 5:35 of the game and rode that into free throws and a 13-6 finish and a victory.  Five of those boards went to Josh Harrellson (his game total) and four went to Terrence Jones.  That’s how you close out games on the road.  Defense, rebounding and free throws are a hard mix to top in the game’s final minutes and the Cats executed perfectly behind the second-life of their frontcourt.

 – With the loss to the Cats, it also appears that it might be the beggining of the end for Bruce Pearl in Knoxville.  He’s been able to survive all of the NCAA issues to this point because he had the support of the school and the fans thanks to putting a winning product on the court.  Now, with a potentially hefty punishment set to come down this summer from the NCAA, his job security appears to be unsettled thanks to the growing losses and some dissension internally.  There’s no question that Pearl’s tenure at Tennessee has been good for their program and, for a time, his presence in the SEC was good for the league.  Now, with all of the NCAA questions and the finger pointing (he took a shot at the refs after the game), that time seems to be over.  Unless they can go on a major postseason run, the window could be closing on the Bruce Pearl era in Knoxville.

 – If there was any doubt before about where he stood in the history of former Kentucky high school stars, Scotty Hopson secured his place as the anti-Chris Lofton Sunday after he trash talked with DeAndre Liggins throughout the game and then discredited his defense afterward.  Hopson dismissed Liggins’ impact on his 2-10 shooting peformance, saying that the Cats did a good job of giving him different looks and pointed out that he fouled DeAndre Liggins out of the game.  While this might be true, Liggins took Hopson out of the game long before he picked up his fifth foul and sat down.  Had it not been for free throws, Scotty Smallballs would have scored one more point than Eloy Vargas.

 – On a less fun note, the UK women’s team lost to Tennessee in a blowout Sunday, falling one game short of an SEC Title.  Matthew Mitchell’s team will find out Monday evening where they will be placed for the NCAA Tournament.  Should be a long week of waiting.

 – In news that won’t go away, Karen Sypher says she feels like Rosa Parks.  A sampling of 300 Lousiville men disagreed, saying she felt like cheap hotel bedsheets, the first day of winter, a dry luffa, Mammoth Cave and a urinary tract infection.

 – In case you missed it, some Miami Heat players cried after they lost Sunday.  Someone can Erik Spoelstra, hire Tom Hanks and let him give them the “there’s no crying baseball basketball speech”.  There’s no excuse for that.  Seriously.

That’s it for now.  Make sure you stick around all day long as we continue to enjoy and celebrate a win over the low-down, dirty snitches.  As usual, Kentucky Sports Radio will get things going at 10am on Talk Radio 1080.  There will be no Zach, but we will do our best to move forward.  See you in a few…

Article written by Thomas Beisner

60 Comments for Jack Armstrong’s Monday News and Views

  1. GoCats2010
    11:45 pm March 6, 2011 Permalink

    The heat need to man up. I’m shocked that D Wade has let this team fall this hard.

  2. Dukes of Maggard
    11:52 pm March 6, 2011 Permalink

    Damn, second

  3. reality
    11:54 pm March 6, 2011 Permalink

    @UKHoops played well in the first half….but they looked like middle schoolers playing high schoolers…them TN women are huge.

  4. Alan Cutler's Fart
    11:58 pm March 6, 2011 Permalink

    Someone needs to put up the Liggins dunks and Miller dunk. Those got this team energized, and deserve their own highlight vid.

  5. Billy Clyde Honor Code
    12:08 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Cats win the tourney, they are a 3 seed, thats final.

  6. The Real Hambone
    12:11 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Someone on an earlier blog mentioned that KY needed to play zone if they saw Ala. in the tournament. This could be very dangerous because of rebounding, which is one of Ala. main strengths. The option of a zone would have to be considered against Ala. but with much deliberation.

  7. BigAlSharpton
    12:19 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    ky. be money!!

  8. mocha
    12:28 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    A sampling of 300 Lousiville men disagreed, saying she felt like cheap hotel bedsheets, the first day of winter, a dry luffa, Mammoth Cave and a urinary tract infection………..

    Best. Analogy. Ever.

  9. FED UP
    12:29 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Matthew Mitchell’s team will find out Monday evening where they will be placed for the NCAA Tournament.

    Man your an idiot let me count the ways if UK wins the SEC tourney or even makes the final looking at a possible 3 seed! Lastly UK women selection show is a week from Monday they still have conference tourneys going on yet like the Big East etc, I mean dude you need to get a damn fact checker or JSTFU!!!!

  10. awww yeeee
    12:29 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    1. I agree…and Wade should get the last shot…LeBrick has proved he’s not superstar quality with someone actually guarding him

  11. bigbluedomination
    12:34 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    definitely a 3 seed if we win the SEC tourney

  12. Thomas Beisner
    12:35 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    9, you do realize that the last four comments you have left telling us all how stupid we are have been 100% incorrect, right?

  13. terrencejonesrighthand
    12:36 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    i dont agree with the comment about the heat players crying. It was a close game and they actually shows people care in a league thats labeled for players not caring. Now if they would have been crying in a 20 point blow out, that would have been different.

  14. goodnight
    12:37 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Please get a clue about basketball. We have an Rpi of 12 while beating Fla,Vandy,and Tn but we are not going to improve seed????? Come on dude

  15. jimmyleg jones
    12:39 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    now i know how Puke feels in the Big Dance…what a great draw for the SEC tourney. if we could only bring the refs w/ us like they do, we’d be set!

  16. The Real Hambone
    12:41 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    No offense Mr. Beisner, but sometimes some of the commits you and other moderators make on here do not exhibit a lot of logic and thought process. KY could very easily end up with a 3 seed.

  17. LonesSeiberMakesViolentCuts
    12:42 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Agree with TB. UK could be a 3 but other teams have to lose too. Beating Ole Miss and Alabama isnt going to leap frog other teams.

  18. Thomas Beisner
    12:49 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    16, I’m not saying they can’t end up with a three seed. Only that it will take more than beating two crappy teams and one decent team in the SEC Tournament. Thed draw in the SEC Tournament is great for the chances of winning, but it doesn’t do a lot for adding quality wins. They’re going to need some teams to lose too.

  19. Thomas Beisner
    12:51 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    As of Friday, Lunardi still had them as a five. I’m not sure beating a team that has lost 6 of 9 (though it was on the road) and then beating two SEC West teams and Florida/Vandy makes them improve two seeds without help elsewhere.

  20. level 9 pissed
    12:52 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Jack Armstrong is younger than Jamie Moyer, and seems like he has been gone forever.

  21. Josh
    1:10 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Lots of teams in the 3-6 seed area lost this weekend. I have a feeling that Lunardi isn’t going to be as good with the seeds this year as usual. There are so many similar teams that it’s tough to determine the seeds. If the comittee makes the rpi a priority, then UK is in good shape for a 3. But, I’m afraid that they are going to fall in love with the media’s Big East fest and hand out most of the good seeds to those teams.

    Right now the only teams that I think UK can’t pass in seeding are Ohio St., Kansas, Pitt, Duke, UNC, Notre Dame, Texas, Purdue, Wisconsin, and BYU or San Diego St. If SD St. loses to BYU again, then I think they’re going to be much lower than the “experts” are predicting. If BYU loses again, then I think that the comittee will drop them due to recent events. So that leaves two 3 seeds open, maybe one for UK.

  22. The Real Hambone
    1:11 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Their resume has improved with last weeks body of work. Fla. comes in at 11, set to improve this week, Vanderbilt at 20 when KY played them and now Tenn. If they should win in Atlanta that quite probably will mean they will have beaten Fla. again which could very easily come in to SEC Tournament a top 10 team. If this scenario plays out, which in my humble opinion is quite possible, KY would need no help from anyone; all that would be necessary is for them to take care of their own business, not depending on someone else to help them along.

  23. The Real Hambone
    1:13 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    I’m sorry, Fla. is at 14 at this moment, I believe.

  24. Thomas Beisner
    1:15 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    I hope you’re right. I’ll glady be wrong.

  25. For reals
    1:18 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    The Reds finally have a good pitching staff assembled. With Carpenter going down for the season in St. Louis, that’s great news for Cincy. Looking forward to playoff run. Didn’t Tom Browning get really fat?

  26. For reals
    1:36 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    The Nasty Boys’ mullets were nasty. As in AWESOME.

  27. BigAlSharpton
    2:00 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    hey hambone, best jib of explainin where the cats future be ive heard… rite on man!

  28. AKA cold buckets
    2:24 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    25….Wainwright’s out for the year, not Carpenter

  29. Common Sense
    2:28 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Beisner, Saturday was a crazy day for basketball (I mean, Purdue, a possible 3 seed, lost to fricken Iowa.) I think Wisconsin getting crushed today questions their seeding. BYU is a complete toss-up depending on how they show up in their conference tourney. UK’s RPI is #12ish before the Tennessee game. Purdue will play Wisconsin in the Big10 Semi’s, if we win the SEC or make it to the finals, I think we take the #3 seed from the loser of that game. The top 7 teams I think are locked, (OSU, KU, Pitt, Duke, ND, UNC, Texas. BYU & SDSU fight for the last 2-seed w/ the edge for BYU. The strong 3’s are SDSU/BYU, Syracuse, Wisconsin/Purdue…and who? I say UK. But then again, I wear nice blue glasses. As long as we stay away from Ohio State I’m a happy camper. They do everything we cant defend: pop threes and have a big man down low.

  30. AKA cold buckets
    2:42 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    by the way, Emmertt…there’s still plenty of time to #FreeEnes

  31. AKA cold buckets
    2:45 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    29…not many teams can guard a team that shoots like that from 3 and has a post presence in Sullinger. I think Ohio St. will win it all, as much as I hate to say it.

  32. Scotty FLOPson
    5:46 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    DAMN!!! One more point than Vargas? Now that was low.

  33. SexnNursinHomes
    6:25 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Jack Offingetcher Armstrong.

  34. Pokey Chapman
    6:26 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Good observation on the rebounding, here is another stat for you. T. Jones is 15-70 shooting in his last 4 games.

  35. kentucky
    6:37 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    I have no idea where UK will be placed in the NCAA tournament but if you look at the rankings, both the AP and USA rankings have most of the Big East teams ahead of us. All but one of those teams is going to have one more loss during their tournament. If UK wins the SEC tournament then UK will likely move up while those teams all move down. I am not saying UK will vault over all of them, but UK will likely move up over some of them. How much movement will determine the seed.

  36. Assistant Coach
    7:05 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Hate to be pessimistic but it is unlikely that this team wins the SEC Tournament. Like Biesner, I`ll gladly be wrong.

  37. 3 Seed
    7:20 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Everyone keeps saying that we need a lot of help (other teams loosing) to get a three seed. Guess what – every team gets a loss in the conference champs unless they win it. So, 8 big east teams in front of us….no less than 7 of them will add a loss to their record. Same goes for Purdue/Wisc loosing to OSU, and Florida/Vandy face each other before getting to us. So, if we take care of business against the winner, 11 teams in front of us will loose this week. There is the help we need.

  38. Brew Crew
    7:43 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    25. Don’t get too excited. The Brewers will give the Reds all they want (and more) this season, after adding Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum to the rotation. And the Cardinals are ailing, but don’t quite count them out yet. Any team with Albert Pujols is still very much alive.

  39. SCCat
    7:50 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    In order for us to get the 3, we’ll need to see and beat Florida in the finals, and the Big East tourney will need to be upset laden…both those things could happen, but they would both have to happen. Beisner only points this out – fact is as of today we are a 4. If the Big East tourney plays out as seeded, and we beat Ole Miss, Bama, and Tenn/Vandy to win SEC tournament – we’re a 4. Unfortunate but true.

  40. SCCat
    7:50 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Point above is that there’s no need to jump on ol’ Beisner for making total sense.

  41. ARDEE
    7:59 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    the ol’ 91 donruss set. if my mom wouldn’t have thrown away my cards i could pay off my student loans. bet that jack armstrong card would sell for upwards of 20 bucks

  42. voice of reason
    8:15 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    jack armstrong’s son is a big-time pitching prospect.. jack armstrong, jr… currently at vandy

  43. Some Guy in Kentucky
    8:20 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    On the TV it sounded like there was a lot of UK fans at UK-UT game, could anybody that was there guess how many?

  44. Emerson Biggins
    8:40 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    6. On the flip side Alabama is the second worst three point shooting team in the SEC. LSU 26.3%, Alabama 26.7%. Alabama is the seventh best rebounding team in the SEC, we average 36.4 to their 35.2, I’ll take my chances. We need to save our legs with only 6 players playing significant minutes, 3 games in 3 days. Tennessee averages more rebounds and shoots the 3 better than Bama and it helped against them, although they didn’t have B. Williams yesterday.

  45. Hotty Scopson
    8:42 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    I like “Hazel Nuts” better for a nickname.Come on Bro.

  46. Boogiewoogie
    8:44 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Not sure #43 but there was A LOT of blue in the orange yesterday.

    Does anyone else agree that Eloy, though still not dependable by any means, has looked like he might actually be improving? His last two performances were mediocre, which is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was. His 3 points, his rebound and his block all came at crucial moments in the first half and I would argue that his performance in the first half was only bested by Liggins’ effort. Kill that statement if you like but I stand by it.

  47. jimmy dykes
    8:44 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    nail anyone?

  48. voice of reason
    8:44 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    43-Tennessee includes its UK game tickets in a bundle each order to buy tickets for the UK game, you must also buy tickets for 2 additional games. They do this because they know UK fans will buy up the [email protected] tickets so they force the UK fans to also buy additional tickets. Obviously, if the UT fan base was worth a flip, UT would not have to force-sell tickets to home games. Anywho, there is always a good number of UK fans in Knoxville.

  49. Some Guy in Kentucky
    8:53 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    46 I agree on Eloy, I thought maybe it was a twin brother, because a have never seen him look that good.

  50. Hard Hittin' CAT
    8:54 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    BIZE-ner, that Karen Sypher line made me choke on my coffee. Spectacular!!

    Hopson’s a B!tch! Liggins is my boy. Everybody leave Jones alone, he’s a talented FRESHMAN!

  51. SECrefsSuck
    8:59 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    43. Wasn’t there, but it’s always great to hear “Go Big Blue” at an away game, as you could hear when Jones was free throwing it near the end of the game.

    Love our side of the bracket.

    SEC refs are the absolute worst. Can you hear me know, Gerald Boudreaux?

  52. Shane Couterface
    8:59 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    This is your brain on Duke:
    Any questions?

    Happy freaking Mardi Gras, Cats Fans!

  53. Some Guy in Kentucky
    9:00 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    CBS college TV channel is showing the replay of the UK-UT game tonight at 9 pm est.

  54. Roy
    9:01 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Great post Beisner!!! I have been reading KSR for a while now and you guys keep it rocking!!!

  55. UKFAN97
    9:27 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    to be a 3 seed they have to win the SEC tourney obviously. The hlpe will occur in the other tourneys. Not to be a downer though…..that would make 6 in conference wins in a row and so far the longest in conference win streak UK has had is 3. Hope they prove me wrong though.

  56. Blueburg
    10:46 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Derrick Rose is the Heat’s DADDY!!! Wade and Bosh won’t tell Lebron to stop shooting because they know he will quit on them just like he did on Cleveland last year.

  57. Blueburg
    10:53 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins kept us alive in the first half and deserves alot of credit especially for his job on Hopson. Eloy Oh Boy! What a great asset if we could see more of that! ‘Ready for more Miller Time!!!

  58. Ric Flair
    11:21 am March 7, 2011 Permalink

    SEC final is on Sunday & unless there is a bubble team playing in that game the bracket will most likely be finished by then. They won’t change it just to move UK from a low 4 to a high 3. IMO The selection committee has told the SEC that they wished they would move the final to Saturday.

  59. SagaciousMind
    12:14 pm March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins only fouled out because he is aggressive and because he tries taking charges all the time. Scotty Hopson, you were owned, just admit it. Even Lamb owned you when he was out on you. You suck! But this will be the last year we see Scotty. With Pearl likely out the door, I dont see Hopson stickin around. He may get lucky and be a 2nd rd draft pick.

  60. SagaciousMind
    12:18 pm March 7, 2011 Permalink

    Our guys cried when they lost to WVU, should we make fun of them? I think its good to see NBA guys actually caring about the game. As for our girls team…at least our girls look like girls. UT had some huge girls. But we were ok until the man girl of them all got back in the 2nd half. She killed us last year in the 2nd half as well. But, another 2nd place finish is nothing to complain about. Dunlap will be a top 10 pick and that only helps our women’s program even more.