It’s getting late. It’s been a long day. Tip-off will be here shortly. Let’s knock these out quicker than the Cards….
– Even if the Cats had put a beating on Princeton Thursday, the feeling would be the same heading into Saturday. West Virginia is scary for a lot of reasons. There is, of course, the haunting feeling of last year’s disappointing game in the Elite Eight, Bob Huggins’ strong history against Calipari and the fact that the Mountaineers are just boring. And boring is scary. The Mountaineers are not remarkably good at anything, but they’ll do all the dirty work and frustrate their opponents into making mistakes that aren’t typically in their nature. For a team that is young and has shown some weakness in games where their opponents have tried to outmuscle them, there’s legitimate reason to be concerned.
– If Kentucky is going to advance, the freshmen will have to bounce back from an abysmal showing against Princeton. As well as Darius Miller and Josh Harrellson have played in the last four games, Kentucky cannot count on them alone to beat West Virginia. The law of averages plays in the Cats’ favor and I’d be shocked if Brandon Knight struggled so mightily again. But, as mentioned above, the Mountaineers are at their best when they’re making their opponents make uncharacteristic plays.
– In words that we might not have ever thought we’d say, Eloy Vargas could factor into Kentucky’s ability to beat West Virginia. The Mountaineers aren’t necessarily a big team, but they’re one that rebounds hard collectively. If the Cats can get 10 productive minutes from Eloy Vargas on the glass and get another block or two from him, it could be exactly what they need.
– If you’re in Tampa, the pep rally will start at 10am at The Luxury Box across from the St. Pete Times Forum. The band and cheerleaders will arrive at 11. Check it out if you’re in town.
– In case you missed it, Tennessee got absolutely smacked by a mediocre Michigan team, 75-45. The Vols scored 16 points in the second half, which could eventually end up being the final 20 minutes of Bruce Pearls’ Tennessee tenure. Even more embarrassing, Michigan became the first team to win an NCAA game after not making a single free throw (they attempted only one). And they won by thirty points. Goodbye, Pearl.
If you missed the show Friday or if you were distracted by Will Lentz’s photo in the afternoon notes, here’s the podcast again. It was a great day of celebration that included Morehead coach Donnie Tyndall and Tom Leach. Check it out.