Yes, we still have a basketball team that has big games this week. So big, in fact, that I decided to go to ESPN analyst Digger Phelps for his thoughts about UK’s upcoming visit to South Bend to face his former team.
It was over the phone, but his tone was still abrasive and loud. Here’s what he said:
“Aaron, Listen to me!! Listen to me!! This is Notre Dame’s home game. You guys are a part of it, but you show respect for Notre Dame. I don’t want any nonsense! I don’t want any incidents! Don’t ruin this for the SEC/Big East Challenge.”
It was eerily similar to this.
Notre Dame’s campus is located in South Bend, Indiana. The University is the number one employer of South Bend residents. South Bend is also the site of Pittsburgh’s overtime field goal that missed wide right a few weeks ago. You know, the field goal that could have saved them the embarrassment of playing in the BCS Title game.
Other sporting attractions in South Bend include the South Bend Silver Hawks, a Class A minor league baseball team, and the South Bend Roller Girls. If I lived in South Bend I’d have season tickets to one of those. It wouldn’t be baseball.
Regis Philbin- One of the most decorated entertainers of all time, Regis holds the Guiness Book of World Record for “Most time spent in front of a television camera.” This is not a joke. You most likely know him from his time on “Live! With Regis and Kelly/Kathie Lee” or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
Condoleezza Rice- Condi, as her friends and I call her, was the 66th United States Secretary of State under George W. Bush. She is now working at Standford as a faculty member at their school of business. She shares a dentist with Michael Strahan and in August became one of only two female members at Augusta National Golf Club.
Steve Bartman- Cubs fans, send your hate mail to me at [email protected]
For those of you who don’t watch baseball or are too young to know who Steve Bartman is, just watch this video. He became hated by Cubs fans in 2003 when he reached over the left field foul line and deflected a foul ball Moises Alou was in position to catch. They didn’t get the out and went on to lose the game and the series. This event provided lazy guys everywhere with a Halloween costume for the next five years. Do you have a tutrtleneck, a sweatshirt, a Cubs hat, and headphones? You can go as Steve Bartman.
Daniel “Rudy” Ruetigger- You know Rudy from the movie “Rudy.” But that character was based off a real person, Daniel Ruetigger. Rudy stood 5’6” and weighed 165 lbs in college. He is now a motivational speaker. The College Football Rudy Award was created to be awarded to a player based on their character, courage, contribution, and commitment to their team. In 2007, the inaugural College Football Rudy Award was awarded to Terry Clayton of your University of Kentucky Wildcats.
Cheerleading Scouting Report:
Notre Dame has been to 15 Sweet Sixteen’s and 5 Elite Eight’s. Their one and only Final Four came in 1978 when Kentucky was busy collecting it’s 5th national title. Digger Phelps has been living off that 1978 Final Four appearance for what is now going on 34 years.
They are coming up on a ten year Sweet Sixteen drought, their last appearance coming in 2003. The bad news for Notre Dame is Luke Harangody, Troy Murphy, Tim Abromitis, and Ben Hansborough won’t be walking through that door tonight.
Mike Brey- Did you know Mike Brey has been the coach at Notre Dame for 12 years?!? Well, I didn’t either. He has been there since 2000 and has just begun his 13th year at the helm for the Irish. If you asked me what year he started coaching Notre Dame I would’ve said no earlier than 2007. That shows you just how relevant they have been during his tenure. Despite making 8 NCAA tournaments during his time, the furthest they have gone is to the aforementioned 2003 Sweet Sixteen.
Jack Cooley- Earlier I said Luke Harangody wouldn’t be walking through that door tonight. However, I’ve never seen Jack Cooley in the same room with Luke Harangody. I’m convinced they are the same person. Seriously, look at this. These are two “different” people:
What do you think?
Eric Atkins- This guy, all the way down to his looks, is Notre Dame’s Ryan Harrow. The only difference is that he plays in games. He averages 10 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds.
Kentucky and Notre Dame last met in 2010 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. Terrence Jones led the Cats to a 72-58 win by scoring 27 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. The Cats were ranked 17th coming into the game while the Irish were ranked 23rd. The score was tied 40-40 at half before Kentucky pulled away. I went to the game with three friends and documented the entire experience here.
The Irish come in unranked, but this game will be a huge test. As you know, this game is Notre Dame’s Super Bowl and I expect their crowd to be raucous. A win tonight will tell me this Kentucky team is tough. A loss won’t be too concerning, but it will put a little more pressure on the Baylor game Saturday. A 2-0 week would be great. A 1-1 week doesn’t hurt you. An 0-2 week will have message board posters asking if Mark Stoops can coach basketball.