While you’re out celebrating the big win, there are still things going on in the UK Sports world. Here’s a quick run down of some thoughts and things for you to take note of. In fact, some might even call them news and views. Some.
-First of all I have to give huge credit to Brandon Knight for wearing shining armor today. Knight had one of his worst games to date two days ago (at least offensively,) but managed to sink the game winner and then carry his team past a tough West Virginia team. Going into half time things were looking down – for the second straight year our freshmen (with the exception of BK,) were playing like freshmen against WVU. Knight wouldn’t accept that though, came out, and set the pace for the rest of the team. Huge preformance from him this weekend as he won both games for us – in different fashions.
-Along with Knight, our man Josh Harrellson continues to be a beast. Josh now has 30 points, 18 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks in the first two games of the season. For a man that never really had a defined role other than ‘clean up around the rim,’ that has been huge. The two most reliable plays in today’s game were to have Brandon Knight create something, or to let Jorts put a missed shot back in. Huge game for what has become one of, if not the, most important parts of this Kentucky team.
–With the win, the Cats will move on to play the winner of Ohio State/George Mason, which could go one of two ways. If OSU wins, we get a week of most talking heads predicting a romp, and a few savvy one’s picking the upset (looking at you Charles Barkley.) More importantly, most every neutral fan in Newark will back the Cats – everyone likes an upset. If George Mason wins, most of the press will start asking if Cinderella can strike twice and this will paint Kentucky to look like the bad guys – and the neutral fans will sport Green and Yellow. Either way, the game is going to be on Friday and while the time has yet to be announced, there’s as good a chance of it being prime time as there is of OSU beating George Mason.
-With Florida winning today too, that puts the top two SEC teams into the Sweet Sixteen – about what everyone predicted for the conference. Of course, Florida gets a depleted BYU or the 11 seed Gonzaga as their next round opponent, which must be nice. Still, count me as one that likes to see conference success – so long as they don’t win the National Title.
-Let’s all take a moment and pour one out for Morehead State. They came into the tournament and did their jobs – take out Louisville – but they couldn’t make it past the Richmond Spiders despite Kenneth Faried’s double double. The run, while short, was great for their program and team. People got to see a generally unknown Kentucky school’s team come in and take out one of the big boys, ruin a lot of people’s brackets, and witness the strength of Faried – who I can’t wait to watch play in the NBA. I wish they could still be around, but Morehead State – we’ll always have that moment we shared on Thursday. No one can take that away from us.
-While you read this, UK Hoops is about to head into half time in their first NCAA tournament game. Also a 4 seed, the women are taking on the Hampton Pirates, which have an awesome mascott but not an awesome women’s basketball team. The Lady Cats are up 8 and you can catch the rest of the game on ESPN2/3. We will update with the final score. UPDATE: Congratulations to UK Hoops for winning a close one in over time against that Hampton Pirates – who were apparently a lot better at basketball than I originally thought. Shame on me. Cats win, 66-62.