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Sunday Evening News and Notes

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Like this entire season has been, it was another up-and-down week for Kentucky basketball. Fresh off a big win against Missouri, Kentucky came out Wednesday night and destroyed a very bad Mississippi State squad. Ryan Harrow scored 19 points and a total of five players reached double figures against the Bulldogs, but the story of the night was the return of the 1996 National Championship team to receive specialized rings that were long overdue for one of the greatest teams in the history of college basketball. From all accounts, the atmosphere at Rupp Arena was fantastic for each of the last two home games in front of the College Gameday crew against Missouri and also for the 1996 team reunion vs. Mississippi State. Want to forget about that game in Fayetteville? Sounds good to me. Kentucky now has a chance to set up a great home court advantage for a third straight time against Florida on Saturday…if Kentucky can win Thursday night at Georgia.

If Kentucky does not beat Georgia on Thursday night, it would not be the end of the Cats’ hopes for an at-large bid, but it would put them in a very tough spot. A Georgia loss means that Florida is a survival game (a game they must win to stay alive, but doesn’t clinch anything), but a win at Georgia creates a situation where Kentucky will be able to come back home to Rupp Arena and probably punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a win. With all of this on the line, and it also being Senior Day for Julius Mays, it has the opportunity to be a very, very big game with an exciting atmosphere at Rupp. 24,000 will show up regardless of the outcome of the Georgia game, but there will surely be a different buzz in the air depending on the outcome. If it’s a survival game, it will be an uneasy, nervous and possibly quiet crowd. If the Florida game is a “win and you’re in” situation, Rupp will be wild. For Kentucky to set up the best home court advantage they possibly can against Florida, they must win Thursday against Georgia.

Now on to some more news and notes…

 

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–It was not all bad news this weekend for UK sports as the women earned a 78-65 victory against No. 8 Tennessee at Memorial Coliseum. A’dia Mathies’ scored 16 points on her Senior Day to help the Cats take down the Lady Vols and Kentucky finished the regular season with a  25-4 overall record (13-3 SEC). As a 2-seed in the SEC Tournament, their next game will be Friday night at 6 against the winner of 10-seed Vandy and 7-seed Missouri. Today’s win gave coach Matthew Mitchell his 139th career victory at UK, which makes him the winningest coach in UK women’s hoops history in only his 6th year on the job.

The UK baseball team also won today, beating Akron, 9-2, and locking up a three-game series sweep of the Zips. Be sure to check out ksrcollege.com for more coverage of the No. 8 Bat Cats. The next time Kentucky (10-1) takes the diamond will be Tuesday at 4 pm at Cliff Hagan Stadium against Cincinnati. Beat the Bearcats.

–There was also good men’s basketball news this weekend concerning the fate of many of the other bubble teams. Ally Tucker has you covered with everything you need to know about the teams fighting with Kentucky for at-large spots right here. The most recent news on the bubble comes from Boston this evening, where Boston College knocked off Virginia, 53-52. The Cavaliers now fall to 20-9 with the loss. To keep up with the latest bracketology while you’re on the go, also be sure to download the ESPN Bracket Bound app.

–I posted a bootleg bracket earlier of the KHSAA Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena. Click here for the official bracket with all the dates and times you’ll need to see your team play at Rupp.

I’ll be back again Wednesday and more throughout this big week for the Cats. You can follow me on Twitter @wilmhoffCBB. Matt will be back on the radio for tomorrow morning’s show at 10.

 

Oh and did you say you wanted a picture of Patrick Patterson singing with Boyz II Men? Ok fine:

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Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on blogredmachine.com. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

16 Comments for Sunday Evening News and Notes



  1. Dr. Funke
    11:23 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    One thing I don’t understand, Tubby had back to back 11 loss seasons, and didn’t have near as good of a conference record as UK does this year, and makes the tourney as an eight seed in both seasons. It seems like a double standard for coach cal to me.



  2. Dr. Funke
    11:26 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Correction, 05-06 was a twelve loss season including the sec tourney.



  3. JLP
    11:34 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    #2 – you can’t go by just won/lost record. You must factor in strength of schedule generally and in particular what are the best teams you beat & worst losses you incurred. The SEC is down this year so not many quality wins there. Teams with less than 20 wins can get in if they play a difficult schedule and beat some good teams while a team can be left out with over 20 wins if they play only weak teams. But picking the last teams is really just subjective.



  4. Kev
    11:44 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone going to GA game?



  5. Dr. Funke
    11:54 pm March 3, 2013 Permalink

    I understand that, but UK never beet a ranked team that year. And there were only two ranked teams in the SEC, florida was ranked in the top 5 and vandy was barely in the top 25, UK lost twice to both teams. I just feel like the powers that be expect more from Cal then they do of other coaches, like when they gave us a 4 seed in 2011 after winning the SEC.



  6. UK Homer
    12:25 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    6 – you may be right, but don’t just look at top 25. This years team has only one W versus the top 50 and 5-5 versus the rest of 51-100. Our W/L record is padded by cupcakes. It’s one thing to play teams in the 100-150 range in your non-conf and consider them cupcakes. It’s another to play several 150+ teams. If SC, Auburn, and Mississippi State were top 100 or even 150 instead of 200+, then that would also be helpful. Would love to know how the 05-06 and 06-07 Tubby teams compared to this team in terms of top 50, 100, and even 150 W’s. 12 of our W’s are vs 150+ and 9 vs 200+. Yikes.



  7. katzrjamers
    12:44 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    To the college basketball fans still here. I spent most of this Sunday watching the 2012 NCAA final four games. Wow. I watched UK, UL, KU, and OSU play some the best basketball I have ever seen. Don’t matter how your anti-whatever-whoever-my school-your or school-plays out.. I just cheer for the teenagers trying to live their dream.



  8. barn
    6:08 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    ksr refers to the batcats as ranked #8, but espn shows them at #15?



  9. barn
    6:15 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    2/if we win 2 or 3 more games and are on the bubble after next wknd, then the coach cal bias will be enough to keep us out. there are ncaa coaches, and then there is cal



  10. RealCatsFan
    7:33 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    Coach Cal bias or not, I think there are some people involved with college BB who would love to see the Cats miss the NCAA tournament just to make a statement against the one-and-done recruiting philosophy. These may or may not be the people involved with the selection committee, but it sure doesn’t work in the Cats’ favor.

    A win at Georgia is far from a given. They are on a hot streak lately, and Stegman can be a tough place to play – look at the 2011 team as evidence of that. Hopefully the large UK contingent in Atlanta will bring a huge following to the game, and blue will get in – much like the A&M game. This team has shown a propensity to wither under pressure on the road, with the obvious losses along with near-meltdowns at Vandy and A&M as examples of this. It seems to me that our guard play gets weak-kneed when the crowd gets into it and the other team is hacking and slashing on defense. The refs tend to swallow their whistles in these situations and allow the home team to get away with a lot more than they normally would. I think this explains the home court advantage across the nation, not just in the SEC. The Cats will have to nut-up against Georgia to win that game.



  11. Jpo
    8:37 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    11. What “one and done philosophy”?? You mean the “philosophy” of recruiting the best players possible? I thought that was every coach’s plan.



  12. niaps
    8:58 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    # 13 Extremely well said



  13. Cokely
    9:38 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    12.) it’s funny how the last three years this is greatest thing ever and now were down one and done is horrible. Look at teams like UNC and uconn who have won the most titles lately. The year after is hard work. I’d rather win a title then suck for a year than just be good every year and never win.



  14. Jpo
    10:59 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    14. I totally agree with you my dear friend cokely.



  15. Chokecal
    11:59 am March 4, 2013 Permalink

    Keep hope alive for that at large bid, lol The NIT is calling! Lol



  16. Thats cute 16
    12:50 pm March 4, 2013 Permalink

    That is cute 16. You must be a UCLA, UNC or Duke fan. Cant possibly be a UL or IU fan lol. Those two scrub teams havn’t won a title since well before 90’s.