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Pardon me for the cliched title, but as soon as I saw it Tweeted, that stupid song will not leave my head. Most of the KSR crew made it to Memphis last night with the help of Tom T. Hall and Missing Richard Simmons. I’ll be holding down the fort until Mrs. Tyler arrives later today. Here’s what’s happening around the Big Blue Nation:
Open Practice at the FedEx Forum
The Cats will be the last team to take the floor for their open practice. It begins at 3:00 CT. If you’re in town you won’t want to miss it. Coach Calipari and a few players will speak before the event and KSR will be there to provide updates as they happen.
The Sweet 16 Starts Tonight
Feeling nervous? Don’t. You can watch the season end for four other teams first, starting tonight just after 7:00.
- 7:09 on CBS: Oregon vs. Michigan in Kansas City
- 7:37 on TBS: Gonzaga vs. West Virginia in San Jose
- 9:45ish on CBS: Kansas vs. Purdue in Kansas City
- 10:05ish on TBS: Arizona vs. Xavier in San Jose
I don’t even know what to think about the first game of the night, but I will stay up late to see the strange matchup of Purdue post-players and Kansas guards.
Entering the tournament, I never thought I’d say, “I can’t wait to see what happens in the West Region,” but here we are. Huggins’ Press Virginia looked terrific in the first two games. Now they get a perennially overrated Gonzaga who actually doesn’t look overrated. Following that game we get the Miller Bowl, which you won’t hear about 25 times during tonight’s broadcast.
Bulletin Board Material from LaVar Ball
We may have jumped the gun a bit, but it was inevitable. The dude simply can’t help himself. Hear’s what he told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor about the Kentucky game and his son’s matchup with De’Aaron Fox:
“He can’t mess with Zo,” Ball said of Fox. “You can have 40 points and Lonzo can have two points and make the game winner, and I’m going with him. You had more points, but look at who won the game. I guess [Fox] really didn’t outplay him. It’s a team sport. All my boy is worried about is his team winning.”
He also took a shot at Kentucky’s team chemistry and stuck to his guns, reiterating that UCLA will win the National Championship.
“I already said UCLA will win the national championship, and I’m not going backwards on it now,” Ball said. “With Zo, the chemistry that UCLA has is better than what Kentucky has.”
NBA Draft Declarations
Once teams are eliminated from the tournament, it becomes draft season for players around college basketball. A ton of big-names threw their hat in the ring. Some will stay in the draft regardless, but others may return for another year.
- Duke: Jayson Tatum
- Louisville: Donavan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Jaylen Johnson
- Wake Forest: John Collins
- Texas: Jarrett Allen
- SMU: Semi Ojeleye
- Cal: Ivan Rabb
New Contracts for Kentucky’s Coaches
John Calipari and Mark Stoops added two more years to their existing contracts. Not a lot changed for Cal, but Stoops received a ton of new incentives. See them all here.
New SEC Football Stadium Policies
Leave your fannypacks at home ladies and gentlemen, the SEC has gone clear. You’ve seen the policy at many other stadiums; now it’s a league-wide policy.
At Arkansas, this policy is in effect but with a twist: guns are gucci. Fannypacks are forbidden, but guns are welcome starting in 2018. A new Arkansas law will allow you to take your gun to more places, including sporting events. Alcohol is too dangerous to sell at SEC football games, but firearms are fine. What could go wrong?
More Spring Football
The Cats are currently on the field for Spring Practice number five, their final tune-up before Saturday’s scrimmage, the first of the spring season. There’s a lot at stake in the first scrimmage. Will the vets be able to hold down the spot on the depth chart, or will they be surpassed by young stars? Hear about it by listening to the latest edition of The Depth Chart Podcast, but listener beware, we talked a lot of basketball.
Josh Pastner’s Relationship with Coach Cal
The Georgia Tech head coach and former assistant under John Calipari joined my friend and UK Student News broadcasting legend Clayton Abernathy on KSTV. Pastner praised Cal’s coaching pedigree and discussed how difficult it was to replace him at Memphis.
Nick Richards Completes his High School Career
Just like Karl-Anthony Towns and Isaiah Briscoe, Nick Richards finished his high school career winning the New Jersey Tournament of Champions. Looking ahead, he told Adam Zagoria what he’ll be doing for Kentucky next year.
“Some of the things that Bam is doing now,” he said, “I do that here. I’m gonna see what they want me to do.”
You’ll hear more from Richards next week at the McDonald’s All-American Game. I’ll be in Chicago to see UK’s four signees — Richards, Quade Green, Jarred Vanderbilt, P.J. Washington — and their final two targets — Kevin Knox and Mo Bamba.
Bellarmine is in the Final Four, Again
Scotty Davenport is doing his best Coach Cal impression at Bellarmine. The Knights beat the Colorado School of Mines by 20 to advance to their fourth Final Four in seven years. They’ll take on Fairmont State tonight at 7:00 to keep their hopes alive for the program’s second national title.