Greetings, friends. Long time no type. I’m back from my two-week adventure in Italy, during which I ate lots of pasta, drank lots of wine, and generally did my best to forget about UK Sports for a while…until Ryan Lemond’s creepy laugh woke me up one night to tell me Hamidou Diallo was coming back to school. (As you might imagine, going back to sleep after that was impossible.) I’ll share bits and pieces from my trip over the next week, but right now, a much more important matter is upon us: Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Being abroad when the Nashville Predators won the Western Conference Finals was tough, as was getting home just in time to witness their humiliating loss in Game Two; that’s why Saturday’s 5-1 win was so sweet. I’ve lived in Nashville for 11 years now, and I’ve never witnessed a more amazing day in the city. Over 50,000 fans flooded the streets downtown, forcing police to close down two additional blocks of Broadway all the way to the river. For once, there were more locals than tourists downtown as Preds fans pushed out bachelorette parties and staked their claim to hear Alan Jackson’s free concert and swap guesses as to who will sing the national anthem (Martina McBride) and how many catfish would hit the ice (by my count, three). The Preds responded, turning in a crucial 5-1 win to move the series to 2-1. Even though it’s a Monday, I expect the atmosphere will be equally as rabid leading up to an essential Game Four. I got my fill of the chaos downtown on Saturday, but will be cheering from my lucky seat here in East Nashville. Join me at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports. We got this.
In the meantime, here’s what we’ll be talking about today:
1. UK Baseball will play NC State for a spot in the Super Regional tonight
The Bat Cats got back on track in the Lexington regional with two huge wins yesterday, the first over Indiana and the second over NC State to force a final showdown with the Wolfpack tonight. The winner will advance to the Super Regional in Louisville to face the Cardinals. The game starts at 7 p.m. at The Cliff, and while you should do absolutely everything you can to be there to cheer them on in person, it should be televised, although the channel has yet to be determined. We’ll keep you updated.
2. Coach Mingione got a little emotional in the postgame presser
How much would a spot in the Super Regionals mean to this program and its players? Nick Mingione teared up when talking about his senior centerfielder Marcus Carson last night:
Nick Mingione gets emotional in speech about senior CF Marcus Carson. pic.twitter.com/5m3HhGiZ5Z
– Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) June 5, 2017
How can you not love Mingione? Speaking of baseball…
3. How about my Davidson Wildcats?
My other Wildcats knocked off 2-seed North Carolina last night to win the Chapel Hill Regional in what D1 Baseball’s Aaron Fitt called one of the biggest upsets in college baseball history. Between the Preds winning Saturday, both sets of Wildcats winning Sunday, and Steph Curry doing his thing in the NBA Finals, it was certainly a great weekend to be a Wildcat. Watch the awesome winning moment below:
CELEBRATE LIKE YOU’VE NEVER CELEBRATED BEFORE!!
– NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 5, 2017
4. Calipari was in NYC this weekend
After stops in Destin for the SEC Spring Meetings and Pittsburgh for Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals, Calipari was in NYC this weekend to take his son Brad to a Mets/Pirates game:
Brad and I watching the Mets and our Bucs!!! Clint's the BEST! pic.twitter.com/qT2JVpHajU
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 4, 2017
Something tells me Cal will be back in Pittsburgh for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals Thursday night.
5. 17 Days until the NBA Draft
Believe it or not, there are only 17 days until the NBA Draft in New York, and while I was gone, it seems buzz continued to grow around De’Aaron Fox. Fox impressed at the Catalyst Sports Pro Day this weekend, prompting some to suggest that the Lakers may pass on Lonzo Ball and take Fox instead with the second pick. We saw this as the season went on, but Fox’s shooting continues to improve, as you can see in this video from his Pro Day workout via Draft Express:
– Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 3, 2017
After the workout was over, Fox was back in the weight room to put in more work:
— Cy Lakes Basketball (@CyLakeshoops) June 4, 2017
Make the right choice, Magic.
6. I had the best risotto in the world in Burano
Should you ever find yourself in Venice, Italy and overwhelmed by the crowds, do yourself a favor and hop on the ferry to Burano, a small fishing island about 40 minutes outside the city. Known for lace and brightly painted buildings, Burano is an amazing oasis, made even more so by the seafood risotto at Da Romano. My husband and I first heard about the dish on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” and made the trek solely to try it; we were not disappointed. Prepared delicately with “go,” a local fish, it was simply perfection, especially when paired with the house white wine and this view:
Sigh. Before I hop on a plane back to Venice, let’s keep going.
7. The Governor’s Cup Luncheon is tomorrow
For some reason, the Governor’s Cup luncheon is still held in June even though the rivalry showdown takes place in November, but alas, this year’s version takes place tomorrow afternoon at the Frankfort County Club. That means awkward photo opps between Mark Stoops and Bobby Petrino, plenty of pictures of the trophy, and hopefully a little bit of swaggy trash talk. Usually, this event is a bore, but it sure is nice to come in as the winner after last season’s upset for the ages.
8. The UK Football Women’s Clinic is set for July 22
Period jokes aside, last year’s women’s clinic was a great way to get ready for football season, and from what I hear, the folks at UK have even more tricks up their sleeves for this year’s event, which will go down in the Woodford Reserve Club at Kroger Field on Saturday, July 22. The registration fee is $75, which includes a gift, t-shirt, lunch, and all the pictures with Freddie Maggard you could dream of. For more information, visit ukathletics.com/camps.
9. Wonder Woman was awesome
I’m not a huge superhero/comic books fan, nor do I expect a lot from Hollywood when it comes to females in leading roles, but I absolutely loved Wonder Woman. I came in not knowing a lot about the character other than her accessories have powers, but director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot brought a story many have struggled with to life. I left the theater ready to rumble and happy that finally, little girls have a heroine that’s just as badass as Batman, Superman, or the countless other male superheroes. Do yourself a favor and go see it.
10. One hour until the gang discusses Shannon’s win over Tony Vanetti in OVW
If you haven’t seen the pictures and videos of Shannon wrestling in a speedo, consider yourself warned:
— Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond) June 4, 2017
Tune in to hear the gang break it down one hour and six minutes from now.