College basketball began with a BANG last night. The Cats ran away with a victory in Rupp, Matthew Mitchell’s team started the season with a double-digit victory over a ranked opponent, Michigan State won on a buzzer-beating layup, and Kansas fell to Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers in overtime. But there’s no time to linger. There’s football to be played. Here’s how it’s going down:
- 9:00 — The KSR Pregame Show Begins on 630 WLAP (LISTEN HERE)
- 9:45 — The Cat Walk begins outside of Gate 7 at Neyland Stadium
- 10:00 — Freddie Maggard and Christi Thomas take over the Countdown to Kickoff
- 12:00 — Kickoff on the SEC Network with Tom Hart, Andre Ware and Cole Cubelic
1. Kentucky Beat Stephen F. Austin 87-64
The first half was sloppy, as expected. Bam Adebayo received two of the quickest fouls I’ve ever seen. The third foul in the second half was nefarious on all accounts. Unfortunately, Bam is NEVER going to get the benefit of the doubt because he’s larger than everyone. Refs see the size advantage and will just assume he’s fouling. It’s not fair, but we don’t live in a fair world.
I digress. Despite committing 13 turnovers, few came from De’Aaron Fox. Nobody was more impressive than Fox, who finished with 12 points and 12 assists, breaking Kyle Macy’s record for most assists in a debut. Isaiah Briscoe had 17 points, Derek Willis was next with 15 points, but Willis’ stats don’t accurately reflect his aggressive style of play. It’s exactly what we hoped to see from the senior.
Relive the win with highlights from KY Wildcats TV.
Now, onto football.
2. Kentucky is Going to Beat Tennessee
A win in Neyland would give the Cats their first win in Knoxville since 1984. 1984. Even George Orwell can’t believe it’s been that long.
Tennessee has been a strangely inconsistent team all year. We don’t know exactly what Tennessee team we’re going to see today, but one thing is certain: they will turn the ball over. The only team that turns the ball over more in the SEC is Kentucky. It’s going to be a wild one. Don’t get too high or too low; momentum will be fragile. It all comes down to who makes the big plays in big situations. The opportunity should be there for the win, can the Cats seize the moment?
3. Two UT Stars Could Return
After start the season 5-0, the Vols lost three straight to Texas A&M, Alabama and South Carolina. The injury bug bit, and bit hard. This week they lost another All-American, safety Evan Berry, but two of their best players could return today. Running back Alvin Kamara and defensive back Cam Sutton will be game-time decisions. The way Kentucky’s luck works, I expect both ready to go.
4. Tennessee’s Luck has Run Out
“If it weren’t for bad luck, Kentucky football would have no luck.” That motto does not apply today. Predicted to run away with the SEC East and potentially contend for a national title, Tennessee received break after break after break. It started with a fumble recovery for a touchdown to beat Appalachian State. They got lucky against Ohio too. They should’ve lost to Georgia on a deep pass, instead they won on a lucky deep pass.
Now it’s Kentucky’s turn to get lucky.
5. Kentucky Could Still Win the East
UK needs some help from Florida, but a December date in Atlanta is still a possibility. If Florida loses to South Carolina today and falls on the road next week at LSU, a win in Neyland would put Kentucky in first place.
There are plenty of other crazy possibilities too. A six way tie with all Eastern Division teams at 4-4 could happen. Tennessee could also end up in the SEC Championship. They only need Florida to lose once and win out in their last three SEC games. What a time to be alive.
6. UK Hoops Defeated No. 14 Miami 82-66
Much like the men’s team, the Kentucky women’s basketball team started with sloppy play, committing turnovers all over the court before Makayla Epps came alive in the fourth quarter. She dropped 18 points in the final period to help the Cats pull away from the Hurricanes. Epps finished with 29 points, Maci Morris had 11 and Evelyn Akhator had an 18-point 10-rebound double-double.
7. Help Ky’s Children Hospital with Funkhouser’s Gaming Marathon
This weekend the fine people at Funkhouser are playing board games all weekend long to raise money for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. I’ll be there Sunday before the basketball game at Canisius. You can go then, or Saturday afternoon to celebrate a Kentucky football win.
- Saturday, November 12 — Richmond, KY — Cafe Meeples — 10am-10pm (Link)
- Sunday, November 13 — Lexington, KY — Legendary Games — 11am-10pm (Link)
Any and all help is greatly appreciated. For more information, click here.
8. The Regional Finals are Set
Last night concluded the second round of the state football playoffs. It will get real next weekend when the survivors square up for Regional Championships. Eli Mitchell will have more from Boyle County/Central later today. Until then, here were the best games from Friday night.
- Male 27, PRP 24
- South Warren 28, Hopkinsville 24
- Owensboro 28, Greenwood 17
- DeSales 47, Glasgow 28
- Lex Cath 53, Bardstown 14
- John Hardin 36, Spencer County 22
- Central Hardin 41, Ballard 35 OT
- Corbin 44, Bell County 8
- Mercer County 31, Rockcastle 30 OT
9. Did you see Steve-O on Hey Kentucky?
It aired during UK’s season-opener, so you probably missed it. Don’t wait, check out the uncut 16-minute interview with Chris Tomlin right now.
Watch the full episode of last night’s Hey Kentucky here.
10. Today’s College Football Schedule and Scores
This week’s slate of games isn’t the best, but it’ll do.