Ah, remember a week ago? When we thought the ‘Cats had turned a corner? What a time to be alive that was. After yesterday’s 66-59 loss to Auburn, Kentucky has fallen to 4-8 on the season, and they’re running out of time to build a tournament-worthy resume before March. Let’s not waste any time with this one.
More of the same from Calipari
It’s almost not even worth re-treading at this point, but John Calipari’s stubbornness continues to bite UK at the worst moments. This time, it was his unwillingness to play Dontaie Allen and Jacob Toppin down the stretch, even as they led the team in scoring for much of the game. Allen finished with 8 points on 2-6 shooting from deep, but was on the bench for a decisive four-minute stretch in the second half, when Auburn went on a 9-0 run to take the lead that they would maintain the rest of the way.
Still, they almost came back in the end. A few nice drives by Devin Askew and a dunk from Toppin got the ‘Cats back within two points in the final minute, but back-to-back defensive breakdowns by Keion Brooks Jr. broke the last-gasp momentum.
Cal’s latest excuse? He doesn’t want to “take anyone’s heart away“ by putting nonproductive starters on the bench. Later, Toppin called out the team’s inability to “buy into team basketball” as well as a general lack of toughness. Hard to argue with that.
For more on Cal’s excuses, frustrating substitution patterns and apparent hypocrisy, check out Jack’s writeup from last night. Oh, and if you have any solutions please let us know. This is a safe space.
Rams, Ravens sent home
Unlike a certain basketball team, Saturday’s NFL action did not disappoint. First, the Green Bay Packers held off
Austin MacGinnis’s the L.A. Rams, 32-18, then Lamar Jackson and the Ravens blew it again, losing to the Buffalo Bills 17-3 in the nightcap. It’s the first AFC Championship appearance for Buffalo in 27 years.
The Bills are set to play the winner of today’s titillating afternoon matchup between the defending champion Chiefs and the Browns, who I can only assume are just happy to be here at this point. That game kicks off at 3:05 on CBS, followed by Saints-Buccaneers at 6:40 on Fox, with the winner of that one headed to face Green Bay in the NFC title game next week. It’s a good day to kick back and watch some football, folks.
Now, can we get Liam Coen on campus already?
NBA: Harden stars in Brooklyn debut
No, that picture is not photoshopped. It’s real: James Harden is a Brooklyn Net, and everyone else should be very, very scared. Following a blockbuster four-team trade this week, the former MVP made his debut last night alongside new teammate Kevin Durant (in those awesome, colorful Nets throwback unis, no less). All he did was drop a casual triple-double of 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, complimenting Durant’s 42-4-5 in a seven-point win.
Meanwhile, Harden’s recovering ex–the Rockets–lost 103-91 to the Spurs, with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both sitting out due to minor injuries. Expect Wall to do lots of Wall things going forward with the ball back in his hands a little more often.
More (better) basketball: #12 Lady Cats vs. Vanderbilt, 5:00
With Thursday’s game being postponed, Kyra Elzy’s team got a much-needed break following a brutal four-game stretch against top-12 teams (UK went 2-2 against Arkansas, Mississippi St., Texas A&M and South Carolina). Rhyne Howard needs to blow off some steam, and lord hope the poor fools who get in her way… oh, it’s Vanderbilt? Nice.
You can catch the 12th-ranked ‘Cats in action at 5 p.m. today in Memorial, live on the SEC Network. It should be fun.
And finally: special shoutout to my Bellarmine Knights, who earned their first two A-SUN conference victories by sweeping “Dunk City” Florida Gulf Coast over the weekend. Swords up.