You are looking at John Calipari’s face when he realized today is Valentine’s Day.
“Do I celebrate Valentine’s Day? You reminded me, so I’ll probably get her flowers. I didn’t know it was Valentine’s Day tomorrow,” he told reporters yesterday. “I usually get her flowers or a card or something.”
John Calipari should call 1-800-Flowers, visit Genesis Diamonds, order Shari’s Berries, carry-out a Bearno’s heart-shaped pizza, or simply deliver an eloquent, heartfelt, personal Valentine, like this:
Hopefully most of the people reading this will not be celebrating Valentine’s Day with their significant other, unless they’re watching Kentucky take on Tennessee. The fancy dinner can wait, because tonight Kentucky is giving Tennessee a dish best served cold…
Kentucky entered their midseason funk the first time they played Tennessee. The 82-80 loss in Knoxville was a slow-burning tire fire. What we thought would last just one game, turned into a trend. They lost three of four before Cal launched the reboot.
If the Cats can confirm the reboot has worked with a route of the Volunteers, it would create momentum for a storybook finish to the 2016-17 season.
2. The Reboot is Not Complete
Even if Kentucky crushes Tennessee, Calipari knows there’s plenty of work left to do before postseason play. As of right now, Calipari’s team is moving in the right direction.
“It took us three weeks to get in this position. (It’s) Probably going to take us three weeks to get out of it.” On last night’s call-in show, Cal shared the good news: “We still have a month to get this right.”
3. Cats Must Learn to Keep a Lead
On more than one occasion, Kentucky has taken a 15-20 point lead. Instead of putting their foot on the gas, the Wildcats wilt. Calipari is tired of it and ready to make a change. What that change is, I have no idea. Usually I can make sense of what Cal is saying, but he danced around the question so well at yesterday’s press conference, I read the transcript five times and still can make no sense of it. I guess the best thing you can say is: “they’re working on it.”
4. All the Info You Need For Tonight’s Game
The game tips-off ESPN’s Super Tuesday at 7:00. Joe Tessitore, Sean Farnham and Kaylee Hartung will be on the call. The Cats opened as 12-point favorites, but the line has been up to 13.5 points. Yesterday Kentucky moved up two spots in the AP poll to No. 13, and up one spot in the coaches’ poll to No. 11. The matchup by the numbers:
5. A Freshman Phenom will be in Attendance
Anthony Thomas, a 6’6″ freshman from Baltimore, will unofficially visit campus for tonight’s game at Rupp Arena, according to Chris Fisher. Thomas is a member of the class of 2020, a strange sentence to type. A young prospect with a common name, I can’t Google anymore information about Thomas to share with you fine people.
6. John Wall is a BAD Man
Over the last eight weeks, the Wizards (23-7) have won just as many games as the Warriors (23-5) because John Wall is doing crazy stuff like this.
– NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 14, 2017
I think I actually liked his celebratory hop after the pass, more than the pass. Wall had 15 points, 14 assists and 5 rebounds in the Zards’ 22-point win over OKC.
7. Kansas Steals Kentucky’s World Record
During halftime of last night’s game against West Virginia, Kansas fans at Allen Fieldhouse reached 130.4 on the decibel meter to claim the Guinness World Record for world’s loudest indoor arena. It eclipsed the mark set at Rupp Arena (126.4) when Kansas came to town a few weeks ago.
I was pumped to say, “Don’t try to break the record, or you’ll lose at home.” Kansas trailed by 14 with 2:20 remaining. Dick Vitale was chastising fans for leaving early, saying things like: “I can’t believe what I’m seeing;” “Where are these people going?” and “Shame on you. Shame on you. You’re not a loyal Kansas fan.”
Then, the wheels came off of West Virginia. Kansas went on a 21-7 run (with one or two calls going their way) to tie it up at 71 and force overtime. The Mountaineers’ epic collapse in overtime is difficult to describe in only a few words, so I’ll just use one: embarrassing. Kansas should’ve lost two-in-a-row at home for the first time since 88-89. What a shame.
8. Tuesday Night Basketball on TV
- 7:00: Tennesse at No. 13 Kentucky on ESPN
- 7:00: Va Tech at Pitt on ESPN2
- 7:00: No. 25 Notre Dame at Boston College on ESPNU
- 7:00: No. 15 Florida at Auburn on SEC Network
- 9:00: Miss. State at Georgia on ESPNU
- 9:00: LSU at Ole Miss on SEC Network
- 9:00: Ohio State at Michigan State on ESPN
- 9:00: Texas at Oklahoma on ESPN2
9. UConn Women’s Win Streak is 100
Geno Auriemma has taken a team to places no college basketball team has ever been to before. With a 66-55 win over sixth-ranked South Carolina, the UConn women’s basketball team extended their streak to 100. Nothing like it has been done before, and nothing like it will ever happen again. For a moment, South Carolina looked like they might shock the world with a few first half leads, but nobody was getting in UConn’s way.
The next question: how long will it last? If they win another title, it will take them to 113. I have a hunch they won’t make it, but I’d still conservatively set an over/under line at 133. What say you?
10. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is in Full Swing
I’m a mutt guy, so it’s hard for me to get excited about all the fancy shmancy purebred bitches (I can use that word in this specific situation without consequence). If you’re the kind of person who enjoys watching rich people prance their dogs around in front of a crowd, it’s on FS1 all day, with the Best in Show announced tonight around 11:00.
Sorry, but the only pup I care about (besides mine, of course) is this one.