Photos from UK Athletics and Zimbio
The basketball and football overlap is always an exciting time of the year. It’s usually because people are excited they don’t have to watch a bad football team any longer. Today it’s different. The football team has a bowl birth on the line at Vanderbilt. A QB controversy has consumed this week, but inside the locker room the team isn’t focused on who will be at QB, it’s how they can shake their funk and find the energy to finish the season strong.
Even though some may think fans won’t flood Nashville, the young crowd I roll with is excited to storm the city to celebrate a big football win. After the football team gets the Dub, we have a basketball game to entertain us when NJIT comes to Rupp Arena.
Here’s a schedule of you day and the storylines to pay close attention to. (Pay attention people going to Nashville because this is all Eastern time. I don’t mess with slow time.)
12:00 Listen to the KSR Pregame Show
While Tyler and I take on Nashville, Drew, Jared, Ryan and Matt are holding down the fort in Lexington. The 2-hour show will preview both games, kicking off a full day of radio coverage on the UK Sports Network. Matt will recap the both games about an hour after the basketball game ends around 11:00.
2:00 The Cat Walk at Gate 1
Some fans may have fallen by the wayside, but show the team the BBN still has their back.
Nashville is under construction, so things will be trickier getting into town. Don’t worry, Mrs. Tyler has you covered.
4:00 UK and Vandy Kickoff in Nashville
It’s going to be a struggle. UK’s offense has struggled lately while Vanderbilt’s defense has excelled. Kentucky must play a clean game and win the field position battle. The only way Vandy can score is if Kentucky gives them a short field to work with.
There are some things working in Kentucky’s favor. Kentucky’s best offensive weapon, Boom Williams, will be back in action after missing a week with an elbow injury. UK hasn’t been able to piece together long drives, and a big play or two from Boom could be the difference in the game.
At quarterback, Patrick Towles has cut his hair. It’s silly to think that a haircut will make a difference, but you never know. If not, he has a shorter leash this week. I have been on Team Towles all along, but Drew Barker could provide the spark the offense needs to put the team over the hump and get Kentucky back into the postseason.
8:00 Tipoff Between UK and NJIT
Without a day off, Kentucky has no time to linger over a subpar opening performance against Albany. NJIT is no joke. A few years ago they had one of the longest nation’s longest losing streaks, but after upsetting Michigan last year they’re now favored to win the Atlantic-Sun. You’re probably a big fan of A-Sun teams. Mercer knocked Duke out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament a few years ago and Florida Gulf-Coast became the nation’s sweetheart when Dunk City made a run to the Sweet 16. Former KSR writer, Wilder Treadway, now works for the A-Sun and will have a preview of the game later today.
In case you forgot, this game will not be televised. Matt Jones, Ravi Moss and Buzz Baker will have the call on the Watch ESPN app. If you’re in Nashville and want to catch the game, join Tyler and I at the Tin Roof in Demonbreun (not the one on Broadway. It’s the only place in Nashville where you’ll be able to watch the game.
The Regional Championships are Set in the KHSAA Football Playoffs
A couple of marquee rematches highlight next week’s Regional Championships. DeSales/CAL and Trinity/Male to name a few. Here’s a complete rundown of next week’s game.
- Trinity at Male
- Central Hardin at McCracken County
- Simon Kenton at Cooper
- Lafayette at Scott County
- Bowling Green at Owensboro
- Fern Creek at South Oldham
- Cov Cath at Ft. Thomas Highlands
- North Laurel at Pulaski County
- Shelby County at John Hardin
- Franklin-Simpson at South Warren
- Knox Central at Wayne County
- Johnson Central at Scott
- LexCath at Central
- E-Town at Caldwell County
- Lawrence County at Belfry
- Bell County at Corbin
- DeSales at CAL
- Owensboro Catholic at Mayfield
- Lloyd Memorial at Newport Central Catholic
- LCA at Danville
- Beechwood at Louisville Holy Cross
- Bethlehem at Russellville
- Paintsville at Paris
- Hazard at Pikeville
Trey will be back later today to recap this weekend’s games, including the action from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium between X and Trinity.
A Shout Out to my Alma Mater
While most of you all probably don’t care, something amazing happened this week that I had to share. My DeSales High School has never played a home football game. This week they broke ground on a $6 million dollar athletic facility. At the groundbreaking, alumnus and 3-time Super Bowl Champion Bubba Paris returned to present a Golden Football, an initiative by the NFL ahead of Super Bowl 50. When I saw it on Twitter we were recording the KSR Podcast, and I can’t lie, I got pretty choked up. I just wanted to take the time to thank all of those that set the wheels into motion to make this possible because it means so much to so many in the South End of Louisville.
Now, back to the regularly scheduled wakeup…
Big Losses to Start the College Basketball Season
Kentucky didn’t look perfect, but other “elite” teams proved it could have been worse. Future opponent UCLA lost 84-81 to Monmouth in overtime. Apparently the outstanding home court advantage at Pauley Pavilion didn’t intimidate the fighting Blue Hawks of Monmouth. #7 Iowa State managed to squeak by Colorado with a 6-point win. Oh, and Wisconsin lost. To Western Illinois. As Schuette said, it proves that God has the darkest sense of humor.
What do you mean you haven’t seen De’Aaron Fox’s Mixtape?
The big weekend has kind of put Fox’s announcement on the back burner. After watching his highlights, it’s hard not to get excited over Calipari’s next great point guard.