Good Morning from sunny St. Louis, Missouri! Why from St. Louis you might ask…why not? For only the second time in my life I’m exploring a state west of the Mighty Mississippi. Unfortunately, I will not be taking the trip in the tiny elevator to the top of the Arch (it’s currently closed through March), but I’m excited to see the City Museum and other touristy places in between Kentucky basketball action. If you have any sights you suggest I see, send them my way.
Now, onto today’s news…
An Early Tip-Off
For only the second time all season, the Cats have a noon tip-off. I don’t think many of us are fans of early games. The build-up simply isn’t the same when the game is going on at lunch time. The only other noon tip worked out well — Kentucky beat Louisville 75-73 — but that game was at home, and it was a rivalry, getting the sleep out of their eyes easily. It will be different on the road, but it’s hard to know which team gets the advantage.
Tom Hart, Kara Lawson and Kaylee Hartung will be on the call for ESPN in Columbia.
The Cats could be #1 in the SEC after Today
A few weeks ago, we were just hoping Kentucky would be a Top-4 seed in the SEC Tournament, but now the Cats control their own destiny. A look at the top of the SEC standings entering today.
If A&M can win on the road at LSU, a Kentucky win puts them alone in first place. Even if they don’t get the job done today, there’s still plenty of time to shake up how the standings look before the teams descend upon Nashville in the second week of March.
Calipari likes South Carolina’s Progress Under Frank Martin
After a few years of success at Kansas State, Martin made the move to South Carolina. It looked like a bad move when he was only 45-54 in his first three years. Building from the bottom up, this year’s team is 21-3 and has spent most of the season in the Top 25.
“Frank’s doing a great job. What’s fun to see as a coach, when you’re thrust into a situation and you’re building a program, he’s doing it the way you do it,” Calipari said yesterday. “It makes me smile. He’s a great guy. He’s solid to the Earth kind of guy, but he’s also a terrific coach.”
My favorite thing that Cal said about Martin’s Gamecocks? “They’ve taken on his personality.” That’s scary, because Martin is a scary, insane person. He’s one of my favorite coaches because I enjoy his sideline antics. But if his team is playing like Martin’s personality, it’s going to be a rough two hours of basketball this afternoon.
Devin Booker Stole the Show in the Rising Stars Challenge
It took an untimely Nerlens Noel injury to get him there, but the Rookie wouldn’t let the opportunity slip by without taking advantage. Book hit five threes on 9/13 shooting to score 23 points for Team USA. His former teammate, Karl-Anthony Towns scored 18 points, 16 in the second half, and brought down 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Trey Lyles only played a dozen minutes for Team World, scoring 2 points and grabbing 2 rebounds.
Booker wasn’t just making ’em from deep in Toronto.
There’s Plenty of Wildcats in All-Star Saturday Night
All-Star Saturday Night starts tonight at 8:00 on TNT and will feature four former Wildcats. Devin Booker is the youngest person to ever compete in the Three-Point Shootout, and his task is a tall one, going up against the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and James Harden.
In this year’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge, half of the bracket is made up of Big Men. Three of the four post players are former Wildcats — Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns. I like their chances against the other guy, Draymond Green.
Arguably the ðŸ of Notes to be Excused from Class
It’s hard to argue with this man’s valid point.
Larry’s got a Brand New Gig
Congratulations are in order for Larry Vaught, who announced yesterday that he’ll be joining WLEX-18 as an online contributor. He’ll primarily be writing, but I can’t wait to see the Dynamic Duo of Cutler and Vaught in True Blue Video Features. Nothing would make me happier, except maybe the addition of a Ryan Lemond YAAAAACCCCA!
The New York Times Provides an Update on the UNC Academic Scandal
We’ve been so consumed with Breaking Cardinal Rules at UofL that it’s easy to forget that there’s an insane academic scandal at North Carolina that could have even greater repercussions than what’s happening closer to home. One striking line from The Times’ report: “Serious sanctions seem inevitable.” It’s a fascinating read that discusses how the late Dean Smith is a central figure surrounding the ongoing investigation. It’s definitely worth reading.
College Basketball on TV Today
- #15 Texas A&M at LSU, 1:00 on ESPN
- #18 Purdue at Michigan, 2:00 on ESPN2
- #6 Kansas at #3 Oklahoma, 2:30 on ESPN
- #13 Louisville at Notre Dame, 4:00 on ESPN2
- #7 Virginia at Duke, 4:30 on ESPN
- Alabama at Florida, 5:30 on the SEC Network
- #24 Texas at #14 Iowa State, 8:30 on ESPN