Monday, December 20, 2010

You Got Served: Weekend Recap and Look Ahead

Curious about this? Please Keep Reading...

This weekend we saw some wins for the Kentucky and Louisville men's basketball team. Louisville bounced back after the embarrassing loss to Drexel and beat Gardner-Webb (shudder) 78-49. But because of the loss to the Dragons the Cards now fall back out of the top 25, right where they belong. Editorial comment alert #1: A lot of Louisville fans (including the Cardchronicle) were making fun of Drexel because their mascot is a dragon, a fictional beast. I would like to point out that Louisville's mascot is a dumb looking bird with teeth, another fictional beast that does not exist in nature. And there you have it.

The Cats beat Sean Woods' Mississippi Valley State team 85-60. Terrence Jones had 19 points, DeAndre Liggins and Doron Lamb each had 16, while Brandon Knight and Darius Miller each had 14. There were some other big headlines to address: Joe B Hall was honored along with a slew of former UK basketball players. Brandon Knight made a half-court shot as time expired in the first half, a shot that was #1 on Sportscenter's top 10 on Sunday. John Caliapri was also ejected for arguing with officials over some terrible calls.

The Cats moved up to #13 in the top 25.

So, what's up this week? There's a lot so I will move fast:
- It is official: Rick Pitino will be taking his talents to Puerto Rico. It was confirmed that Ricky Three Stacks is going to coach Puerto Rican team in the off season. He also must learn, "Where is the local Porcini's and abortion clinic?" in Spanish. It is also rumored that the Dominican Republic is interested in having John Calipari coach their national team. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are arch rivals. Go figure.

-Louisville Football Good News: 5 star QB, #3 QB overall, Terry Bridgewater has committed to play for Charlie Strong and the Cards. This is a huge recruit for the Cards, something Strong has promised to do from day one. But this also begs the question; what about Seneca's DeMarcus Smith? The other 5 star QB from Seneca high school has to be scratching his head. He stuck with Louisville through the Krags era only to be seemingly left by Strong for Bridgewater. Right now the scholarship still stands and Smith has not said anything, but something tells me this kid would like a chance to play and he may look elsewhere.

-Louisville Football Bad News: Something that Louisville fans should be used to by now is embarrassment and here is another one to add to the list. The Cards had a dance competition against Southern Miss in St. Petersburgh, Florida a day before their bowl game (this explains the You Got Served poster). Apparently the Cards started it by making fun of Conference USA, a conference they were once a part of. The State Troopers were called in because the trash talking and shoving was getting out of hand. Another day in the life of the Classy Cards. Editorial comment alert #2: I guess Louisville forgot they play in the worst conference in the history of the NCAA. I hope Southern Miss wins by 50. They won't, but I can hope. Check out this link about it.

-The Cats are set to take on Winthrop on Wednesday. This game should not be too tough. 2 more games, two more games. UK has played the #1 ranked pre-conference schedule thus far and will go into Louisville having played big names at home and on the road. The Cats will play 2 more gimmee games to boost confidence headed towards New Years Eve.

- The Cards will keep chugging on the Cupcake Express and actually play their first road contest of the season. Yes, you read that correctly. Spineless Rick has yet to lead his band of flunkies out of Louisville. They will face their first "tough road test" (Rick's words, not mine) against the 5-6 Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. So the Dirty Birds aren't even leaving the state. Wow.

That's all for now! Please check in for updates. Rumors keep swirling that an Enes Kanter ruling will come this week. So what else is new?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

UofL Can't Slay the Dragon: Quick Hits

The Drexel Dragons came into the Yum! Center and showed the rest of the country how to beat Louisville: play defense, slow it down and make them run their offense in a half court set; something the Cards could not do last night. To score only 46 points in a home game against a team you are supposed to blow out is an absolute embarrassment. But then again, embarrassment is something that Rick Pitino is used to.

I still think the game on December 31st is going to be tough but after watching that debacle last night I have to give the edge to Kentucky. The Cats are smarter, better coached and WAY more athletic than Drexel. I think the emotions of the game keep it close in the beginning, but UK will end up winning by a margin of 8 to 15 points.

Some More Louisville Themed Links and Hits:

-Yahoo Sports Jason King writes about Louisville being exposed as frauds and how they won't make the tournament. I couldn't agree more.
-Ricky Three Stacks comments that Kentucky has "raised the bar" in recruiting with a tone of regret for leaving a job that many dream of and few get. You could have been somebody Rick. You could have been a contender!
-Here is Ricky's press conference. Pretty Funny:

-Ricky P is also rumored to want to coach the Puerto Rican National Team. And that is our WTF Moment of the Day.

-John Calipari has been nominated for a Peace Award from the United Nations for Hoops for Haiti and his humanitarian trip to that country. He is the anti-Pitino.

Glad to end things on a good, positive UK note. Go Cats!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

UK's Nonconference Schedule is Toughest in the Land

To Further drive my point home that the Big East really ain't all that great, there was a release of who had the toughest nonconference schedule in the land and UK ranked #1 behind fellow SEC schools Tennessee and Florida. is a pay sight, so join if you like and check it out. But I wouldn't.

Is the Big East all that Great? No, it isn't.

The smack-talk that Louisville fans and other Big Easters love to throw around concerns how mega-tough their conference is compared to the SEC. Well, the SEC has gone head to head with the Big East multiple times already in this early season. And there is a clear winner. Let's recap, shall we?

UConn over UK

Tennessee over Villanova

WVU over Vandy

UK over Notre Dame

Arkansas over Seton Hall

Rutgers over Auburn

Tennessee over Pitt

That is a count of 4 games to 3 in favor of the SEC. And the Cats have another crack at the Big East when they face the Dirty Birds on December 31st. So 5-3 this year could be in the works.

And yes there are some chump teams in there. But our chump teams are beating theirs while the SEC has knocked off an undefeated and ranked Big East team 3 times.

Looks like the "weak" SEC is showing the Big Bad Big East up on the court where it counts. And just to make my point further, the SEC has more national championships, final four appearances and national championship appearances since 1990. And they also have the most of those since 2000. So shut it Big Easters. You ain't to basketball what the SEC is to football.

The Metrodome Collapses...Like Brett Favre's Season

There couldn't be a more perfect metaphor for this season for the Vikings. No more words. Just watch. And Laugh.

New Years Eve Shaping up to be a Classic

When was the last time that both Louisville and Kentucky were both ranked in the top 25 when they played each other? That would be the year 2005 when the Cats were ranked #23 and the Cards were ranked #4. UK was in the middle of a three year winning streak that Louisville snapped two years later and won the next two games. The Cats have the latest advantage, winning last year's testy game in Rupp Arena.

This year's teams are completely different than a year ago. It is well documented that Kentucky lost 5 players to the NBA while the Cards lost three key starters. But I have written on this blog in the past that I thought Louisville had a chance to be better with the loss of malcontent and me first guy Edgar Sosa and the loss of overrated, underachieving Jerry Smith. I did not think Louisville would be better without big man Samardo Samuels.

Louisville is a better TEAM then they were a year ago. The players seem to trust each other and like playing together. They are not what you would call a young squad but one would be hesitant to call them veteran. They are a mixture of both, having young guys like Peyton Siva and Mike Marra playing well and older guys like Preston Knowles and Terrence Jennings stepping up. And you can't count out Kyle Kuric. The kid has come up big in some of Louisville's most important games.

The main knock I had against Louisville is that, in my opinion, they had not played anybody yet. Last night the Cards proved that they can play with the big boys. They beat a ranked, undefeated UNLV team. I hate to say it, but they can play.

UK has a vastly talented team with 4 guys in Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and DeAndre Liggins that can do everything you want a player to do on the court. But their main issue is depth. Once you get past those four plus Darius Miller and Josh Harrelson, the bench is lacking depth. Eloy Vargas has proven to be a non factor at Kentucky while Jon Hood has struggled to find his place offensively and defensively. Stacey Poole has contributed some but I wouldn't want him in the waning moments of a game against our top rival.

The Cats continue to improve and tough out hard fought games, wearing teams down and going on big scoring barrages. The maturation of Josh Harrelson has been something to watch. The lone senior gets better with every game and has become a beast on the boards. He is a hard worker but is prone to foul trouble at times.

The question mark continues to be Enes Kanter. Kentucky is still waiting on a ruling as far as their appeal is concerned and there have been no indications of a time table thus far. If Enes is ready to go by December 31st, then this game changes totally. If not, the Cats will need to figure a way to slow down Louisville, something that the Cats have been able to with some stiff competition.

And right now that is the only thing that separates these two teams. I feel that UK has played a harder schedule and has been in more battles than Louisville. Louisville did prove something yesterday, but Kentucky has been doing it all season. Kentucky has beaten tough teams (Washington, Notre Dame, Indiana) and lost to some tough teams (UConn, North Carolina). They have a well rounded resume.

One thing is for sure, the YUM! Center will be electric and this may be one of the hardest fought contests in recent memory. Both teams don't play a big time opponent until that day. Both will be ranked and both will have swagger. I can't wait until they go head to head and we can put the speculation to rest.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Patrick Patterson Called up from D-League

Patrick Patterson is slated to be called up from the NBA-Developmental League on Sunday. Patterson, the 14th overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft has averaged 17 points and 9.6 rebounds a game with the Rio Grande Vipers.

His productivity has increased with every game, culminating with his performance Wednesday, where he scored 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots.

We here at SportsThat would like to wish Patrick the best with his first shot at the big leagues.

Hartline Avoids the Sack

Mike Hartline might be suspended for the BBVA Compass Bowl, but never fear he still spent some time today running from oncoming opponents. However, instead of SEC defenders, the UK senior starting QB was avoiding the WLEX 18 media:

Seems like the Lexington media is getting good at this as we all remember the following episode:

Up Next: Kentucky plays The Who(osiers)

The #16 Kentucky Wildcats (6-2) face their northern neighbor Indiana (7-1) tomorrow in their annual battle with the Hoosiers. This is the first game for Indiana against a nationally ranked opponent in 2010-2011.

Key's to a UK W: The play of Kentucky Freshmen Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight. Jones is leading Kentucky in points and rebounds averaging 20 pts and 10 rebounds a game. Knight is second with 17.4 points a game.

Key to a IU W: Sophomore Christian Watford and Maurice Creek. Watford is 5th in the Big 10 averaging 17.6 points a game and Creek scored 31 against the Cats last season. Creek has scored in double digits in three straight games and Watford has at least 10 points in the last 8. If these guys are on and UK's freshmen aren't, look for this to be closer than the spread of 13.
Wildcards: The play of Vargellson (Josh Harrellson and Eloy Vargas) has been a key to success. Indiana lacks size and if the 275lb senior Harrellson can avoid foul trouble and provide the size and strength in the paint (and his 8 rebound average) Kentucky rolls easily over the still rebuilding IU.

Time: 5:15 p.m. ET

Location: Lexington, Ky (Rupp Arena - 23,000)

Series Record: UK leads 30-23

Last Meeting: UK 90, IU 73 (Bloomington, Ind., 12/12/09)

Television: ESPN (Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale)


Weekend Outlook: Cats and Cards Hoops Style

When you see #3 be afraid. Be very afraid.

Yes the Mike Hartline thing is a bummer. As a UK fan I like to joke and ridicule the fact that Louisville athletes are arrested continuously for fighting over hairbrushes, being tazed, trying to eat weed, and so on. The jokes are now a little less funny with Hartline deciding to go Tony Woods all over some girl (allegedly) and getting arrested for being drunk in public. If Hartline gets suspended, which he will, I and the rest of the fan base support it 100%. There is no room for this behavior at UK.

With that being said, on to the games!

UNLV Runnin' Rebels at Louisville Cardinals: The Runnin' Rebs are coming into the Yum! (ugh, I hate typing that) boasting an 9-0 record. They will be going against the 7-0 Cards who have played one team from last year's tournament and that was Butler. Other than the extremely overrated Bull Dogs the Cards have not played one team in the top 100 of the RPI. Their schedule has been, in a word, soft.

UNLV's schedule has been somewhat tougher. They beat a traditionally tough and tournament regular Wisconsin, an up and coming Virginia Tech team, Murray State and Nevada; teams we are used to seeing in the tournament. UNLV can score, play fast and they play defense very well. Former Wildcat Derrick Jasper gave the Cards fits last year. He is not a great scoring point guard but plays tough defense. He is big, strong and athletic.

The hyped crowd will give the Ville a boost to start but I think this test will be one that the Cards will fail. There are still a ton of questions surrounding this team, something Pitino admits: Is Mike Marra for real?; is Siva that bad?; is Justice that good?; can Jennings keep this up?; is there a shot that Preston Knowles will not take?

This will be the first team that Louisville has seen with athleticism to match their own. Louisville is a 5 point favorite at the moment but I believe it will be a 5 point loss.

UNLV 75-Louisville 70

Indiana Hoosiers at Kentucky Wildcats: What used to be a heated, evenly matched rivalry has turned into a UK smack down of the Hoosiers. Gone are the days when Bobby Knight was going toe to toe with Joe B. Hall and Rick Pitino. Even when the Cats were wallowing in mediocrity they could still beat Indiana.

Now Tome Crean is at IU. The only problem is that John Calipari is at Kentucky. Kentucky is a battle tested team and, at 6-2, a team looking to be 10-2 before that big game on New Years Day.

IU was 6-0 until they ran into that Buzz Saw called Boston College. I hope you sense the sarcasm. But hey, IU beat Evansville, which in turn beat Butler, so they must be pretty good. In reality the Hoosiers are not a bad team at all. They have young but experienced players with Maurice Creek and Christian Watford. They also have senior leadership in Jeremiah Rivers. There is nobody on their roster over 6-9, so there is no size advantage for them, something that UK has had to deal with all season.

The Cats are coming off of a big win against a ranked, undefeated Big East team. John Calipari has publicly called out Junior Darius Miller, saying that he expects more from him than what he is giving. There have been times this season when Miller has flat out disappeared. His best game came in a loss against North Carolina.

In the end talent will be too much. Too much Terrence Jones, too much Brandon Knight and too much Darius Miller. Yes, Miller will have a big day. He will answer the challenge that Calipari has given him. The Cats are a 14 point favorite and I think that is a good number, but it will be a little more.

Indiana 56- Kentucky 75

Mike Hartline Arrested

Last week, the Kentucky Wildcats announced that they had accepted an invitation to the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama against Pittsburgh. Marking a disappointing end to a mediocre season.

Last night, Quarterback Mike Hartline was arrested in Lexington for an incident involving a cheerleader, taxi cab, and a possible assault. He pled not guilty when arraigned this morning and will likely see a suspension for the post-season game. The arrest marking a disappointing end to a career best season.

Morgan Newton will be expected to start if Hartline is indeed suspended.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gentle Ben Gets Handled

Hello Sportsthat Nation. It's been a while and I missed you. While on my hiatus I was busy with a lot of things and sports was always in focus for me. Some things that I would have blogged about but didn't were the following: My disappointment in the Cats going to the Compass Bowl; The losses to UConn and UNC were growing pains for a young squad; Louisville basketball's cupcake schedule to start the year; John Wall is amazing as a pro; Terrence Jones may be one of the best players in the country; and the list could go on.

But something dragged me out of hibernation last night. Something that was so unnerving and rage inducing that I HAD to blog about it today. And that was Ben Hansbrough, aka Tyler's Lil' Brother, aka Psycho B, aka Gentle Ben.

As Ben was lighting up UK from the three point line he decided that he needed to rub it in at every turn. He was shooting fake pistols, posing with his arm still arched in the air, dancing and making faces at the packed house at Freedom Hall (that blue on the court was lovely), telling the Kentucky fans to be quiet.

I was seriously enraged. I had not seen a college kid showboat like this since Terrence Williams was River Dancing for Ricky P against Arizona. The announcers were talking about how unstoppable he was and how he was going to top his high score of 24 for his career because he had 19 in the first half alone. No blame to them, he looked like he was going to go for 40.

And then a different Wildcat team came out in the second half and shut him down. He went 0- for eternity from the three point line and the field. He was making bad passes to wide open teammates and choking at every turn. A lot of that had to do with the combo guarding of Jones and DeAndre Liggins. It was a beautiful thing to say. Needless to mention, the crowd was relentless as they should have been. He was booed and jeered at whenever he touched the ball.

What really sucks is that I am an Irish fan. Of course I was cheering for the Cats to win and I did not hope for one second that Notre Dame would win. But I certainly wouldn't cheer against them. Until I got a load of that Douche-Bag.

This is difficult for me to say, but I seriously hope Louisville shuts him down when they play later in the year. I can't cheer for Notre Dame as long as that turd is on the team.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kentucky set to play in 2011 Champions Classic

In order to compete with the November Football schedule, College Basketball will try to place 4 of the top teams in the sport against each other in early season play. Today, ESPN announced that Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, and Michigan State will play each other over the next 3 years as part of the newly created Champion Classic.

In 2011, the first Champions Classic will take place in Madison Square Garden in New York. Duke will play Michigan State while Kentucky faces Kansas. Games are set for Nov. 15.

In 2012 the games will be hosted in Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Matchups for the second year will be Michigan State vs. Kansas and Duke vs. Kentucky. These games will be Nov. 13.

In 2013, the third and final year of the Champions Classic, games will be played on Nov. 12, 2013 in Chicago's United Center. The matchups will be Michigan State vs. Kentucky and Kansas playing Duke.
"I'm ecstatic about it because for our program it's probably bigger than all the others," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who won the national championship in 2000 and has been to six Final Fours with the Spartans. "We're maybe the team that has come on in the last 10 years while the others have been there for 50. It's an honor and a privilege. It really will bring a lot of attention for basketball."
This has all along been part of the John Calipari scheme. Tough early season matchups leading to maturation and late season success.

Monday, December 6, 2010

DWill - Wants back in the NBA

Terrence Williams was sent down to the NBA-D League nearly two weeks ago. In his time with the Springfield Armor, Williams has set the Nets on fire and I mean the Jersey Nets and the cotton webbing that hangs from the rim.

D-Will is currently averaging a triple double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assist per game. More importantly, Williams is forcing the hand of Avery Johnson and Russian Billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhoro to either trade the former Cardinal away, Williams preferred method of departure, or bring him back to the majors.

Dec 6th 2010 AP Poll

After a disappointing loss to North Carolina, Kentucky falls to #17 in the AP Poll and #16 in the USA Today poll. Louisville manages to crack the top 25 in the AP poll falling into #24 after a Duncan Hines schedule including 18 straight games in the state of Kentucky.

With Louisville's ranking, the Big East picks up their 7th ranked, including four of the top 9. The SEC has 2.

AP Top
























































Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kentucky vs Pittsburgh BBVA Compass Bowl - Jan 8

Kentucky (6-6) will officially be playing in the BBVA Compass Bowl (formerly Papa Johns Bowl) in Birmingham, Alabama vs the Pittsburgh Panthers on January 8th. This is the 5th straight bowl appearance for the Cats sees them matched up for the first time in the streak against a Big East opponent. The Pittsburgh Panthers finished 3rd in the Big East (7-5, 5-2).

Get your tickets now via the BBVA website.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gameday Preview: UK @ UNC

The #11 Kentucky Wildcats are set to tip off against North Carolina in Chapel Hill today at 12:30. A big time match-up against two of the all time winningest programs in NCAA basketball history. While the Cats find themselves a 2.5 point favorite, North Carolina leads the all-time series 21-11.

Kentucky won last year in a thriller in Lexington 68-66, against the then #10 ranked Tar Heels and have split the games since the series renewed in 2000 (5-5).

This year, while UNC started off ranked in the top 10, they have dropped 3 of 7 and currently stand at 4-3 (3-0 at home) including losses to Vanderbilt, Minnessota, and Illinois. The primary weakness displayed during those losses, the point guard position along with their big men. But despite the record of North Carolina, the Cats still face a tough test for the new crop of Cats.

Kentucky should be expected to pressure the point, leading to points off turnovers and if they can limit mistakes from their own freshmen guards, a win should be in store.

Prediction: Kentucky 78- North Carolina 72 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Decision 2010 pt 2: Enes Kanter

Well Kentucky fans, you can pull out those Free Enes shirts and sport them tomorrow for your North Carolina vs Kentucky activities. The Wildcats have decided to withdraw their appeal and resubmit "new information" to the NCAA for another decision, as the Appeals Committee is not able to hear new information.

ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that this "new information" is in light of the recent Cam Newton eligibility case. Newton, whose father shopped him around to various schools, was declared eligible to play because neither he nor Auburn knew about his father's actions and subsequent violations. As Newton didn't know he was violating any rules, the NCAA said that they will allow him to play.

Katz believes the Cats are using this to Kanter's defense. The Kanter family did not know they were violating rules, and made every attempt to follow the rules.

The decision shouldn't be a repeat of the weeks-on-end original decision process and could possibly be redecided within a week. Kentucky would still be able to take the decision to the Appeals Committee if they chose to do so.

Kanter is free to practice with the team while this is currently going on.