For the 2nd year in a row, the entire sports staff at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is going to host a day long event on the day following Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. This year, that falls on March 12th. The event will once again be hosted by the Oxmoor Center on Shelbyville Road, and will encompass a total of 6 hosts and 13 hours of sports programming. Plus, we will host a BRACKET CHALLENGE with a chance to win a super-nice Gorilla Basketball Goal, courtesy of Steepleton's. Below is the entire rundown of events, so feel free to head out to Oxmoor any time in the day and you will get your sports fix headed into tournament time:
7-10AM: The EarlyBirds w/ Drew Deener
10-12PM: KentuckySportsRadio w/Matt Jones
12-1PM: Lachlan Mclean on WKRD
1-2PM: Drew Deener on WKRD
2-3PM: Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM: The Afternoon Underdogs w/Tony and Dave
530-6PM: Terry Meiners
7-9PM: Occupy Lachlan (the entire cast of hosts together on stage at the same time)
WHERE TO LISTEN ON THE AIR
Early Birds with Drew Deener
7-10AM (790AM WKRD)
The Tom Leach Show
9-10AM (1080AM WKJK)
KentuckySportsRadio with Matt Jones
10AM-12PM (1080AM WKJK)
Joe B. and Denny Show
10AM-12PM (790AM WKRD)
The Afternoon Underdogs with Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM (790AM WKRD)
Sportstalk84 with Lachlan McLean
7-9PM (840AM WHAS)
Photo Credit - www.cardinalsportszone.com
Article By - Daniel Farish
March 9th, 2013 was arguably the best day of college basketball in my life. Jessie and I left Louisville at 9:30am headed for Rupp Arena, the home of our hated rivals the Kentucky Wildcats. The Cats, reeling from a road loss to lowly Georgia, were looking for their one signature win on the season. Firmly sitting on if not outside the bubble, they needed it. Georgia was a “can’t lose” game. They lost. Florida was a “must win.”
Not having been to Rupp in 10 years, I had completely forgotten about the place. Apparently, there is now a mall attached. Maybe there was 10 years ago, I don’t know. We parked in a small church parking lot 2 blocks down from the arena. The parking attendant, obviously a church going volunteer, leans in and asks us if we are for Florida. I had on a San Antonio Spurs shirt and Jessie a blue shirt with a burnt orange jacket. I say, “No, we’re actually Louisville fans; this is our first Rupp game.” His eyes light up as he tells us he is also a Cards fan. I think he offered up 5 fist bumps in our 2 minute relationship. Before we head to Rupp, we toss all of our UL stuff in the trunk. Hat, fleece jacket, flag, Siva jersey. I am a proud fan, but not a stupid one.
As soon as we get into Rupp I feel I may have made a bad decision. There is a lot of blue. I know I should have expected it, but still. Our tickets are seats 1 and 2. Awesome! That means when Florida is up 15 with 3 or 4 minutes to go, we can just step into the aisle and leave so we can make it to the Yum! Center on time. Except in section 228 seats 1 and 2 are against the wall. So we were surrounded. It was obvious we were outsiders but no one really paid us much attention. Until they announced Kenny Boynton during Florida’s intro and Jessie cheered. Loudly. I have seen plenty of older women at UL games and all of them combined didn’t have the fire in their eyes that the lady in front of us had. She stared back at Jessie with the strongest look of hatred I have ever seen. Even Pitino and Cal might think, “OK that’s a bit much.” From this point on, it was only clapping for us.
UK jumped out to an 11-2 lead, and Fire Eyes Lady wasn’t clapping FOR the Cats. She was clapping AT us. She had backup with her Popped Collar Son there. Florida battled back and it became a normal college game. During the 2nd media timeout the sun turned around and asks us, “So, are you all from Florida?” Proudly I told him we were, “Louisville season ticket holders here for our first Rupp game.” Crap. What did I just do? Why did I say that? NO ESPEAKA INGLES! That would have been better. Sweat was rolling down my forehead at this point. I could feel the lynch mob closing in. He looks me in the eye, furrows his brow…and then smiles and asks what we think so far. Wow! Disaster averted. I respond with the truth. “This is amazing. The energy in here is unlike almost anything else I’ve been around.” Granted the situation was tense for UK and UL has yet to be in a situation like that in the Yum!.
Once the game reached halftime, I headed down to grab some snacks for us. Surprisingly prices were a bit cheaper than at the Yum! Center. Kudos to Rupp for that. Got back to our seats and settled in for what proved to be a fun second half. We talked to the son about a couple different subjects. His thoughts on Poythress, Matt Jones and possible Rupp renovations. Once Florida built up a 7 point lead with 7:35 left, I felt something funny happening. My desire for Florida to win was overpowered by the desire for a great basketball game. I proved to myself that I love college basketball more than I hate UK. Goodwin would make a mistake and rather than cheer silently, I found myself berating him, wishing he had made a better decision. This goes against everything I’ve ever known. But maybe not. Sports bring out the real US. It shows what make us tick. You can bet your bottom dollar that when those, “BLUE! WHITE!” chants started, my lips were pressed firmly together. After the final buzzer went off and UK claimed the victory, I quickly fist-bumped the son we had been talking to and congratulated him. He wished me good luck and off we went.
We left Lexington at 2:38pm and pulled into our parking garage on Main Street in Louisville at 3:42. That includes a bathroom stop at the Waddy/Peytona exit. I wasn’t going to miss tip-off. I had never felt as comfortable as when I walked in the front doors of the Yum! Center. It was…therapeutic. We were with our people.
As with any big game, you will see people there you wouldn’t normally see. The “we haven’t been to a game all year and this would be a good one to go to!” type people. Which is fine. I have no problem with that. We settle into our normal seats and the woman next to me has out an iPad, recording the pre-game Senior Day festivities. Understandable. As the game begins though, she keeps it out. Then she opens up the CBS Sports app and pulls out some headphones. You see where this is going. She is sitting AT THE GAME, watching it on her iPad (no doubt 10 seconds or more in delay) and listening to the network broadcast. I’ve seen guys bring a walkman and listen to Paul Rogers on the radio. That is fine. But this? Come on man (cue Chris Berman).
We all know how this game went. The electricity was amazing, it was the largest Yum! Center crowd ever and the Cards walked away winner on Senior Day with a share of the Big East Regular Season title. Even Tim Henderson got into the mix, clanking a ball off the side of the backboard, and then busting his ass when getting up off the bench. He looked like the kid who was so excited to get in the game; he jumped out of his chair without noticing the towel on the floor. Foot hit towel, legs went out from underneath him and he just about face planted onto Denny Crum Court. I don’t think the TV broadcast showed it, but if you saw it in person it was HILARIOUS. Last year, that would’ve been a torn ACL. This year it was just a funny side note.
Jessie and I left and went to Applebee’s for an enjoyable dinner. We watched as Baylor creamed Kansas. I could practically hear the Jayhawks falling from the Top 5. Throw them in the mix of teams that are trending downward at the wrong time (Kansas, Syracuse, Florida, Oregon and Miami). I get home to begin the article and get caught up in a Horizon League game. It’s not even a mid-major. It falls short of the A-10/Missouri Valley/Ohio Valley type mid-majors. But Valparaiso and Green Bay put on a show that had me enthralled. I was hooked. I did chuckle when I looked at Cougill, who is a player for GB, and imagined him getting posted up by Chane. He is a pure corn fed country boy, the exact definition of a small college white boy basketball player. Then the Andrew Bogut lookalike for Valpo hit a leaning 3 at the buzzer to send the Crusaders into the NCAA Tournament.
OK, time to get back to work. This article isn’t going to write itself. Wait, what did that announcer say? The other Horizon League game had a buzzer beater earlier in the day? And they are showing it next? It’s already 12:30am…screw it. I then watched Wright State hit a fade away, around the side of the backboard shot at the end of regulation to win it. There were plenty of other buzzer-beaters during the day which were recapped on SportsCenter: Marquette over St. John’s, Wisconsin over Penn State and Alabama over Georgia. This took me well into the 2am hour. Which turned into the 3am hour, thanks to Daylight Savings Time.
I have now saved some time for a mailbag:
Oh wait, there is no mailbag. OK, I’m not Bill Simmons. Yet.