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 Jody Demling
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)
Among the many storylines coming into this basketball season, one that seems to have come forward more than any others is this quest to go 40-0. No team has accomplished an undefeated season since 1976, meaning it is incredibly difficult to do. But, I can respect a coach and a team that shoot for the highest goals, including going unblemished in a season. Certainly it would make you an immortal team. Certainly amongst UK fans, it would make you basically gods. But I tend to take a different approach to the quest to go 40-0 in a season:
I DON’T WANT IT.
And the reason I don’t want it is because history shows us teams that have gotten close to going 40-0, or teams good enough to run the table, have found a different kind of pressure that you would not normally face during a season. Let’s be honest, once a team reaches 20-0, especially a team with as much talent as Kentucky and a conference schedule as weak as Kentucky’s, all the media/friends and family/bloggers want to mention is that the team could go undefeated. It’s literally the only thing people want to talk about. I don’t want that for the players and Calipari. This team is good enough to win the national title. Why put additional pressure on them come March if they enter that month undefeated?
Plus, add in the fact that the large majority of this team has never experienced March Madness. It’s a nerve-racking situation no matter what you record is. Do we really want these talented freshman to have the additional burden of going for an undefeated record? I certainly don’t. All I care about is 6 wins in March and April. Lose 10 games during the regular season for all I care about. I found the 2011 team to be a more satisfying season than the 2010 squad, simply because they made the Final Four. But they lost a bunch more games than Calipari’s first team.
There are 2 examples in college basketball and 2 examples at Kentucky where being undefeated worked against those teams and taking a loss turned out to be a positive. In 1991, UNLV was BY FAR the best team in college basketball, having barely been challenged all season. But, Jerry Tarkanian admits now that the fact his team was undefeated going into the NCAA Tournament was not good. They felt such pressure throughout that tournament that when Duke played them tight into the 2nd half, his team got nervous and ended up losing in the final seconds. Saint Joe’s in 2004 was much of the same. They ended up losing in their conference tournament, but the pressure led that team to not even make the Final Four.
Probably the 2 best UK teams in the last 50 years, 1996 and 2012, both experienced losses IN MARCH. And I would think both coaches would tell you that those losses turned out to be positives for those teams on their way to the national championship. Sometimes great teams need a loss or two to refocus and buckle down. Confidence, especially in 18-22 year olds, can sometimes run out of control. And losses are good to control those egos. So while I certainly would never cheer against the Cats in any game, I can see the positives to taking a loss early in the year and getting any pressure of going 40-0 out of the way.
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