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)
-by Shawn Teer
Phil Jackson may be bringing his legendary coaching style back to the NBA. According to Foxsports.com, may be headed to as they have said that the Cavaliers franchise is getting rid of Byron Scott, and could be looking to get the 10 time NBA head coach. The last time that was in the league, he was on the Lakers with the 2010 back to back championship team. I know a lot of people say that he is just merely riding superstar player’s coat tails, but I tend to have to disagree. I may be a bit biased here, but I have to say that a lot of people tend to point at as a coach who only won because of Michael Jordan.
There is just one problem with this whole idea. Michael Jordan was not as great as he was under Phil Jackson. I am not implying that he was not as great, but I wonder what it would have been like if Phil Jackson had never decided to coach for the Bulls. I think it is safe to say that MJ would have been a great player, but if not for Phil Jackson coming in and molding him to what he became, I think that there is a great possibility that Michael Jordan could have gotten lost in the shuffle I think that at the very least, we should at least look at the resume that Phil Jackson has. Yes, there are some NBA superstars on his roster, but I think we have to remember that this is a team effort here.
It is not just one or two players that make a team great, but the coach has to help give them direction and be the guy that these superstars look to for guidance and direction.
It is a fairly strong consensus that Kentucky will have the most NBA Draft picks in 2014. Bringing in boatloads of Top 10 players, nearly all of which are likely one and done, will do that to you. And this has many UK fans already etching the 2014 NCAA Title for themselves. But, has history shown us that the most NBA draft picks equates to NCAA Tournament success? Take a look at the previous 8 years and which teams had the most draft picks and how those teams did in the tournament:
2005: North Carolina
Draft Picks (4): Marvin Williams, Raymond Felton, Sean May, Rashaad McCants
NCAA Tournament Finish: Champions
Draft Picks (5): Rudy Gay, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams, Josh Boone, Denham Brown
NCAA Tournament Finish: Elite 8
Draft Picks (5): Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Chris Richard, Taureen Green
NCAA Tournament Finish: Champions
Draft Picks (5): Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kahn
NCAA Tournament Finish: Champions
2009: North Carolina
Draft Picks (4): Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green
NCAA Tournament Finish: Champions
Draft Picks (5): John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton
NCAA Tournament Finish: Elite 8
Draft Picks (4): Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Josh Harrellson, Deandre Liggins
NCAA Tournament Finish: Final Four
Draft Picks (6): Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller
NCAA Tournament Finish: Champions
That's right, 5 of the last 8 NCAA champions had the most NBA draft picks on their rosters. Admittedly, 2 of the 3 that didn't were UK teams from 2010 and 2011, but nonetheless, the odds are in UK's favor to bring home title #9 to Lexington in 2014. And at worst, an Elite 8 is a must.
-by Shawn Teer
Florida Gulf Coast University, LaSalle University, and Wichita State University. These teams are the ones that have gone to the NCAA tournament and were supposed to be out of the tournament already, but the problem is that they bucked the system. No one in a million years would have picked FGCU to beat Georgetown, but they did anyways. So I have to ask one question. Does this mean that the selection system is flawed in some way? Think about it.
The way these things are determined is so incredibly complicated it is ridiculous. Sure, it makes for an exciting tournament, but is it fair to these teams who are lesser known the world over unlike a University of Kentucky or Indiana University? Is there a bit of bias on this as well in that the lesser known schools get kind of written off as a first round beat down and nothing else? I think this needs to be looked at it and something needs to be done to fix this problem. This is one of those situations where it is not straight to the point, and I get that, but shouldn’t there be an easier way to give everyone a chance to get better seeds and improve their rankings in the tournament?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that I feel that there should be something to help these lesser known teams. I am not saying the Cinderella story does not need to be told, in fact I think it is great and inspiring but I feel that they need some help and I don’t think that they have been given a fair ranking in the tournament. I wonder what would happen if they gave a fair shake to the so called “underdogs” in the tournament. I wonder what would have happened if the selection committee decided solely on whether or not they liked the team and did away with the selection process all together.
Would Kentucky have made it this year? Would FGCU even be considered? I think that this needs to be really thought out all the way around and we should go to social media to get these answers. The U.S.A. is a democracy, so why not put this power in the hands of the people? How about we let the actual media take a crack at it like they select professional players into the hall of fame? Let’s get journalists from radio, television, and newspapers to vote and tally up the votes and the highest vote is the number one seed and so on and so forth. I don’t know, maybe I am far off the mark, but I think this should be looked at. I’m just looking out for the little guy here…the David instead of always the Goliath.
It's no secret that I don't like Marshall Henderson. And my reasons are pretty simple. I think he's a punk. He is an average player who puts up so many shots that he's bound to score a bunch of points, and then whole time he attempts to piss opposing fans and players off. He doesn't care so much about playing great (which he doesn't), he just wants to have all eyes on him. He's an attention-seeking, immature, punk.
But Deadspin.com did a really well-done article yesterday that highlighted another feature of Marshall Henderson that leads to his love-hate relationship with fans: his race. The argument is made, and quite well, that the fact Henderson is white gives him a pass on some of his on-the-court and off-the-court troubles. Henderson has spent time in prison, had multiple arrests, punched a player during a game, had run-ins with coaches, and all of the much publicized things at Ole Miss.
To read the entire article, click here. But here are a couple highlights:
He's an incessant shit-talker who tosses up 30-footers, rarely passes, and has a conspicuous lack of "hustle" stats. He tokes an invisible joint after made three-pointers. He drinks a lot, even during the NCAA tournament. He tweets photos of himself blacked out or with groupies, and calls them hoes. He has a rap sheet. He's a coach's kid with a known history of clashing with coaches. Marshall Henderson by all rights shouldn't exist. And if he were a black athlete, he wouldn't—not as far as big-time basketball is concerned.
How about this:
Let's imagine the counterfactuals: If Henderson were black, the arrest alone likely would have ended his NCAA career. An attempt to pick up 50-plus grams of marijuana using fake currency isn't exactly a mere youthful transgression. Would a black 18-year-old have gotten off with just probation? Would he have gotten another chance to play Division I ball?
And this closer:
Even if he never rolls another blunt and turns into one of the premier defensive backs in football, Honey Badger won't outrun that story. Henderson, however, is past the counterfeit money, the marijuana, the punch, the cocaine, the month in jail. He flipped us the bird on Sunday, but he's already past that, too. He's retained the kind of freedom everyone wants but only some people in public life can ever enjoy: the freedom to move on.
Photo Credit - www.washingtonpost.com
Article By - Daniel Farish
Where are you Big East teams? WE CAN'T SEE YOU! Following the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Big East conference has 3 teams remaining. They started with 8. The Atlantic 10 has 5 teams remaining. They started with 6. Something has gone turribly, turribly wrong in the conference formerly known as the best in the land.
Once nicknamed, "The Beasts In The East", this power conference will be gone in just a few short weeks. What once was the best conference tournament in the land will now be a second rate tournament in a world class facility with a mid-major feel. The final BE Tournament went out with a bang. Two of the most successful teams in the conference over the last 8 years were in the final, and we were treated to one of the biggest comeback/runaway wins in Big East history. And then came the NCAA Tournament.
To understand the present and predict the future, we must first look at the past. Beginning with the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the Big East has put 34 teams in. One of those (UConn in 2011) won it all. That means 33 teams have lost. 25 have lost in the first weekend, or 73.5%. Of those 25, 16 were in the first round. Think that sounds bad? It gets worse. 10 of the 16 first round losses were to teams seeded lower. Only 3 of those losses were 7-10 / 8-9 games. Four of them were 6-11 games, one was 4-13 (cough cough Louisville), one was 3-14 and the final was 2-15.
And now, we can look at 2013 as a whole. #10 Cincinnati lost to #7 Creighton who isn't necessarily a one trick pony, but if you can contain Doug McDermott then you have a chance. The best college basketball player in the country (not to be confused with the best player in college basketball) lit up the Bearcats for 27 points and 11 rebounds. The Blue Jays attempted 22 less shots, shot a higher percentage from 3pt and committed 10 fewer fouls. Someone forgot to tell Mick Cronin and his players they weren't in conference play anymore. And still, with 3:33 left it was tied at 54. Over the final 5 minutes, Cincinnati was 1 of 5 from the charity stripe, Creighton was 11 of 12. Game.
#9 Villanova lost to #8 UNC, but fate was against them. Roy Williams was going for his 700th win, a win that would put him in the 2nd round against his former team, the Kansas Jayhawks. It also didn't help that the Heels jumped out to a 32-12 lead. Villanova eventually climbed back and took the lead, 45-44 with 12:46 to go but were unable to sustain it. Back to back Reggie Bullock / PJ Hairston baskets put UNC up 5 and 'Nova never got within four after that. Three huge wins at home got them in the tournament and a lackluster neutral court performance got them bounced.
When I saw that the Shockers of Wichita State were graced with a #9 seed, I couldn't pick them fast enough. Follow that up with seeing they played #8 Pittsburgh, I about fell out of my chair. Guaranteed upset...if you call a #9 beating an #8 an "upset." Jamie Dixon hasn't been able to get these players to perform when expectations were high (2010: Lost 2nd round as a #3 to #6 Xavier; 2011: Lost as a #1 seed to #8 Butler), so how in the world would they perform as a lowly mid-seeded team? The Shocker's didn't shock the world. They did however hold Pitt's leading scorer, senior Trey Woodall, to 2 points.
I am one of those few fans who can take his conference blinders off when examining a bracket. This being said, I saw no reason why #7 Notre Dame should have a problem with the #10 Iowa State Cyclones. The Irish allowed only 32.1% of opponents 3pt's to go in this season, while Iowa State led the nation with 9.8 trey's per game. So the Cyclones did what you would expect...they had two big men combine for 36 points in an 18 point whupping. Hitting close to 70% in the second half, Iowa State ran away and hid from Notre Dame. Oh, and they also hit their average nine three-pointers. Buh-bye Notre Dame, we'll see you in the ACC.
The Norfolk State Spartans made their first trip to the NCAA's memorable in 2012, leaving with a 1-1 record and a win over #2 Missouri. I can almost picture Floriga Gulf Coast University coach Andy Enfield watching that game and thinking, "Why not us?" Or maybe he was sitting down to dinner with his wife. Google her, and thank me later. In only their 2nd year of Division I eligibility, the FGCU Eagles knocked off Miami in Coral Gables back in November. Then they finished 2nd in the Atlantic Sun regular season and knocked off Mercer in the tournament final. And on Friday night, they proved that eagles from Florida sure can fly. They threw down 5 dunks, each one more monstrous than the previous, en route to a 78-68 upset of #2 Georgetown. THIS was the game that a #15 could realistically upset a #2. Curious as to why? If you shut down Otto Porter, you shut down Georgetown. In 2008, the Hoyas lost to a #10 seed. In 2010, they lost opening round to a #14 seed. In 2011, they lost to an #11 seed. And in 2012, they lost to another #11 seed.
“I wish I could,” Thompson said when asked if he could find a common thread in his program's tournament woes. “Trust me, more than anyone on this earth, I’ve tried to analyze it, think about it, look at it, see what we could do --- should do --- differently, and I don’t know.”
As the reigning Big East Coach Of The Year, he had better figure something out. The remaining 3 teams in the tournament have much different paths ahead of them. #3 Marquette is coming off of a loss/bye situation, as #14 Davidson simply gave the game away with a reckless turnover while trying to break the press. #4 Syracuse had a horrible second half of the season but managed to make the BE Tournament final. They dismantled Montana in the opening round 81-34 and are set to face #12 California on Saturday night. The BE does boast the overall #1 seed in Louisville. The Cardinals rolled over #16 North Carolina A&T Thursday night and are currently up on #8 Colorado State 45-31 at halftime. The are expected to win the tournament, as any overall #1 is expected to.
The Big East as we know it is over. I would have expected it to go out better than this. Ideally the Big East will go into the Sweet 16 with three teams. UL is cruising against Colorado State, the Orange and Golden Eagles are favorites against their opponents, California and Butler. But when he being a favorite stopped the Big East from losing? Never, says history. Maybe Louisville can reverse history.
-by Jason Chin
Key ingrediants for championship teams aren't just a collection of great talent and atheletisism. Chemistry, maturity, and mental toughness are vital for winning in any sport. When you have players with these qualities, your chances of hanging championship banners are greatly increased. When you don't, you get what Coach John Calipari had this season, disappointment, frustration, and a first round loss in the NIT to Robert Morris University.
After Wednesday's announcement by Julius Randle to join the Wildcats next season, Kentucky's chances of hanging another championship banner next season were greatly increased. Randle's commitment, the 6th by a 5-star prospect and 7th overall in a now historic class, was one that most recruiting experts said Calipari needed to help get the Cats back to the Final Four.
I watched the announcement on tv. After Randle made his choice public, he was asked about why he wanted to go to Kentucky. According to Randle, he "wants to practice and play with other great players, because it will make me a better player." I've heard this same sentiment before from a couple of guys named Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrance Jones, and Marquis Teague. Hard to argue with their results.
I think most would agree that this season's UK team didn't have enough high caliber players to push each other in practice. Only having 5-6 players competing for 5-6 spots is not enough when you need 8-9 to push each other. When Noel went down, it really shortened the roster. If you don't have other players pushing you, challenging you for your starting spot, you become relaxed and mentally soft. Those two things I just mentioned explains the poor performances at times on the road and at home.
If Kentucky is to return to the Final Four next season, they will need a couple of players to return from this year's team. Between the trio of Cauley-Stein, Poythress, and Goodwin, Coach Cal will need at least two of them. He will need them to come back hungry and with a chip on their shoulder, something a loss to RMU should provide. The practices should be pretty stout next season. The Harrison twins, James Young, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, and now Julius Randle give Coach Cal what he needed for this past season; competition for playing time.
Chemistry can be developed early with this team. The Harrison twins have been playing together since birth. Julius Randle is also from Texas, like the twins, so they know each other. Did I mention that all the recruits with exception of Derek Willis are playing together in the McDonald's All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic? That's a lot of time spent together before stepping on campus.
Mental toughness will be cultivated in practices. A kid like Randle can provide some since he had an injury that kept him from playing most of his senior year in high school. When he returned to the lineup, it was just in time for the state playoffs in which he led his team to a championship. That's maturity, toughness, competitiveness, patience, and skill all wrapped up into one guy.
James Young and Marcus Lee might be 2 of the more forgotten guys in this class. They are tremedously skilled atheletes, and will contribute immediatly along with 7-foot Dakari Johnson. And there is still the possibility, although slim, that yet another 5-star prospect joins this awesome collection of young talent.
The consensus number one player, Andrew Wiggins has yet to make his college choice. It is said that North Carolina and Florida State are Kentucky's competition for Mr. Wiggins services. Although I do not believe he will join this Sensational Six, if he did that would not only be 7 of the Top 20 players in the country on one team, but that would be Calipari showing off.
Get your kicks in now, because next season the Cats will be back with a vengence. And if they are able to avoid injuries, it could be another banner season.