Saturday, February 28, 2009

Transylvania Pioneers Win Heartland Championship - Earn NCAA Birth

Transylvania 76
Franklin 72

The Transy Pioneers are heading to the NCAA Division III tournament after winning their conference tournament championship game. The Pioneers allowed Franklin to accumulate a 14-point lead, but managed to fight their way back to pick up the win. Aaron Cash led the Pioneers (21-5) with 20 points. Matthew Parton scored 13 points for Transy.

Franlin (17-10) was led by Dustin Marshall with 18 points and John Youchum with 15.

NCAA tourney pairings will be announced on Monday on the http://www.ncaasports.com/ website.

Recap from Transylvania Website

Centre Colonels Advance to SCAC Championship Game

Centre College 78
Hendrix College 77

Centre's Chris Gowers nailed two free throws with six seconds remaining in the game to give Centre a one-point win in tonight's SCAC semifinal game. Hendrix, the tournament's host school, had converted two free throws at the fourteen second mark to take a one-point lead, themselves. The Colonels (21-4) will play against Southwestern (TX.) tomorrow at 4:30 PM.

Centre was led by Ryan Crowdis with 18 points on 4-8 shooting. Danny Noll contributed 15 points for the Colonels. Hendrix placed four figures in double figures in the losing effort and were led by Andrew King with 20 points.

Box score

Kentucky Wildcats Suffer Heartbreaking Loss to LSU

LSU 73
Kentucky 70

Kentucky seemed destined to suffer another disappointing loss in Lexington as the halftime horn sounded and they found themselves trailing the Tigers by 8 points. Then, head coach Billy Gillispie did something that many fans have been begging for - he adjusted the lineup and started the 2nd half with Kevin Galloway and Darius Miller on the court. The Wildcats (19-10, 8-6 SEC) responded well to the change and explode for a 28-10 run to open the half. Kentucky pushed their lead up to ten and looked as if they were heading for a dramatic, season-saving victory. LSU (25-4, 13-1 SEC) roared back, however, and took a four-point lead with less than a minute remaining in the game. Kevin Galloway was fouled and made the first free throw. He missed the second free throw, which was rebounded by Kentucky and kicked around to Darius Miller. Miller blasted a game-tying three-pointer, but LSU had the ball and a little over twenty seconds remaining. Coach Gillispie put A.J. Stewart into the game for defensive purposes, but Stewart got lost on a screen which led to a game-winning three-pointer for LSU's Tasmin Mitchell. Kentucky had a chance to tie, but Jodie Meeks' three-pointer came up well short.

LSU was led by Marcus Thornton with 23 points and 9 rebounds from his guard position. Mitchell scored 21 points including the game winner and also pulled down 8 rebounds and has 5 steals. Bo Spencer scored 16 points, including four long range three-pointers. The statistical difference in the game was LSU's 9 three-point baskets compared to only 3 for the Cats.

Patrick Patterson continued his great stretch of games by scoring 28 points and pulling down 9 rebounds. Jodie Meeks struggled with his outside shooting, but still managed 24 points. Meeks was just 1-9 from the three-point line.

This was the first win for LSU in Rupp Arena in over 20 years. With the victory, the Tigers have won the regular season SEC title. The loss damages Kentucky's NCAA Tournament hopes and likely puts them in the position of having to defeat Georgia at home and Florida on the road if they are to receive an at-large bid.

Article from ESPN.com

Boxscore

My Thoughts: This was a very disheartening loss. The Cats seemed destined for victory after going on a rampage to open up the second half. Somehow, they managed to allow LSU back in the game when Gillispie went to the bench. The second half was very encouraging as the Cats played very inspired basketball, but it was a damaging loss nonetheless. I have to question why it has taken until this point for Gillispie to play the lineup that had so much success today. It would seem that he could have found that group earlier in the season. I was also less-than-enthused at Gillispie's postgame comments about the team not executing the plan they had drawn up to defend LSU's last shot. He was dangerously close to putting the blame on a specific player or two, which is always a no-no, in my opinion.

A Special "Thanks" to Time Warner Cable


Here's a public service announcement NOT related to basketball:


I know its hard to sense sarcasm from typed words sometimes, but that was a very sarcastic "Thanks" in the title. I apologize for being a little behind this afternoon, but the blame goes squarely on the shoulders of the always "great" Time Warner Cable company. My cable Internet has been hit or miss for the past week. Late last night, it went totally down and was still off until about 2:00 PM today. I called Time Warner technical support this morning and was rudely told that they could do nothing because my equipment had malfunctioned and they would have to send a tech out on Tuesday (at the earliest). I asked the representative on the phone if there was an outage in our area and he emphatically stated , "No, absolutely not." I wasn't convinced so I called the local Time Warner office. They simply told me that there was an outage in the area and it would be back online soon. At about 2:00, voila...


That certainly sounds like an "excellent" company that has everyone on the same page.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Update on A.J. Stewart Situation

Stewart apparently quit the Kentucky Wildcats team and then rejoined it today. Here is the link from WLEXTV.com.

Centre Colonels Enter SCAC Tournament as a Top Seed


The quarterfinals of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference began this afternoon. The Centre College Colonels (20-4, 12-2 SCAC) open against Austin tonight at 7:00 PM. Austin (13-12, 6-9 SCAC) is the four-seed from the SCAC West division. Centre is the top seed from the East division. The winner will play the winner of the Oglethorpe/Hendrix game tomorrow night at 8:00 PM. The championship game will be Sunday at 3:30 PM.

SCAC Tournament Schedule:

Quarterfinals:

(1W) Trinity 53 (4E) Sewanee 52 (OT)
(2E) DePauw 62 (3W) Southwestern 69
(1E) Centre vs. (4W) Austin 7:00
(2W) Hendrix vs. (3E) Oglethorpe 9:00

Seminfinals:

(1W) Trinity vs. (3W) Southwestern 6:00
Centre/Austin vs. Hendrix/Oglethorpe 8:00

Championship:

Sunday 3:30

Transylvania Pioneers Seeking Heartland Conference Championship

Transylvania is hosting the semifinals of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament tonight. The Pioneers will face Anderson (15-11, 7-9 HCAC) tonight at 8:00 PM. Transy is the number one seed in the conference tourney after finishing 19-5 overall and 13-13 in the HCAC.

HCAC Tournament Schedule:

Semifinal #1: (3) Defiance vs. (2) Franklin 6:00
Semifinal #2: (5) Anderson at (1) Transylvania 8:00

Championship: Saturday 7:00

Transylvania Basketball

HCAC Basketball

Union College Bulldogs in AAC Tournament Semifinals

The fourth-seeded Union College Bulldogs won their quarterfinal game against Bryan College yesterday and have advanced to the semifinal round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament. They will face number one-seeded Bluefield College this evening at 6:00 PM.

Semifinal 1: (4) Union (15-14) vs. (1) Bluefield (26-5) 6:00 PM

Semifinal 2: (6) Milligan (17-13) vs. (2) King (22-7) 8:00 PM


Championship Game: Saturday, 6:00 PM

Complete Bracket

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Team Spotlight: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers


Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers

Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Enrollment: 19,000
Arena: E.A. Diddle Arena
Team Name: Hilltoppers

Affiliation: NCAA Division I - Sun Belt Conference
Head Coach: Ken McDonald
2008-09 Record: 20-8 (14-3 Sun Belt)

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public university in Bowling Green. The school was founded in 1906 by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, though its roots reach back a quarter-century earlier. The origin of WKU goes back to 1875 and the founding of the privately owned Glasgow Normal School. This institution moved to Bowling Green in 1884 and became the Southern Normal School and Business College. Next, the student body and building were transferred to the Western Kentucky State Normal School, when it was created by an act of the Kentucky General Assembly in 1906. Finally, Western Kentucky University moved to its current location in 1911.

Interesting Note: WKU sits on top of College Heights, which is the highest point in south-central Kentucky

The Hilltoppers basketball team has been a member of the Sun Belt Conference since 1982. Before that, the team participated in the Ohio Valley Conference. The team made an appearance in the NCAA Final Four in 1971. The Hilltoppers have played NCAA spoiler several times. Last season, led by NBA rookie Courtney Lee, they made a dramatic run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Currently, Western Kentucky has a one-game lead in the Sun Belt East standings over Troy. They are tied with Arkansas-Little Rock for the overall conference lead at 14-3. They have won eleven of their last thirteen games.

2008-09 Team Leaders

Points: A.J. Slaughter 15.6 PPG
Rebounds: Sergio Kerusch 7.0 RPG
Assists: A.J. Slaughter 4.0 APG
Steals: A.J. Slaughter 1.3 SPG
Blocks: Jeremy Evans 2.0 BPG

Remaining Schedule:

2/28 at Middle Tennessee State 8:00 PM

2008-09 Roster
Complete Individual Stats

Sources:

Jodie Meeks a Finalist for Oscar Robertson Trophy

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has announced finalists for the 2009 Oscar Robertson Trophy, to be presented to the association's national player of the year. This year's candidates are:

DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh
Sherron Collins, Kansas
Dante Cunningham, Villanova
Stephen Curry, Davidson
Tyreke Evans, Memphis
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
James Harden, Arizona State
Ty Lawson, North Carolina
Jerel McNeal, Marquette
Jodie Meeks, Kentucky
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
Evan Turner, Ohio State

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded to the USBWA's Player of the Year. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

Breaking News: Is A.J. Stewart Still a Wildcat?

Matt Jones at KentuckySportsRadio.com is reporting that A.J. Stewart is no longer a member of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.

Link from KSR

UPDATE: Brett Dawson of the Courier Journal is reporting that he spoke with AJ’s mom and she had this to say:

With rumors and reports spreading on the Internet that A.J. Stewart no longer is on the Kentucky basketball team, Dinah Stewart said tonight that her son still is with the team, “as far as I know.” But she was quick to add that she isn’t the right person to ask. “That’s a question you’ll have to submit to coach (Billy) Gillispie,” Dinah Stewart said. “I don’t know”
Not too helpful either way….


UPDATE #2: WKYT.com is reporting that Stewart has quit the team

Kentucky Teams Competing in KIAC Tournament


KIAC Tournament Schedule


Thursday

Noon (4) Asbury 84 (5) Alice Lloyd 81 (OT)
2:00 (6) St. Louis College of Pharmacy vs. (3) Berea

Friday

Noon (4) Asbury vs. (1) IU Southeast
2:00 SLCOP/Berea vs. (2) IU East

Saturday

TBA Championship Game

Big Day of Basketball in the Bluegrass State




As March creeps closer, almost every day represents a schedule filled with key games, bitter rivalries and tournament pressure. Today is no exception as there are critical games all around the state.

Kentucky College Games (State teams bolded):

Alice Lloyd 81 vs. Asbury 84 Final (OT) KIAC Tournament
Union College vs. Bryan College 1:45 AAC Tournament
St. Louis Coll. of Pharmacy vs. Berea 2:00 KIAC Tournament
Pikeville College at Moutain State 7:00
World Harvest Bible at Brescia University 7:00
Kentucky State at Clark Atlanta 7:30
Bellarmine at Northern Kentucky 7:45
Campbellsville at Cumberlands 8:00
Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky 8:00
St. Catherine at Georgetown 8:00
Mid-Continent at Trevecca Nazarene 8:00
Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee Martin 8:30
Morehead State at Murray State 9:00 (ESPNU)

High School District Tournament Schedule:

Complete schedule at Riherds/KHSAA Scoreboard

District Championship Games:

7th District: Hopkins County Central vs. Madisonville-North Hopkins 7:45
8th District: Fort Campbell at Christian County 7:00
23rd District: Central at Shawnee 8:00
25th District: DuPont Manual at Male 7:00
39th District: Mason County vs. St. Patrick 8:00
40th District: George Rogers Clark vs Montgomery County 7:30
42nd District: Scott County at Henry Clay 8:00

Morehead State vs. Murray State on ESPNU

Morehead State Eagles (16-13, 12-4 OVC) at Murray State Racers (16-11, 11-5 OVC)

Location: Murray, KY
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Television: Nationally televised on ESPNU
Radio: Eagle Sports Network online and WIVY-FM (96.3)

The Morehead State Eagles travel to Murray tonight to face the Racers in a nationally-televised game with OVC title implications. Murray State has won 8 of their last 9 OVC games and find themselves tied for second in the league standings with Austin Peay. The Eagles, at 12-4, are currently in a first-place tie with UT-Martin for the regular season championship. All four teams have two league games remaining, which should leave the conference up in the air right down to the wire.

There is also a battle for home court advantage in the first round of the OVC Tournament. The teams that finish in the top four of the league standings will host a first round game. Currently, there are five teams battling for those four spots.

Battle for First Round Home Game:

Morehead State 12-4
UT-Martin 12-4
Austin Peay 11-5
Murray State 11-5
Eastern Kentucky 10-6

Remaining Schedules:

Morehead State: @ Murray State, @ UT-Martin
UT-Martin: Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State
Austin Peay: Eastern Illinois, SE Missouri State
Murray State: Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky: @ UT-Martin, @ Murray State

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Elliott County Lions Basketball – A Special Team Through the Eyes of an In-Law


I would like to thank Pat Forde at ESPN for his article “Daring to Dream” that found it’s way to the homepage of ESPN.com. That article left me with tear-filled eyes and that “hair standing up feeling” for about ten minutes yesterday afternoon. You know, the kind of feeling you had when Rudy finally ran onto the field at the end of that Notre Dame game. Then, just when you thought you couldn’t feel any more emotions, Rudy picked up a sack and was carried off the field. That’s the feeling you succumb to when you witness something special - something special that was earned through giving it your all. That’s the feeling I had yesterday afternoon when I saw three of the Elliott County kids gracing the cover of the ESPN website.

It felt nice a few weeks ago when the Lions had a front-page article in the Lexington Herald Leader. Likewise, I smiled when they had a feature in the Louisville Courier Journal. I was similarly impressed when they picked up an early-season mention in USA Today following their showing at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach. On the other end of the spectrum, I was upset just two days ago when I discovered a not-so-pleasant editorial in the aforementioned Courier Journal. My good feeling returned, however, after I read the rebuttal from Elliott County’s own Rocky Adkins, a Kentucky State Representative and former Lion. Then, my emotions peeked when I saw Jonathan Ferguson, Ethan Faulkner and Evan Faulkner in the ESPN window where I normally see Tiger Woods, LeBron James or Peyton Manning.

It was nearly a decade ago that I was working on an undergraduate degree at Morehead State University. I discovered pretty quickly that adult life was rather difficult without money, so I was a full-time student that was working nights at the Morehead Shoney’s Restaurant. I remember vividly coming in one afternoon for the 5-10 shift. I clocked in as usual and assumed my position on the “cook’s line.” Almost immediately, a new waitress caught my eye. Now, I had seen my fair share of waitresses during my two-year tenure at the restaurant but this one was different. She struck me as the most beautiful thing I had ever seen model those black pants and maroon, collared-shirts. Believe it or not, that 5-10 shift introduced me to my new girlfriend and my future wife.

So, how do my days as a restaurant worker tie into Elliott County basketball? Well, my new girlfriend happened to be from Sandy Hook and she had three brothers that were part of the Elliott County Lions’ basketball program during those early years in our relationship. We watched every game that we were able to attend. My first impression of the games in Sandy Hook was that these were some of the most passionate fans I had ever been around. During this time, I remember a little buzz going around about how good this team would be when a certain group of young men were old enough to play. I think the seniors this season were probably in about 5th grade when the talk started. That was the same year that my Elliott County girlfriend became my Elliott County wife. I had married into the Elliott County family.

A couple of seasons later, I was able to start watching the current group of Lions play as 7th graders. If I remember correctly, they were playing middle school, freshman, junior varsity and varsity ball all during the same season. Even that early in their young careers, I fell in love with how much effort these boys gave. Ethan and Evan Faulkner were often the smallest players on the court and they always played with no fear.

My daughter was born shortly after that 2004 season. I had found a decent job in Morehead and my wife became an elementary teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. She was a fifth grade teacher and I can still remember her coming home and telling me about one of her students. She was talking about what a good little basketball player he was on the playground and how he was so tall for a fifth grader. She, of course, was talking about a young Timmy Knipp.

I never actually watched these boys play AAU basketball in person, but I did keep up with them and I knew they were playing well at every level of the AAU circuit. In fact, even watching them basically grow up on the court, it never occurred to me how good they could become. The first time I really started believing in them was the season when Jonathan Ferguson, the Faulkner brothers and Chris Knipp were freshmen. They were giving the older players a run for the money in terms of playing time and leadership. It started to become crystal clear to many around the 16th Region that the nucleus was there for something special. I fell in love with how hard these younger players would play until the scoreboard read “0:00.” That season, the Lions had an impressive 23-8 record and made it all the way to the regional finals before falling to a tough Russell team.

The next season, the hype was growing around the Elliott County team. Ferguson, the Faulkners and Chris Knipp were sophomores and Timmy Knipp was an 8th grader. The young Lions came out and started winning games against teams that Elliott fans were used to losing to. My wife was pregnant with our son during the season, but we still traveled all over to watch the team. There was just something about this team that was enjoyable to watch. It was this season when Elliott took control of the 16th Region. They ran over Ashland in the 16th Region title game and carried the fans of Sandy Hook on their backs to Rupp Arena. They defeated Shelby Valley in the first round of the Sweet Sixteen and lost in the quarterfinals to a strong Warren Central team.

To say that the Sweet Sixteen appearance brought excitement to Sandy Hook is about like stating that water is wet. Elliott County basketball became the hot topic around the area. Still, even with the regional title in hand, it was lacking a little something. It wasn’t until the second Sweet Sixteen appearance that I truly figured it out. During the 2006-07 season, I had taken a job in Danville, Kentucky, which is about a 2-hour drive from Sandy Hook. My family moved to Danville early in 2007 and it just became impossible to make every game the way we used to. We made the trip a few times but I spent most of Elliott’s game nights following the update threads on one of my favorite websites, BluegrassPreps.com.

As expected, the Lions picked up the regional title and were pitted against Mason County and future Kentucky Wildcat Darius Miller. It was widely considered the classic David vs. Goliath game. Mason County had destroyed Elliott County in a late-season game in Maysville and most thought the tournament game would have a similar outcome. I don’t know that there was anyone outside of Sandy Hook that thought the Lions could even keep the game within single digits. It was during the third quarter of that state tournament first-round game that I realized I was witnessing something very special. I had purchased a ticket late and was sandwiched in the middle of 10th Region fans from teams that had lost big to the Royals during the season. They were singing Mason County’s praises and almost seemed to smirk at the idea of Elliott even being competitive. I had talked the Lions up the best I could, but they were having no part of my “homering.” Elliott County came out firing and was taking it to Mason County. They showed no intimidation whatsoever. The game was close at the half. In the 3rd quarter, a memory that’ll last a lifetime was made. The Lions made a run to go up 7-8 points, capped off by a rainbow 3-pointer that was nailed by Senior Tyler Maynard. The shot was great, but the memory I’ll never forget was after Mason County called a timeout to stop the bleeding. I scanned the arena and there was what seemed like three-fourths of the large crowd giving a standing ovation – for Elliott County. In two-and-a-half quarters of basketball, the Lions had won the arena majority. Even the 10th Region fans around me were chanting, “Elliott! Elliott!” Mason County stormed back late in the 4th quarter and won the game 66-62 on their way to a Sweet Sixteen title, but Elliott County had stolen the show.

That night in legendary Rupp Arena, during the 3rd quarter, was a moment that I’ll never forget. It is also a feeling I had not felt again, at least up until yesterday afternoon when I made my daily visit to ESPN.com. I married into the Elliott County family when it consisted of several hundred passionate fans from Sandy Hook. This group of young men has managed to turn that family into thousands of fans that reach far beyond the small, Eastern Kentucky town. Former University of Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall has called this his favorite high school team ever. USA Today stated, “Elliott County might be the most entertaining team at the Beach Ball Classic…” At a recent home game against Louisville Ballard, the gym was completely filled at 5:30 PM for a 7:30 PM game – AND, there was no junior varsity or girl’s game that night. Ferguson is the all-time leading scorer in the history of 16th Region basketball. Ethan and Evan Faulkner both have over 2,000 points. Chris Knipp has elevated his game to another level making it next-to-impossible for opponents to contain everyone. Timmy Knipp is one of the top sophomores in the state and may have a high-major college scholarship in a few years. The kids all make good grades and I have often heard that they are “the most respectful group of young men you’ll ever meet.” Most importantly, this team has shown the state of Kentucky what the game of basketball is all about and through the eyes of this Elliott County in-law, that’s just special.
Image: ESPN.com

High School District Tournament Scores 2/25

Complete High School Scores from Riherds Scoreboard at KHSAA.org

Some notable scores:

Ashland 64 Rose Hill 60

Danville 55 Garrard County 46

Ballard 104 Waggener 65

Eastern 64 Christian Academy- Louisville 49

Shelby Valley 101 Pike Co. Central 52

West Carter 66 Morgan County 58

Cats Forget to Play Basketball at South Carolina


South Carolina 77

Kentucky 59


Tonight's game in Columbia was probably the most important game of the season to this point for the Kentucky Wildcats. Unfortunately, they opened with a less-than-stellar gameplan and failed to make any adjustments. Kentucky's (19-9, 8-5 SEC) plan to pound the ball to Patrick Patterson was met with a well-executed defensive scheme by Carolina coach Darrin Horn. The result was a school record 16 blocked shots by the Gamecocks (20-6, 9-4) and an embarressing loss for the Cats. With the victory, South Carolina takes over sole possession of first place in the SEC East and have the ability to control their own destiny the rest of the way. The loss leaves the Cats and their fans searching for answers. Kentucky is now squarely on the NCAA bubble and preparing to play SEC overall leader LSU.


The Gamecocks were led by Devan Downey's 21 points, 5 assists and 5 steals. Patrick Patterson scored 28 points and had 12 rebounds for Kentucky.


My thoughts: I have no problem with Billy Gillispie's gameplan to get the ball to Patterson. I do have issues with failing to make an adjustment after seeing that South Carolina was well-prepared and were doubling down on Patterson. I have to question Gillispie's refusal to make an in-game change. The Cats were simply outplayed in this one and it leaves me thirsting for UK teams of old. They have plenty of work to do if they intend to make the NCAA Tournament this season.


Kentucky Wildcats Travel to Columbia

Kentucky Wildcats (19-8, 8-4 SEC) at South Carolina Gamecocks (19-6, 8-4 SEC)

Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Columbia, SC
Television: WKYT, ESPN360

The Cats have an opportunity tonight to avenge an earlier one-point loss at the hands of the Gamecocks. The winner of tonight's game will be sitting alone in first place in the SEC East and have a great opportunity to control its own destiny. Kentucky's primary objective on defense will be to slow the sensational Devan Downey and limit second chance points. Offensively, the Cats will look for great games from Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson. They will also hope to see more impressive play from freshman Darius Miller.

Line: South Carolina by 1 point
My Prediction: Kentucky 75 South Carolina 71

NOTE: The Cats will be playing without Kevin Galloway tonight due to a death in his family.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

High School District Tournament Scores 2/24

Complete High School Scores from Riherds Scoreboard at KHSAA.org

Some Notable Scores:

Anderson County 99 Eminence 26

Ryle 56 Conner 45

Holmes 45 Holy Cross 24

GRC 58 Paris 45

Henry Clay 81 Bryan Station 73

South Laurel 54 Whitley Co. 48

Elliott County 63 East Carter 58

Jodie Meeks - National Player of the Year Candidate

UKAthletics.com has launched a campagin to help Jodie Meeks become National Player of the Year. Click on the image to visit the site:


Cats Will Go ESPN All-Access

Kentucky will allow ESPN to go behind the scenes with them as they prepare for tomorrow night's game at South Carolina. The footage will air Saturday during ESPN's GameDay show. This is a great way to get the UK name on the national scene, which is always a good thing.

Article from Jerry Tipton and Kentucky.com

Union Preps for Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament


Union College enters the AAC tournament as the 4-seed after finishing the season 14-14 overall and 10-8 in AAC play. The Bulldogs will face off against fifth-seeded Bryan (13-15, 9-9 AAC) on Thursday afternoon at 1:45 PM ET. The winner would likely be pitted against regular season conference champion Bluefield (25-5, 18-0 AAC) on Friday.

AAC Tournament Schedule:

Wednesday

3:00 (8) UVA-Wise vs. (9) Virginia Inermont
8:00 (7) Montreat vs. (10) Covenant

Thursday

12:00 (1) Bluefield vs. 8/9 Winner
1:45 (4) Union vs. (5) Bryan
7:00 (2) King vs. 7/10 Winner
8:45 (3) Tennessee Wesleyen vs. (6) Milligan

Friday

6:00 Semifinal #1
8:00 Semifinal #2

Saturday

6:00 Championship Game

Complete Tournament Bracket

AAC Homepage

Union College Men's Basketball

Morehead State's Leon Buchanan Named OVC Player of the Week


Leon Buchanan has been named the OVC Player of the Week after averaging 28.0 PPG and 9.0 RPG in two games. He had 25 points and 10 rebounds at Eastern Kentucky and 31 points and eight rebounds at Kent State.

Morehead State is tied with UT-Martin for first place in the Ohio Valley Conference Standings. Both teams sit at 12-4 with two conference games remaining. The Eagles are in action Thursday night at Murray State. On Saturday, Morehead travels to UT-Martin for a game that could very well determine the OVC regular season champion (which guarantees an NIT birth).


Photo from MSUEagles.com

Monday, February 23, 2009

High School District Tournament Scores

1st Region:
Carlisle Co. 80 vs. Hickman Co. 62
Paducah Tilghman 72 Reidland 37
Graves Co. 58 Ballard Memorial 33
Marshall Co. 75 Paducah Community Christian 42
2nd Region:
Hopkins Co. Central 84 Dawson Springs 59
4th Region:
Russell Co. (21-5) vs. Metcalfe Co. (6-18)
5th Region:
LaRue Co. 53 Hart Co. 47
6th Region:
Louisville Holy Cross 74 Valley 58
Doss 77 Evangel Christian 41
St. Francis 49 Portland Christian 41
Bullitt Central 59 North Bullitt 46
9th Region:
Cooper 67 Heritage Academy 65
Villa Madonna 64 Ludlow 48
Beechwood 63 Covington Catholic 56
Newport 60 Dayton 58
10th Region:
Calvary Christian 70 Silver Grove 37
Harrison Co. 69 Pendleton Co. 52
Mason Co. 94 Augusta31
11th Region:
Scott Co. 111 Sayre 41
Tates Creek 58 Paul Dunbar 47
12th Region:
Boyle Co. 72 Kentucky School for the Deaf 47
13th Region:
Clay Co. 80 Oneida Baptist 36
Corbin 81 Williamsburg 49
14th Region:
Cordia 79 Jenkins 50
15th Region:
Sheldon Clark 56 Paintsville 52
Pike Co. Central 82 East Ridge 79
Belfry 59 Pikeville 55

Kentucky High School Basketball Rankings 2/23

The new rankings/ratings have been announced.

BluegrassPreps.com Basketball Rankings:

1. Scott County
2. Holmes
3. Eastern
4. Jeffersontown
5. Shelby Valley
6. Lexington Catholic
7. Elliott County
8. Franklin County
9. Corbin
10. Ballard
11-20 Anderson County, Boone County, Mason County, Clark County, Tates Creek, Trinity, Bryan Station, Warren Central, Christian County, Adair County

BluegrassPreps.com


Litkenhouse Ratings:

1.Scott County (24-3) 100.7
2.Elliott County (25-2) 97.9
3.Jeffersontown (23-4) 93.5
4.Eastern (26-1) 93.5
5.Holmes (27-2) 92.3
6.Ballard (22-6) 92.1
7.Boone County (22-4) 90.9
8.Mason County (19-6) 90.9
9.Shelby Valley (25-4) 90.0
10.Lexington Catholic (19-7) 88.9
11-20 Warren Central, Corbin, Clark County, Franklin County, Bryan Station, Christian County, Seneca, Scott High, PRP, North Hardin

Courier Journal Sports

Dave Cantrall's Rating the State:

1. Scott County
2. Elliott County
3. Jeffersontown
3. Eastern
5. Shelby Valley
6. Corbin
7. Warren Central
8. Ballard
9. Boone County
10. Mason County
11-25. Lexington Catholic, Holmes, Franklin County, Christian County, Clark County, Adair County, North Hardin, Anderson County, Knott Central, Bryan Station, Seneca, Hazard, Tates Creek, Moore, PRP

Ratings from Kentucky.com

AP Poll

1. Scott Co. 24-3 144 1
2. Holmes 27-2 117 3
3. Eastern 26-1 115 2
4. Elliott Co. 25-2 97 4
5. Shelby Valley 25-4 95 5
6. Jeffersontown 23-4 80 6
7. Ballard 22-6 47 7
8. Corbin 24-3 38 8
9. Franklin Co. 19-4 27 —
10. Boone Co. 22-4 23 9

Others receiving votes: Lexington Catholic 18, Christian Co. 8, Mason Co. 5, South Laurel 3, Bryan Station 3, Henderson Co. 2, Anderson Co. 2, Clark Co. 1.

Monday Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Georgetown Hoyas

(6) Louisville (21-5, 12-2 Big East) at Georgetown (14-11, 5-9 Big East)

Location: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Television: ESPN

The Cardinals travel to Washington, D.C. tonight to face the Georgetown Hoyas. Louisville will be seeking their fourth consecutive win and attempting to keep pace with the Big East Conference leaders. The Cardinals are currently 12-2 in the conference and are tied with Marquette and Pittsburgh for second in the standings. Connecticut currently leads the conference with a 13-2 record.

Georgetown's NCAA Tournament hopes are on life support and tonight is a must win game. The Hoyas have zero margin for error if they are to get back on the NCAA bubble. The Hoyas have put themselves in this position by losing 8 of their last 10 games.

Favorite: Louisville by 1.5
My Prediction: Louisville 85 Georgetown 76

ESPN Game Preview

College Basketball Polls For the Week

Louisville comes in as the #6 team in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls this week. Kentucky has received one vote in each poll and would technically be around the #40 position if the polls were drawn on out. The SEC continues to be unimpressive in the polls, as LSU is the only SEC team in the top 25 in either poll. Pittsburgh has taken over the top position in both polls.

AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls (Feb. 23)

Joe Lunardi's Latest ESPN Bracketology

Joe Lunardi has released his latest Bracketology projections. He has Kentucky in the tournament as a 7-seed and Louisville as a 2-seed. He also projects Western Kentucky to win the Sun Belt Tournament and make the NCAA tourney as a 12-seed. Finally, he projects Morehead State to win the OVC Tournament and find its self playing the NCAA Play-In game.

My Thoughts: I would project Louisville to be a 2/3-seed at this point and I think Kentucky would be closer to a 9/10-seed. I like the respect that Western and Morehead are getting, but they will obviously have to win their respective tournaments to make the Big Dance.

Joe Lunardi's Latest Bracketology

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kentucky High School Basketball - Tournament Time!

Its hard to believe that its that time of year, but tomorrow kicks off tournament time around the state. District tournament games get underway all around the Bluegrass State tomorrow and continue throughout the week. Here's a look at Monday's action:

1st Region:

Carlisle Co. (18-5) vs. Hickman Co. (2-17)
Paducah Tilghman (18-5) vs. Reidland (0-17)
Graves Co. (18-9) vs. Ballard Memorial (10-12)
Marshall Co. (18-8) vs. Paducah Community Christian (5-17)

2nd Region:

Dawson Springs (6-17) vs. Hopkins Co. Central (20-8)

4th Region:

Russell Co. (21-5) vs. Metcalfe Co. (6-18)

5th Region:

LaRue Co. (21-5) at Hart Co. (8-17)

6th Region:

Valley (7-14) vs. Louisville Holy Cross (11-18)
Evangel Christian (14-10) at Doss (9-16)
Portland Christian (0-22) vs. St. Francis (5-19)
Bullitt Central (3-22) at North Bullitt (4-22)

9th Region:

Heritage Academy (5-14) vs. Cooper (1-24)
Ludlow (6-21) at Villa Madonna (11-15)
Beechwood (21-4) vs. Covington Catholic (8-18)
Newport (15-10) vs. Dayton (15-11)

10th Region:

Silver Grove (2-24) vs. Calvary Christian (18-9)
Pendleton Co. (6-19) at Harrison Co. (15-13)
Augusta (8-15) vs. Mason Co. (17-6)

11th Region:

Scott Co. (23-3) vs. Sayre (8-14)
Tates Creek (13-11) at Paul Dunbar (13-8)

12th Region:

Kentucky School for the Deaf (12-12) at Boyle Co. (7-18)

13th Region:

Clay Co. (16-12) at Oneida Baptist (4-13)
Corbin (24-3) at Williamsburg (10-16)

14th Region:

Cordia (10-15) vs. Jenkins (2-21)

15th Region:

Paintsville (7-18) at Sheldon Clark (9-15)
Pike Co. Central (7-20) vs. East Ridge (14-11)
Pikeville (18-10) vs. Belfry (8-16)

16th Region:

Rowan Co. (10-15) at Menifee Co. (16-10)

Kentucky Teams Shooting for NCAA Tournament

Its getting down to crunch time for teams wishing to make the NCAA Tournament, affectionately known as the Big Dance. Here's a look at the outlook for the Division I teams in Kentucky:

Louisville Cardinals

Conference: Big East

Record: 21-5 Overall, 12-2 Big East

Games Remaining: 4 Regular Season Games and Big East Tournament

SOS: 18

RPI: 12*

Current ESPN Status: LOCK


Kentucky Wildcats

Conference: Southeastern Conference

Record: 19-8 Overall, 8-4 SEC

Games Remaining: 4 Regular Season Games and SEC Tournament

SOS: 76

RPI: 62*

Current ESPN Status: On the Bubble with work to do


Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Conference: Sun Belt

Record: 19-8 Overall, 13-3 Sun Belt

Games Remaining: 2 Regular Season Games and Sun Belt Tournament

SOS: 122

RPI: 60*

Current ESPN Status: WKU must win the Sun Belt Tournament


Morehead State Eagles

Conference: Ohio Valley Conference

Record: 16-13 Overall, 12-4 OVC

Games Remaining: 2 Regular Season Games and OVC Tournament

SOS:
230

RPI: 179*

Current ESPN Status: MSU must win the OVC Tournament


Eastern Kentucky Colonels

Conference: Ohio Valley Conference

Record: 18-10 Overall, 10-6 OVC

Games Remaining: 2 Regular Season Games and OVC Tournament

SOS: 311

RPI: 163*

Current ESPN Status: EKU must win the OVC Tournament


Murray State Racers

Conference: Ohio Valley Conference

Record: 15-11 Overall, 10-5 OVC

Games Remaining: 3 Regular Season Games and OVC Tournament

SOS: 244

RPI: 178*

Current ESPN Status: MSU must win the OVC Tournament


* The RPI numbers were provided by RealTimeRPI.com

Note: Morehead State and Western Kentucky have an opportunity to win their respective regular season conference championships. Winning the regular season league title would guarantee either team a spot in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).


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