Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pikeville, Georgetown Defeat Top Seeds in NAIA Tournament

The Pikeville Bears and Georgetown Tigers knocked off the top two seeds in the NAIA DI National Tournament today and both have punched their tickets to the Fab Four.

The Bears defeated top-seeded Robert Morris (Ill.) 86-77 to advance to the national semifinals.

On the other side of the bracket, Happy Osborne's Tigers knocked off second-seeded Concordia (Calif.) 69-67.


Pikeville College 86 (1) Robert Morris 77

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Unseeded Pikeville College will return to the semifinals of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship after an 86-77 win over top-ranked Robert Morris University Saturday afternoon.

Pikeville, which tied a school record for wins in a season as it improved to 28-7, will play in the NAIA’s “Fab Four” for the second time in school history. Ten years ago, the Bears made the trip to the semifinals the last year the tournament was held in Tulsa, Okla.

On Saturday, the Bears did their damage from the free throw line, hitting 28-of-34 (82.4 percent) from the stripe. That helped overcome sub-par shooting from the floor (37.5 percent) and the arc (4-of-18, 22.2 percent).

“It got to the point late where it didn’t matter who we sent up there, they were going in,” said Coach Kelly Wells. “All our guys were hitting them today, and that was good because for a while there I didn’t think we were ever going to get an open look to fall.”

Complete Recap

(7) Georgetown College 69 (2) Concordia 67

Kansas City, Mo. – Senior guard Eddie Gray hit a 10-foot running jumper with 1.6 seconds remaining to give seventh-seeded Georgetown College (Ky.) a 69-67 over No. 2 seed Concordia University (Calif.) on Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship.

Gray’s game-winner sends Georgetown into the NAIA Fab Four for the 11th time overall and first since 2008. The Tigers are now 32-4 on the season and will square off with either No. 3 seed Mountain State University (W.Va.) or unseeded Rogers State University (Okla.) Monday at 8 p.m. CT.

”We’ve said all year that Eddie Gray is as good or better than any point guard in the country,” said Georgetown head coach Happy Osborne. “His last-second shot today was a big-time play. (This was) just a great game. I thought our guys showed tremendous character after falling behind by as many as seven points in the second half.”

Gray scored a team-high 18 points for Georgetown. Junior forward Maurice Pearson contributed 13 points and five rebounds, while senior guard Rodney Haddix posted 12 points. Junior forward Vic Moses had 10 points along with a game-high eight rebounds for the Tigers.

Complete Recap

Tough for Calipari and Huggins to Oppose Each Other

It's difficult for Kentucky's John Calipari and West Virginia's Bob Huggins to coach against each other.

The two have been great friends for many years and coaching against a friend is not easy.

Here is an excerpt from the New York Times:

“You know, we got them a little bit this game, but it’s one of the things I want to tell you in this profession: you hate to play against friends because I know what it feels like to get beat,” Calipari said. “And you don’t want to play against friends. You want to play against people you don’t like. Beat them.

“I won’t schedule nonconference games. I don’t want to schedule them against former coaches or assistants of mine, not trying to rack up a record against those guys. I know what it’s like to lose. If they ask me for a guarantee game I may do it, but you don’t really like to play against friends. I mean, you don’t want to.”

Complete Article

NCAA Dreams End in a Knight-mare for West Virginia

(4) Kentucky 71
(5) West Virginia 63

Final from Tampa, Florida

Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight exploded to lead the Wildcats to a 71-63 win over West Virginia in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Knight scored a career-high 30 points on 9-20 shooting and went 9-10 from the free throw line to lead Kentucky (27-8, 10-6 SEC) to the Sweet 16.

Josh Harrellson added 15 points and 8 rebounds for Kentucky, prompting Rick Pitino to call him the "most underrated big man" in the nation on the CBS post game show. Terrence Jones put in a quiet 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Joe Mazzulla led West Virginia (21-12, 11-7 Big East) with 20 points, most of which came in the first half. Darryl Bryant added 15 points.

Kentucky went 24-50 (48%) from the field and 17-24 (70.8%) from the free throw line. They out-rebounded the Mountaineers 34-29.

Bob Huggins' team was 22-53 (41.5%) from the field.

The Wildcats advance to next weekend's Sweet 16, where they will play the winner of Ohio State and George Mason.

Kentucky in Trouble at the Half Against WVU

West Virginia closed the first half on a 22-7 run to take a 41-33 lead over Kentucky into the halftime locker room.

Aided by a bizarre set of favorable calls in the final minute, the Mountaineers took control of the game.

Kentucky shot 13-23 (56.5%) from the field but were whistled for 11 personal fouls.

Brandon Knight led Kentucky in the half with 16 points on 6-12 shooting. Josh Harrellson added 7 points.

UK's Darius Miller, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb combined for only 5 first half points.

Joe Mazzulla, who traditionally kills Kentucky, had 15 points for West Virginia.

Doron Lamb Doing Battle with Long-Time Friend Today

Kentucky freshman Doron Lamb is playing against long-time friend Darryl "Truck" Bryant this afternoon.

Bryant, who plays for West Virginia, and Lamb have been friends since elementary school.

Here is an excerpt about the two from Yahoo! Sports:

“That’s like my little brother,” Bryant said Friday. “I speak to him sometimes, but tomorrow it’s game time. I’m not talking tomorrow.”

Bryant, a senior, played on an AAU team that featured Connecticut star Kemba Walker and Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. Lamb, a freshman, played on a Gauchos team that featured players his age.

“I’ve known Truck since I was 12 years old,” Lamb said. “We played in the same AAU program. I played against him in high school, when I went to high school in New York. I know his family very well. I know he’s a great player and a great kid.”

Complete Article

West Virginia Players Talk About Playing Kentucky

Here is an excerpt of comments from several West Virginia players as they talk about today's game against Kentucky:

Casey Mitchell

On playing Kentucky last season…

"They really didn’t shoot the ball well last year, they got most of their points off transition. They played good defense, but they left our shooters open. We had a good night shooting against them. We gave them the three-point shot because they showed they couldn’t make it."

On Kentucky being a different team…

"We played the 1-3-1 zone against them last year because they couldn’t shoot very well. This year we have to make some adjustments and push them to the baseline because they're strong and athletic driving to the middle."

Are they completely different without star guard John Wall…

"It’s different, John Wall wore the defense out, but they have Brandon Knight and he can do some things Wall didn’t do last year. We have to stop the ball early in transition."

On being physical…

"Our bench is just as strong as our starters. We just want to wear them down."

John Flowers

On differences in the team from last year…

"We’re smaller, we can’t switch the one through five spots anymore. That makes us different defensively. We can still hustle and play hard."

On daring Kentucky last season to take shots…

"We didn’t dare them to take shots last year. That’s false. They just were making their shots."

On not wanting to join friends on spring break…

"It doesn’t feel like spring break. I’ve been relaxing in the hotel watching tape of Kentucky. I certainly don’t want to join my friends on break because then that means our season is over."

Deniz Kilicli

On coach Huggins having success against Kentucky in the past…

"It’s great. He knows how Kentucky plays. It doesn’t matter because we can go out there and play and lose. We just have to be focused."


NCAA Tournament Schedule for Saturday and Sunday

Here is a schedule for today and tomorrow in the NCAA Tournament:


Tip (ET) Network Site Game Play-by-Play/Analyst//Reporter

12:15 PM CBS Tampa Kentucky vs. West Virginia Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//David Aldridge
after conc. CBS Tampa Florida vs. UCLA Eagle/Spanarkel//Aldridge
5:15 PM CBS Denver Richmond vs. Morehead St. Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Lesley Visser
6:10 PM TNT Tucson San Diego St. vs. Temple Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner//Sam Ryan
7:10 PM TBS Wash. DC Pittsburgh vs. Butler Tim Brando/Mike Gminski//Lewis Johnson
after conc. CBS Denver BYU vs. Gonzaga Lundquist/Raftery//Lesley Visser
after conc. TNT Tucson Wisconsin vs. Kansas St. Harlan/MillerBonner//Ryan
after conc. TBS Wash. DC Connecticut vs. Cincinnati Brando/Gminski//Johnson


Tip (ET) Network Site Game Play-by-Play/Analyst//Reporter

12:15 PM CBS Charlotte UNC vs. Washington Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg//Tracy Wolfson
after conc. I CBS Charlotte Duke vs. Michigan Nantz/Kellogg//Wolfson
5:15PM CBS Cleveland Ohio St. vs. George Mason Gus Johnson/Len Elmore//Marty Snider
6:10PM TNT Tulsa Texas vs. Arizona Marv Albert/Steve Kerr//Craig Sager
7:10PM TBS Chicago Purdue vs. VCU Spero Dedes/Bob Wenzel//Jamie Maggio
after conc. I truTV Cleveland Syracuse vs. Marquette Johnson/Elmore//Snider
after conc. I TNT Tulsa Kansas vs. Illinois Albert/Kerr//Sager
after conc. I TBS Chicago Notre Dame vs. Florida St. Dedes/Wenzel//Maggio

All times are ET. Check your local listings

Friday, March 18, 2011

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: The Madness Continues Edition

"Can you imagine though if you sent Charlie Sheen Morehead State jerseys?" - Dan Patrick

Today's Top 5:

- The Morehead State Eagles were the talk of the day around the nation.

- Kentucky's Terrence Jones is battling an illness heading into Saturday's game.

- Is there any way for Bruce Pearl to keep his job after today?

- Stacey Poole says he's staying at the University of Kentucky; Jon Hood, too.

- Louisville basketball fans took offense to some Twitter posts by former star Terrence Williams.

On Saturday, Get Ready For:

- A new high school state champion to be crowned. Eastern will battle Christian County at 10:00 a.m. ET and Rowan County will take on Bullitt East at 11:30 a.m. ET. The championship game will be Saturday night at 8:00 a.m. ET.

- Pikeville College vs. (1) Robert Morris in the NAIA DI National Quarterfinals. The game will be at 3:00 p.m. ET.

- (7) Georgetown College vs. (2) Concordia in the NAIA DI National Tournament quarterfinal round. The game will be at 5:00 p.m. ET.

- (4) Kentucky vs. (5) West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. The game tips at 12:15 p.m. ET.

- (13) Morehead State vs. (12) Richmond in the NCAA Tournament. The game tips at 5:15 p.m. ET.

Recruiting News:

- UK recruit Trevor Lacey said yesterday that he still doesn't know whether he'll play in the Derby Festival Classic or the Next All-American Classic. He played in the Senior Charity Showcase already so he'll have to make a choice.

- Evan Brinkmeyer from Reitz (Ind.) High School committed to Southern Indiana over Bellarmine and Evansville. Source

- Kentucky recruit God's Gift Achiuwa and Erie Community College lost 90-72 to Lincoln College in the semifinals of the NJCAA National Tournament. Erie will battle Triton College in Saturday's third place game.

- Anthony Hickey of Christian County has opened some eyes at the Sweet Sixteen. His already impressive list of schools is likely to grow. Hickey has been hearing from Western Kentucky, Mississippi State, Nebraska and a host of other Division I schools.

Scores from Day 3 of the PNC/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen:

Game 9: Eastern 65 George Rogers Clark 50
Game 10: Christian County 67 Lexington Catholic 62
Game 11: Rowan County 64 Wayne County 47
Game 12: Bullitt East 71 Marshall County 62

The Buzz:

- Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson started again for the Houston Rockets on Friday night. He had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Teammate Chuck Hayes had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the 93-77 win over the struggling Boston Celtics.

- Today's NCAA Tournament winners: Texas, Michigan (by 30 over Tennessee), Notre Dame, George Mason, Arizona, Duke, Florida State, Ohio State, Kansas, North Carolina, Purdue, Marquette, Illinois, VCU, Washington and Syracuse.

- Georgetown College hammered McKendree in the NAIA DI National Tournament.

- Pikeville College slipped by Azusa Pacific in the NAIA DI National Tournament. The Bears and Georgetown give the Mid-South Conference two teams in the nation's Elite 8.

Video of the Day (hit it B.P.):

Georgetown Hammers McKendree in NAIA Tournament

(7) Georgetown 77
McKendree 59

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Georgetown College men's basketball team punched its ticket for the 2011 Buffalo Funds NAIA Men's Division I Basketball National Championship quarterfinals Friday afternoon.

The No. 7 Tigers (31-4) last reached this round in 2008 when they went to the Fab Four before losing to Mountain State. GC needed a burst out of the locker room to put a resilient McKendree University (21-13) team away, 77-59.

GC now faces No. 2 Concordia University (31-3) out of California, a team Georgetown has never faced before. Tip is set for 4 p.m. CST (5 p.m. EST). It will follow fellow Mid-South Conference team Pikeville College, which will battle No. 1 Robert Morris in the first game of the day at 2 p.m. CST (3 p.m. EST).

Complete Recap

Terrence Jones Dealing with an Illness

Kentucky freshman Terrence Jones is dealing with an illness as the Wildcats prepare for West Virginia.

Here is an excerpt from

During a four-minute interview, Jones broke out into coughing spells of 16 and 14 seconds. UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said the illness is nothing more than the common cold.

"I'm sick," Jones said, "but I'm not going to use that as an excuse."

Complete Article

Rick Pitino to Join CBS as an NCAA Guest Analyst

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will join CBS Sports Saturday and Sunday as a guest analyst for the NCAA Tournament.

Pitino will be working from the CBS studios in New York.

UK Fans: John Calipari or Billy Donovan as Your Coach?

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote a ridiculously titled piece today:
"Kentucky basketbal (spell check?) fans still wish they had Billy Donovan instead of John Calipari"


Bianchi spoke to one person named John Morgan, who is labelled a "high-powered Orlando attorney" in the article. I guess Morgan is so powerful that he counts as "Kentucky basketbal fans".

Here is an excerpt:

Both Kentucky and Florida are in the Tampa pod for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, and that always presents a bit of a conflict for UK fans. The fact is, Big Blue Nation still has a love affair with UF coach Billy Donovan from his days as a UK assistant under Rick Pitino and the subsequent national titles he's won at Florida. Kentucky, of course, tried to hire Billy D. away from Gainesville a few years ago, but Donovan decided to stay at UF.

John Morgan, the high-powered Orlando attorney who was born in Lexington and graduated from UF, is a huge Kentucky basketball fan, but he readily admits he would rather have Donovan coaching the 'Cats than current UK coach John Calipari. Can you blame him? Donovan has been to three Final Fours and won two national championships. Calapari has been to two Final Fours and had to vacate both of them. …

Complete Article

Alright Big Blue Nation - here's your question of the night:

John Calipari or Billy Donovan to lead the Kentucky Wildcats?

Morehead State Basketball's Friday Press Conference

Here is Morehead State's NCAA Tournament Friday press conference (via

Morehead State vs. Richmond for All the Ham

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell have placed a friendly wager on tomorrow's game between Morehead State and Richmond.

Here is a press release from the Commonwealth of Virginia:

Governor Bob McDonnell and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear Place Friendly Wager on Tomorrow’s Richmond vs. Morehead St. Basketball Game

RICHMOND – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear contacted Governor Bob McDonnell today to challenge him a friendly wager on the University of Richmond vs. Morehead State NCAA Tournament basketball game being played tomorrow at 5:15pm. Governor Beshear has wagered that if the University of Richmond wins he will send Governor McDonnell a Kentucky country ham. Should Morehead State win, Governor McDonnell will send Governor Beshear a Virginia ham. The two teams both pulled second round upsets in the NCAA tournament, setting up a rare #12 vs. #13 seed matchup with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16.

Speaking about the friendly wager, Governor McDonnell commented, “There is nothing like a good Virginia ham. I’ll put our ham up against a Kentucky ham any day of the week. And I’ll do the same with any one of Virginia's great basketball teams. Kentucky began as a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I’m confident that tomorrow evening that historical relationship will be respected with a University of Richmond victory over Morehead State. I look forward to watching Richmond advance to the Sweet 16, and I’m optimistic that the Spiders won't be the only Virginia school moving on to the next weekend. While Hampton is having a tough afternoon against a very good Duke team, I look forward to watching VCU pull off the upset over Georgetown tonight, and I congratulate George Mason for once again demonstrating why March is Fairfax County’s favorite month.”

Governor Beshear added, “Everyone knows that Kentucky is the premier state for outstanding college basketball and fine country hams. I'm putting up one of our best hams in a bet with Governor McDonnell; it’s just too bad he won't get to taste it, since I’m sure our team will roar to victory. I’m excited to watch the Morehead State Eagles beat the Richmond Spiders on Saturday; and I’ll celebrate the Sweet 16 with a couple of Virginia ham sandwiches courtesy of Governor McDonnell.”

John Calipari Talks About WVU and Bob Huggins

Kentucky head coach John Calipari addresses the media in Tampa as the Wildcats prepare for and NCAA Tournament rematch with West Virginia and Bob Huggins (via bluenationblog on YouTube):

Sophomore Jon Hood Plans to Finish Career at Kentucky

Kentucky sophomore Jon Hood told that he intends to finish his college basketball career at UK.

TCPMattMay UK sophomore guard Jon Hood tells he has no intentions of transferring at end of season and plans to finish career at UK

Bruce Pearl's Seat is Now on Fire

As if Bruce Pearl didn't already have a long list of problems. his Tennessee Volunteers were just thoroughly demolished on national television by the Michigan Wolverines.

The Wolverines slaughtered Tennessee 75-45. Michigan won by 30 points and did NOT make a single free throw in the game.

Pearl was already on the hot seat following a tumultuous season that included an eight-game suspension from Southeastern Conference games after Pearl admitted to violating NCAA rules.

I can only imagine that Pearl's seat is officially on fire after today's debacle.

Pikeville College Advances to National Quarterfinals

Pikeville College 80
(8) Azusa Pacific 75

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A 19-point swing in the last 10 minutes of the game sent Pikeville College to the national quarterfinals for the second time in school history with an 80-75 win over No. 8 Azusa Pacific University on Friday morning.

The win, combined with Pikeville’s win over defending national champion Oklahoma Baptist on Wednesday, makes the Bears the first team to ever beat the previous season’s national finalists to open the following year’s tournament.

It also gives the Bears 27 wins, which matches the 2000-01 team for the second most in school history. They will play for No. 28 at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday in the round of eight, which would match the 1958-59 Bears for the most ever.

Friday morning’s win nearly didn’t happen. Azusa Pacific dominated the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Leading 40-39 at the break, the Cougars opened the second half with an 18-7 run. A basket inside with 10:15 to play by senior Danny Nugent made it 58-46.

“These guys have a huge valentine,” said Coach Kelly Wells. “We play with a lot of heart, so much that it sometimes surprises me. They work hard and play hard and it works out on the scoreboard.”

Complete Recap

Morehead State Making the Media Rounds Today

Still to come:

- Kenneth Faried will be on the Scott Van Pelt Show at 3:30 p.m.

- Tyndall can also be heard on the Jim Rome Show today

Stacey Poole Has No Plans to Transfer from Kentucky

Kentucky freshman Stacey Poole quieted rumors that he might seek a transfer after the season in an interview with The Florida Times-Union.

Here is an excerpt:

"It hasn't worked out like I planned," Poole said. "But when you have some adversity, you got to keep your head up. It's difficult for me right now. I'm not going to lie about that. I'm happy for my teammates. I don't hate on anybody. I'm happy for the next man when they do good. That's how I was raised."

Poole's best moment this season came when he scored three points in two minutes in a 72-58 win against Notre Dame, but the 6-foot-4 guard struggled over seven minutes in the next game against Indiana and has seen little playing time since then. There's been speculation about whether he will be in a Kentucky uniform next season, but Poole dismissed that talk.

"I just need to get in better shape and work on all parts of my game," Poole said. "I need to get a little stronger."

Complete Article

Western Kentucky Fans Split on Coaching Decision interviewed several Western Kentucky basketball fans to get their thoughts on the school's decision to retain Ken McDonald as head coach.

The reactions were mixed as some are hopeful that McDonald can get things headed in the right direction and others were hoping another member of the Hilltoppers staff would take over.

Here is an excerpt:

Jeff Howe, a WKU fan from Owensboro, said after hearing McDonald will remain as the coach, he doesn’t think he’ll be coming to any games next year.

“I stopped going to the basketball games this year and wanted to last year,” he said. “Ken McDonald has hurt the program bad enough that it won’t come back with him as coach. All the rumors about the things that have gone on can’t be all rumors.

“I thought he would be fired during this season and (Assistant Coach) Ray Harper would be coaching. I believe Harper is the man for the job.”

The idea of Harper as the head coach was a popular one among those opposing McDonald's new contract this week. Lucas also endorsed Harper as the person she’d want leading the team.

Harper previously spent 12 years as head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan and Oklahoma City University.

“The head coach we need is already on our staff,” Lucas said. “Harper is our answer for the turnaround we’re looking for. He knows how to continually motivate our athletes on and off the court and more importantly in the classroom.”

Complete Article

Several UK Recruits Named Gatorade Players of the Year

Several University of Kentucky recruits and signees were have been named 2011 Gatorade Players of the Year in their respective states.

Kentucky signees Michael Gilchrist and Kyle Wiltjer earned the award in New Jersey and Oregon, respectively.

UK recruits Archies Goodwin, Andre Drummond, Perry Ellis and Shabazz Muhammad were also honored.

Elliott County's Timmy Knipp, who will play college basketball at Eastern Kentucky University, won the award in Kentucky.

2011 Gatorade Boys Basketball Players of the Year:

◦Arkansas – Archie Goodwin, 6′-5″, JR, G, Sylvan Hills (Undecided)
◦Connecticut – Andre Drummond, 6′-10″, JR, C, St. Thomas More (Undecided)
◦Kansas – Perry Ellis, 6′-8″, JR, F, Wichita Heights (Undecided)
◦Kentucky – Timmy Knipp, 6′-8″, SR, G, Elliott County (Eastern Kentucky)
◦New Jersey – Michael Gilchrist, 6′-7″, SR, F, St. Patrick (Kentucky)
◦Nevada – Shabazz Muhammad, 6′-6″, JR, G/F, Bishop Gorman (Undecided)
◦Oregon – Kyle Wiltjer, 6′-9″, SR, F, Jesuit (Kentucky)

Former Kentucky Assistant Hopes to Land Wyoming Job

Former University of Kentucky assistant basketball coach Jeremy Cox is interested in being the next head coach at the University of Wyoming.

Here is an excerpt from

Jeremy Cox isn’t interested in the University of Wyoming men’s basketball coaching job.

He wants it.

“(Wyoming) is a place I’ve wanted to be since I was 10 years old,” the current South Florida assistant coach said Wednesday during a phone interview. “(Wyoming) has always been the destination. That’s a dream, not an interest.”

Cox is a Wyoming native. He graduated from Meeteetse High in the 1980s and won a state title there in 1987. He played briefly for legendary junior-college coach Bruce Hoffman at Sheridan College, and got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at UW from 1991-92 for former coach Benny Dees.

“That was probably the best year I ever had,” Cox said about his one season in Laramie.

Cox’s wife, Cindy, is a UW graduate.

Terrence Williams Sparks Twitter War with Louisville Fans

Former University of Louisville star Terrence Williams ignited a Twitter war of words yesterday when he posted:

TheRealTWill Hhahaha morehead st what is that? I remember when we played guys like that was scared to look at us on the court man times have changed

TheRealTWill When it rains it pours damn Ville #worddown

Williams' words apparently rubbed Louisville fans the wrong way as they shot back with various insults and attacks.

Of course, Louisville was upset by the upstart Morehead State Eagles, which added to the controversy.

After several vicious messages, Williams responded with:

TheRealTWill Why these half a** ville fans mad at me I didn't loose the game all I said was we beat teams like that they didn't have that same passion

Here are some of the messages directed at one of Louisville's own (Twitter identities were removed to protect the innocent, or should I say guilty):

@TheRealTWill Still don't get it I see. Why don't you get your passion off the bench. You've spent to years in the league whining #growup

@TheRealTWill Top 5 from Louisville? How many NCAA ships you bring us? 0

@TheRealTWill you realize half of UL fans don't like you right? Your a** can't even go back to your hometown #losing

your right @TheRealTWill. Times HAVE changed. You used to be a ball player, now your a** is sitting at the end of the bench where you belong

@therealtwill ha I bet u wish you weren't immature and still on the nets 5 game winstreak baby ha vujcacic is better than u go nets!

Demonte Harper ends Louisville's season with a clutch there-pointer:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Demonte Harper Edition

"This is as tough a loss as I’ve had in coaching, and I’ve been coaching a long time, after tonight maybe too long. I feel terrible for our guys because they were just a wonderful group to coach."

- Rick Pitino after Louisville lost to Morehead Sate

Today's Top 5:

- Kentucky avoided disaster and survived against Princeton in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

- Morehead State pulled the stunner of the day in the NCAA Tournament as the Eagles upset the Louisville Cardinals.

- Georgetown College defeated Olivet Nazarene in the NAIA DII National Tournament.

- Here are 5 thoughts on Kentucky's win over Princeton

- Remember West Virginia mocking Kentucky after they defeated the Wildcat last season? Here's a refresher

On Friday, Get Ready For:

- Pikeville College vs. Azusa Pacific in the Second Round of the NAIA DII National Tournament

- Georgetown College vs. McKendree in the Second Round of the NAIA DII National Tournament

- Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament's Second Round

Recruiting News:

- Elliott County's Timmy Knipp was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky

- Kentucky recruit Stan Simpson posted on Twitter tonight: "Just talk to Kansas coach"

- Kentucky recruits Michael Gilchrist, Kyle Wiltjer, Shabazz Muhammad, Perry Ellis and Archie Goodwin were all named Gatorade Player of the Year in their respective states.

- UK recruit God's Gift Achiuwa and Erie Community College defeated Louisburg College 76-75 in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA DII National Tournament. Erie will play Kiel Turpin and Lincoln College in Friday's 8:00 p.m. ET semifinal.

- Bowling Green's Chane Behanan (Louisville) will play in the 2011 KABC East/West Charity All-Star Classic on Saturday at Transylvania University. Warren Central's George Fant (WKU) will also be in the event.

Scores from Day 2 of the PNC/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen:

Game 5: Rowan County 45 Daviess County 32
Game 6: Wayne County 68 Perry County Central 58
Game 7: Bullitt East 53 Bardstown 44
Game 8: Marshall County 55 Bell County 33

The Buzz:

- Kentucky will play West Virginia at 12:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.

- Today's NCAA Tournament winners: West Virginia, Butler, Morehead State, Temple, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Richmond, San Diego State, Florida, BYU, UConn, Wisconsin, UCLA, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Kansas State

Video of the Day (Brandon Knight sinks Princeton):

#morehead #morehead #morehead #morehead #morehead #morehead #morehead #morehead

Kentucky Escapes Princeton: Five Thoughts

Here are five thoughts from Kentucky's 59-57 win over Princeton:

- Knight-mare for 39 minutes. Kentucky's talented freshmen learned a tough lesson today and thankfully they were able to gain some important knowledge and still escape with a win. The intensity in the NCAA Tournament is a different level.

Brandon Knight was only 1-8 from the field today, with his only make being the game-winning shot. Terrence Jones had 10 points, but only 2 rebounds. Doron Lamb scored only 7 points. The three combined for 19 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

UK fans should be thankful. Those numbers from the three freshmen in practically any other game this season would have resulted in a loss.

- Statistical deadlock. You want to know how close today's game was? Both teams made 24 field goals and 6 free throws. Princeton out-rebounded Kentucky but the Wildcats had 4 more assists. UK had three more turnovers. Princeton had three more fouls.

The difference: Kentucky made 5 three-pointers while the Tigers only made 3.

- Trouble on the boards. As I just mentioned, the University of Kentucky was out-rebounded 27-25 by the Princeton Tigers. That shouldn't happen.

- Darius Miller and the upperclassmen. Kentucky's upperclassmen have stepped up in a big way lately. Darius Miller has led the charge as he has scored in double figures in 10 consecutive games.

In today's game, Miller had 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Josh Harrellson had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals. DeAndre Liggins had 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

Freshmen Trio: 19 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal
Upperclassmen: 40 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals

- Survive and advance. The most important lesson learned by the young Wildcats today: get a win and move on. There's no reason to dwell on what went wrong and what should've happened. It is what it is, the Wildcats earned the tough win and now the focus must move to West Virginia.

My Thoughts: I think today's game was all about gaining experience. The Kentucky players have experienced the level of intensity required to win in the NCAA Tournament and I expect a much better performance on Saturday against the Mountaineers.

Morehead State Makes Waves Around the Basketball World

The Morehead State Eagles stunned the basketball world today by upsetting the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA Tournament.

Here are some thoughts from around the web on what is arguably the greatest win the history of MSU basketball:

- Kieran Darcy of talks about the pure joy that Kenneth Faried felt after upsetting the Cards:

It's just a dream, Faried thought. Did we really just beat Louisville? Did we really just make a statement for the NCAA and people around the world?

Yes, it was a dream -- a dream come true.

“It feels good to know that we kinda messed up some people's brackets," Faried said after the Eagles, seeded 13th, stunned the fourth-seeded Cardinals 62-61 Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

"We quieted a lot of people and opened a lot of eyes."

- Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports says the MVP of the game was referee LaMar Simpson, who managed to make one of the great no call you'll ever see:

Simpson managed to make one of the great no calls you’ll ever see when he accurately judged that Faried got all ball when he blocked a would-be, buzzer-beating, game-winning jump shot by Louisville’s Mike Marra. In real-time, it looked to be an easy call (“Foul. Wow!” CBS’s Bill Raftery said immediately) which would’ve sent Marra to the free-throw line for some pressure shots.

Instead Simpson, who appeared to have the best position to make the call, let the game end on a brilliant defensive play. McCall and Groover deferred to their fellow ref. Morehead moves on to play Richmond-Vanderbilt winner Saturday in Denver.

- Diamond Leung of discusses Donnie Tyndall's dream that came true:

A senior who experienced a loss to in-state power Louisville two years ago when the Eagles were a No. 16 seed and the Cardinals had future NBA players all over the floor, Harper saw his shot to make his coach’s vision come true.

“Coach said, ‘I dreamed about this last night. I know exactly where I'm going to. I'm going to put it right in your hands, Demonte. I don't want you to drive it to the hole. I want you to pull up and win the game off a 3-pointer. I want you to pull up and win the game.’”

The Eagles and Donnie Tyndall are dancing in a big way this week:

Centre's Greg Ross Named to NABC All-District Team

Centre junior Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio) has been named to the 2011 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District Second Team for the South Region.

The student-athletes are selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC.

Ross finished the season ranked 32nd in the nation in free-throw percentage (86.2), while helping the team to a #2 ranking in scoring defense (55.7) and a #11 ranking in three-throw percentage (76.3) and rebound margin (7.7). He also ended the season ranked second in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in free throw percentage (86.2%). Ross was third in the conference in scoring (15.6), fifth in rebounding (6.8), and sixth in defensive rebounds (5.1).

Complete Article

Kentucky Players Talk About Surviving Princeton

Kentucky's Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb, DeAndre Liggins and Terrence Jones spoke to the media following today's close win over Princeton. Here are their comments to

Brandon Knight

On his game winning shot…
“I am just happy we won the game, that is the most important thing. I just wanted to be aggressive and not settle for a jump shot. I was able to get in the lane and finish.”

On his confidence level with that shot…
“Yes. As a player that works on his game a lot, I felt confident. No matter what the situation is, even if I had missed all my shots up to that point.”

On what the play was…
“It was just pick and roll, and we just wanted to see what we could get out of it. Darius [Miller] had been hot and I thought they shaded to him, so I just took it.”

On whether he was surprised this was a close game…
“No I was not surprised. I knew they were going to fight for their lives. They are a great team, and they came out and battled us to the end.”

On his game…
“It was tough as far as shooting. As far as other aspects, I was trying just to affect the game in other ways.”

On knowing he had not made a shot to that point…
“Not really. I wasn’t focused on that. I was just focusing on running the team and getting the win. That’s the most important thing.”

On the attitude it takes to win when you do not play well…
“Just knowing that your team needs you; you can’t get down on yourself. You have to continue to play hard, keep everyone into it and keep up the enthusiasm.”

On getting the final shot…
“Definitely. I know that coach has faith in me no matter how much time is on the clock.”

On winning when the team does not play its best…
“It just shows that the rest of the team can step up.”

DeAndre Liggins

On who usually takes the last shot…
“It depends on what the situation. The ball was in Brandon’s [Knight] hands and he made the play.”

On Princeton…
“They ran a lot of backdoor cuts and made a lot of tough shots. They made a lot of tough shots that we can live with, they were just tough.”

Doron Lamb
On winning a close game…
“It is always good to win every game you play. I am glad we won and are moving on.”

On the final shot…
“I was nervous, but I know that Brandon [Knight] is tough. We have a lot of confidence in him to shoot the last shot. He missed every shot he took up until then, but we still had a lot of confidence in him taking the last shot.”

On playing in the NCAA tournament…
“It was probably the same, but every game is like a championship game. If you win, you keep going and if you lose, you go home. We want to keep going.”

On what Coach Calipari said during timeouts in the second half…
“We were trying to get three stops straight, and if we could do that and execute on offense, then we would be good. We did that and we got some big threes and got on a little run. Then it came down to the wire and Brandon [Knight] hit the last shot.”

Terrence Jones

On Brandon Knight’s final shot…
“I knew he was going to make it. He had the defender on his right side and went past him.”

On what he saw on the final play…
“I saw the defender trying to switch, and Brandon [Knight] turned it down and they didn’t want to foul. And once he got past him, he just had to make the layup.”

On his feelings now…
“I am happy that we get to play another game and relieved that we won when playing awful. We still got through it.”

Big Blue Nation: Do You Remember This?

Hey Big Blue Nation: do you happen to remember the feeling you had last season when the West Virginia Mountaineers mocked Kentucky by doing the John Wall Dance during their post game celebration?

Here's a reminder:

Time for some payback.

DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller Talk About Princeton Win

Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller talk about surviving today's game against Princeton (via bluenationblog on YouTube):

Georgetown College Defeats Olivet Nazarene in Tournament

(7) Georgetown College 83
Olivet Nazarene 76

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Georgetown College men's basketball team ended a first round curse, exiting then the past two seasons, Thursday morning with a win over Olivet Nazarene (21-12) in the 2011 Buffalo Funds NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, 83-76.

Now the Tigers (30-4) face an opponent only seen twice before, unseeded McKendree University, 12:30 p.m. CST Friday (1:30 p.m. EST). The last time GC and the Bearcats (21-12) played was in the 2004 national tournament first round. Georgetown won 88-56.

MU defeated No. 10 Southern Nazarene Thursday afternoon, the fourth upset of the first round with five more games to play before the round of 16. The Bearcats rallied from six down at the half for a big 75-62 win.

Complete Recap

Kentucky Dodges Upset Bid, Survives Princeton

(4) Kentucky 59
(13) Princeton 57
Final from Tampa, Florida

The University of Kentucky Wildcats survived an early scare in the NCAA Tournament as they escaped Princeton 59-57 in Tampa, Florida.

Freshman Brandon Knight, who had arguably his worst game as a Wildcat, hit a runner with 2.0 seconds remaining to give Kentucky a 59-57 lead.

The game-winning basket was Knight's only two points of the day. He was 1-8 from the field.

After a timeout, Princeton missed a three-quarter court desperation shot and the Wildcats advanced.

Darius Miller led Kentucky with 17 points on 6-11 shooting. Josh Harrellson had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Terrence Jones chipped in 10 points.

Dan Mavraides led Princeton (25-7, 12-2 Ivy) with 14 points. Douglas Davis added 13 and Kareem Maddox put in 12.

Kentucky (26-8, 10-6 SEC) advances to play West Virginia in Saturday's Third Round.

Morehead State Stuns Louisville in NCAA Tournament

(13) Morehead State 62
(4) Louisville 61

Final from Denver, Colorado

The Morehead State Eagles have shocked the college basketball world with a 62-61 upset over the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA Tournament.

Morehead State senior Demonte Harper drilled a clutch three-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining to give the Eagles a 62-61 lead. Louisville's desperation shot to win it was blocked by Kenneth Faried and the Eagles held on for the stunning win.

Terrance Hill led the Eagles (25-9, 13-5 OVC) with a career-high 23 points off the bench. Hill was 5-6 from long range and also pulled down 8 rebounds. Kenneth Faried added 12 points and 17 rebounds. Ty Proffitt chipped in 13 points for Morehead.

Chris Smith scored 17 points to lead Louisville (25-10, 12-6 Big East).

Senior Preston Knowles suffered a toe injury in the second half and the Cardinals were never the same without him in the lineup. Knowles watched in pain as Morehead made a comeback and held on.

Faried collected his 85th career double-double, which is second all-time.

The Eagles, which won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1984, will advance to Saturday's round of 32 and play the winner of Vanderbilt and Richmond.

Videos: 2012 UK Recruits Perry Ellis and Brandon Ashley

Here are some new videos of Kentucky 2012 recruits Perry Ellis and Brandon Ashley:

Perry Ellis, 2-8, 220-lbs. Power Forward:

Brandon Ashley, 6-8, 225-lbs. Power Forward:

NCAA Tournament Schedule for Thursday, March 17

Here is an NCAA Tournament schedule for the day:


Tip (ET) Network Site Game Play-by-Play/Analyst//Reporter Producer/Director

12:15 PM CBS Tampa West Virginia vs. UAB/Clemson Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//David Aldridge Bob Mansbach/Chris Svendsen

12:40 PM truTV Wash. D.C. Butler vs. Old Dominion Tim Brando/Mike Gminski//Lewis Johnson Ross Schneiderman/Vic Frank/Bryan Lilley/Andy Goldberg

1:40 PM TBS Denver Louisville vs. Morehead St. Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Lesley Visser Mark Wolff/Suzanne Smith

2:10 PM TNT Tucson Temple vs. Penn St. Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner//Sam Ryan Scooter Vertino/Renardo Lowe

after conc. I CBS Tampa Kentucky vs. Princeton Eagle/Spanarkel//Aldridge Mansbach/Svendsen

after conc. I truTV Wash. D.C. Pittsburgh vs. UNC Asheville/UALR Brando/Gminski//Johnson Schneiderman/Frank Lilley/Goldberg

after conc. I TBS Denver Vanderbilt vs. Richmond Lundquist/Raftery//Visser Wolff/Smith
after conc. I TNT Tucson San Diego St. vs. Northern Colorado Harlan/Miller/Bonner//Ryan Vertino/Lowe


6:50 PM TBS Tampa Florida vs. UC Santa Barbara
7:15 PM CBS Denver BYU vs. Wofford
7:20 PM TNT Wash D.C. Connecticut vs. Bucknell
7:27 PM truTV Tucson Wisconsin vs. Belmont
after conc. III TBS Tampa UCLA vs. Michigan St.
after conc. III CBS Denver St. John's vs. Gonzaga
after conc. III TNT Wash. D.C. Cincinnati vs. Missouri
after conc. III truTV Tucson Kansas St. vs. Utah St.

NCAA Tournament Preview: Princeton vs. Kentucky

Kentucky and Princeton met with the media yesterday as they get ready for today's NCAA Tournament game:

Lamb, Harrellson and Miller Talk About Princeton Game

Kentucky players Doron Lamb, Josh Harrellson and Darius Miller spoke to the media about today's NCAA Tournament game against Princeton.

Here are some of their quotes from

Doron Lamb

On ankle injury…
“It hurt a little bit, but once the game started it was okay. After the game it was killing me. But I got a lot of treatment, iced it, and I will be ready for tomorrow.”

On everyone playing well now…
“That’s what we need to win games; everybody needs to contribute. That is how it as been lately, and if Darius keeps playing like the way he has, I think we can beat anybody in the country.”

On Princeton playing with nothing to lose…
“Yeah, but I think we should win the game though. We have to continue how we are playing with our defense.”

On how good the defense is…
“We have been great. Everyone on the team knows what’s going on. We are stopping them from what they are doing.”

On how good the team is…
“Everyone is growing up and the olders guys are being leaders. We have been talking on defense and team rebounding. Brandon has been pushing the ball as the point guard. If we continue doing that, we can be great.”

Darius Miller
On playing Princeton…
“They are going to work the shot clock and try to wear us down a little bit on the defensive end. Like I’ve said, we just need to prepare and play our game.”

On thoughts of Princeton’s style…
“We have not watched video of them yet, but we plan to tonight. We know what coach has told us about them.”

On Princeton pushing the tempo…
“He talked to us about that, but we have to be prepared and go. We know they are a good team; we have seen their record. It is going to be a good game. We are ready to go.”

Josh Harrellson

On being nervous in the NCAA tournament…
“Everyone has the butterflies when you step out on the court, but you have to play harder and get the butterflies out first and just play basketball.”

On it possibly being his last game…
“I am just going to come out and leave every piece of energy and effort on the court. It is my last year, it could be my last game at any time so I just wanted to go out and play hard.”

On the team coming together…
“I believe so. We know each other a lot better and built relationships to become better friends as the year goes through. Early in the season we had out cliques, but now everyone is coming together and playing team basketball, which is fun.”

On the argument that experience beat youth…
“I think Cornell made the same argument last year when they started five seniors. We started three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. I think that who wants it more will come out and take it from the opponent. Hopefully we want it more than they do.”

On the team’s confidence level…
“I think our confidence is out of the roof right now. We have been playing team basketball and coming off a strong SEC tournament with some great wins. Hopefully we can carry that confidence over.”

A Sea of Blue Invades Tampa for NCAA Tournament says a sea of blue has invaded Tampa for Kentucky's NCAA Tournament action. There is so much blue that many Florida supports are asking: "where's the orange?"

Here is an excerpt:

The "sea of blue" supporters are among 18,000 college basketball fans landing downtown for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. They're squeezing into downtown parking garages, riding InTown Trolleys and streetcars and reserving hotel rooms from Westshore to Harbour Island.

Basketball followers know the drill: Eight teams, including the Wildcats, are part of a 68-team field trying to advance to the April 2 Final Four in Houston. The mad march begins today at the St. Pete Times Forum, which hosts regional second- and third-round competition, drawing teams that include UCLA, Michigan State, Florida and Kentucky. Combined, those four have amassed 22 national titles.

Tickets start at $77, but on Wednesday, spectators got to see teams practice for free.

Wildcat fans lined the tunnel when their team came out, reached out for high fives, clapped in unison and held up placards as their fight song blared. They skipped work, pulled on royal blue T-shirts and pinned "True Blue" buttons to their chests. They made their children do the same.
Complete Article

KCU's Casey Jones Named NCCAA DII All-American

Casey Jones of Kentucky Christian has been named to the NCCAA Division II All-American First Team.

NCCAA D2 All-American Awards 2010-11

Maravich Award: Allen Durham (6'6''-F) of Grace Bible
Coach of the Year: Gary Bailey of Grace Bible

1st Team

Tyler Betz of Faith Baptist
Tirrell Cunningham of Ohio Christian
Allen Durham (6'6'') of Grace Bible
Casey Jones of Ky Christian
Justin Kinsey of Valley Forge
Charles Page of Manhattan Chr.
Nathan Roeder of N.Central Univ.
Todd Wahlberg of Clearwater Chr.
Antoine Warren of Dallas Christian
Tory Wooley of Atlanta Christian

2nd Team

Latrell Alford of Valley Forge
Timothy Baker of Ohio Christian
Chad Gehrke of Hillsdale FBBC
Blake Hanson of Cent.Bible
Drew Hanson (6'3'') of Ozark Christian
Cory Jamieson (6'3'') of Grace Bible
Kevin Keltner of Lancaster Bible
Terrence Taylor of Florida Christian
Michael Stum of Valley Forge
Chris Weber (5'9'') of Cent.Bible

Morehead State and Louisville to Battle Today

(13) Morehead State vs. (4) Louisville

NCAA Tournament - First Round - Denver, Colorado

Time: 1:40 p.m. ET
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Television: TBS

Morehead State's NCAA Press Conference:

MSU head coach Donnie Tyndall speaks to fans on Selection Sunday:

Union's Turrell Morris Named NAIA DII All-American

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Union sophomore Turrell Morris was named to the third team of the 2010-11 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball All-American Team on Wednesday. Players for the team were selected by the All-America committee.

Morris (Columbus, Ohio), a guard, becomes the first Union College men's basketball player to be selected to one of the NAIA All-American Teams since Ernie Trosper was named to the first team in 1954-55. Since then, seven Union players have earned honorable mention honors, the last being Durrell Robinson in 2000-01.

Morris led the Bulldogs all season long, pacing the team to their first conference championship since the 1971-72 season and to their first trip to the NAIA National Tournament since the 1967-68 season. The Co-Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Morris led the league in scoring and the Bulldogs (18.48) and rebounding (10.58) for the majority of the season. He also ended the year in the team lead in blocks (32) and steals (43).

In all, Morris led the Bulldogs in scoring in 19 of the 32 games Union played in on the year and recorded 17 double-doubles, his last coming in UC's 81-59 loss to No. 1 Walsh at the National Tournament.

He also matched a school record for points in a game (45) in a win over Tennessee Wesleyan on Feb. 16 and nearly matched the school's rebounds in a game record twice during the season. For his efforts, Morris was named the AAC's Player of the Week six times during the year and also earned NAIA Division II Player of the Week honors on two occasions.

Union finished the season 16-16 overall.

* Release by Union College

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: NCAA Tournament Edition

Today's Top 5:

- Enes Kanter admits that he cries often when watching Kentucky play. Here is a new update on the ineligible Kentucky freshman.

- Pikeville College stunned the defending national champions in the first round of the NAIA DI National Tournament.

- A story about Xavier Keeling of St. Catharine College and his new life as a young father.

- Unbelievably bizarre story out of China as former Kentucky star Joe Crawford has been cut after a psycho coach alleges that Crawford "faked" an injury.

- Coaching carousel updates: Bruce Pearl's seat is on fire while Billy Gillispie may be the next coach at Texas Tech.

On Thursday, Get Ready For:

- Georgetown College vs. Olivet Nazarene in the first round of the NAIA DI National Tournament. The game will tip at 10:00 a.m. ET.

- Louisville vs. Morehead State in the NCAA Tournament at 1:40 p.m. ET. (TBS)

- Kentucky vs. Princeton in the NCAA Tournament at 2:45 p.m. ET. (CBS)

Scores from Day 1 of the PNC/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen:

Game 1: George Rogers Clark 56 Oldham County 39
Game 2: Eastern 54 Warren Central 51
Game 3: Christian County 83 Shelby Valley 40
Game 4: Lexington Catholic 69 Dixie Heights 60

Recruiting News:

- Mason County's Jordan Gilbert visited Hanover College today and will visit Mount Vernon tomorrow.

- God's Gift Achiuwa had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead Erie Community College to an 85-78 win over Parkland in the NJCAA DII National Tournament.

- The report from @TheRecruitScoop on Twitter that Stan Simpson has received an offer from Kansas is false. Simpson has not received an offer according to Garrett Tucker of

- According to Jody Demling. Corey Washburn of Bullitt East holds scholarship offers from Georgetown College, St. Catharine College and Maryville University. He has also heard from IU Southeast, Spalding and Morehead State.

- Former Ballard star Ian Chiles, who plays at Wabash Valley Junior College, is hearing from Southern Miss, IUPUI, Loyola (IL), SIU Edwardsville, Murray State, Wright State, VCU, James Madison, Radford, UTEP, Tennessee Tech, UT-Martin, Morehead State, DePaul and South Florida. Source

The Buzz:

- There are rumors that former Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried is involved at South Florida.

- Congratulations to Union College's Turrell Morris. He was named NAIA DII Third Team All-American today.

- Rumors are circulating that Bruce Pearl's seat in on fire at Tennessee.

- Some names mentioned in the Florida Gulf Coast University coaching search: Orlando Antigua, Kyle Macy, Ray Harper and Richard Pitino

Video of the Day (Updated video of UK recruit Braeden Anderson):

Lindenwood Upsets St. Catharine in NAIA Tournament

Lindenwood 78
(14) St. Catharine 72

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Mo. - Unseeded Lindenwood University (Mo.) made nine of 10 free throws in the final minute of play to hang on for a 78-72 victory over No. 14 seed St. Catharine College (Ky.) Wednesday in first-round action at the 2011 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium.

Junior guard Kramer Soderberg made all 11 of his free throw attempts - including six in the last 60 seconds - on his way to a game-high 27 points for the Lions. Lindenwood improves to 29-5 on the year and moves on to Friday's second round action. The Lions will meet either No. 3 Mountain State University (W.Va.) or Park University (Mo.) in the round of 16 Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT.

Sophomore guard Alex Bazzell connected for 14 points and added seven rebounds, while senior guard Richard Rose registered 13 points for Lindenwood, which collected its first-ever win at the NAIA Division I Naitonal Championship. The Lions had a big game at the free throw line, hitting 33-of-40 attempts (82.5 percent). That included an 87 percent clip (20-of-23) in the second half.
Complete Article

Chris Low: Bruce Pearl is Out at Tennessee

ESPN's Chris Low is reporting that Bruce Pearl is out a Tennessee's head basketball coach.

Low made the comments while on the air with Chad Withrow of 104.5 the Zone:

withrowzone Chris Low is reporting that Bruce Pearl is out as Tennessee's Basketball Coach. Just said it on-air with meAdd Image

It has been a tumultuous season for Pearl and the Volunteers. His team under-performed in a season interrupted by off-the-court problems that included Pearl serving an eight-game suspension for violations of NCAA rules.

UPDATE: BFeldmanESPN Just heard from Chris Low. He isn't reporting that Bruce Pearl has been fired at this point.

My Thoughts: It seems like this is a case of an overzealous (and irresponsible) Twitter message from Chad Withrow. However, there is plenty of smoke surrounding Pearl's future and I would guess that there will be an announcement coming soon after Tennessee exits the NCAA Tournament.

Stan Simpson Says Kentucky Tops His List

Stan Simpson, a 2011 power forward, says on Twitter tonight that Kentucky is on top of his list.

Stan_Simpson Kentucky is #1 on my list right now.

Simpson is a 6-10 power forward at John A. Logan College (JUCO).

Texas Tech Closing In On Billy Gillispie

According to Andy Katz of ESPN, Texas Tech University is on the verge of hiring Billy Gillispie to be the school's new men's basketball coach.

Here is an excerpt from Katz:

Unless something happens this week to jeopardize a deal, Texas Tech and Billy Gillispie should reach an agreement soon. Gillispie would be the right fit for the Red Raiders and should be able to energize an apathetic fan base by putting out a hard-nosed product.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that Monday will likely be the day that Gillispie is officially offered the job:

This hire screams out to be made the same way hiring Billy Gillispie did at Texas A&M. The same way hiring a new-look Gillispie does at Texas Tech—a deal I will be stunned if it’s not made. Tech’s “offer date” is now set for next Monday, when new AD Kirby Hocutt officially moves into his office.

He and Tech’s chancellor and president have spoken with and done exhaustive research on Gillispie and it’s my impression they are convinced he’s turned the corner in many ways.

Beijing Ducks Cut Joe Crawford Under Bizarre Circumstances

There is a crazy story out of China today as former University of Kentucky star Joe Crawford has been released by the Beijing Ducks.

The decision to let Crawford comes from a bizarre and mysterious set of circumstances.

Crawford told the team he suffered an injury to his ankle prior to the last regular season game, but the team's coach told reporters that Crawford was "faking it."

Midway through the final game, the coach called Crawford's number anyways and tried to force him into the game. Crawford entered the game and after 59 seconds, had to take himself out because he was in tremendous pain.

Shortly after the game, Crawford was cut from the roster.

Here is an excerpt from

After the game, a disgusted Min told reporters that Crawford was faking it.
“He came to me at about 5:30pm, two hours before the start of the game, and he told me that he sprained his ankle,” said Min. “But the past few days during practice, to me it didn’t look like he was having any problems with the ankle.”

Shortly after Beijing lost 122-121 in overtime, sealing their first-round fate against Xinjiang, Min along with Beijing general manager, Yuan Chao, and other team officials, met to discuss the incidentand promptly decided to cut Crawford and search for another import.

Sources with direct knowledge of the situation, however, have informed NiuBBall that Crawford remains adamant that he was hurt and is angry over the nature of his release. During the game, teammate Randolph Morris told Min that Crawford’s ankle was in fact sprained and he shouldn’t be forced to play. This isn’t the first time issues over player substitutions have come up — unexpected even to him, Steve Francis was inserted to the game wearing an ice pack on his ankle despite being told by Min prior the game that he wouldn’t play due to a lack of conditioning and severe jet lag.

In 16 games, Crawford averaged 24.1 minutes, 14.2 points, 1 assist and 2.5 rebounds on 40% shooting.

A Baby Changes Everything for Xavier Keeling

The first time I met St. Catharine College's Xavier Keeling was an interesting moment in the men's restroom prior to a late-season game at SCC.

I looked up to see Keeling, in his Patriots uniform, changing the diaper of an infant baby.

The moment caught me off guard a bit, but I was able to have a brief conversation with the St. Catharine star. At that time, Kadynn Elise Keeling was about two weeks old.

Kadynn was born February 10 just before midnight in Louisville.

St. Catharine was playing on the road that night and Xavier was on the interstate trying to get back to Louisville for the birth but he failed to make it in time.

"She was born when I was on the way to Louisville," Xavier explains. "The first time I laid eyes on her it was the most beautiful thing I've seen before. I couldn't stop staring at her."

Keeling was excited throughout the pregnancy.

"I felt amazing when I found out," he says. "I was happy...very excited. Couldn't wait for her to get here."

The pregnancy and time since Kadynn's birth haven't been without challenges, however. Xavier is in Springfield finishing up the semester at St. Catharine while Katrice, the mother, and Kadynn are in Louisville.

"It's kind of challenging," Xavier admits. "I do the best I can to get there several times a week."

He admits that his life has changed significantly now that he has the added responsibility of being a father.

"I'm definitely a lot more mature and I look at life very differently now," he explains. "I feel good inside because someone is depending on me so much. I'm more focused on her than I am myself."

A Long Road to Springfield, Kentucky

The path to St. Catharine has been a long and winding road for Xavier Keeling.

"Out of high school, I committed to Indiana University," Keeling says. "They had a coaching change and it didn't really work for me so I ended up going the JUCO route."

Xavier then transferred to Detroit Mercy, where he played two seasons.

"And now I'm at St. Catharine for my senior season," he states.

While he's only been at St. Catharine College for a short time, he feels the experience has been great.

"This is a great small school for me," he says of SCC. "I think this environment is something I really needed to get away from distractions. Coach (J.T.) Burton has been a great mentor...a father figure to me. He's been very supportive but at the same time he let's me know what's at stake and holds me accountable.

"My teammates have really been there for me," he adds.

Xavier's Biggest Challenge

"My biggest challenge has been on the court," Xavier explains. "I play physical basketball and this isn't a league where you can just go out an over power everyone."

He's learned to respect Mid-South Conference basketball.

"I didn't think it would be this much competition, but it has been," he says of the MSC. "It's a great league. It's a little different in terms of physicality...D1 is more physical."

Keeling is finally regaining his basketball form and there have been no shortage of NBA scouts at St. Catharine games this semester.

"I've been hearing from a lot of guys that might be interested," he tells me. "I just try to play ball and let everything else take care of itself.

Xavier says he plans to finish up school and see where basketball takes him.

Patriots Set for the NAIA DI National Tournament

St. Catharine opens play in the NAIA DI National Tournament later today at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Patriots (22-8) will battle Lindenwood (28-5) in the first game.

"I think we're playing our best basketball right now," Xavier says. "I think we'll be fine."

As Keeling and the Patriots lace them up for the national tournament, it's clear that - win or lose - a baby has changed everything for the senior star.

John Pelphrey is Not Happy with Arkansas

In some parting words after being let go by the University of Arkansas, former head coach John Pelphrey expressed disappointment in the school's decision.

Here is an excerpt from

While saying, "I do not agree with the decision made yesterday," Pelphrey exited Monday expressing nothing but good things about Arkansas, including those who hired him, former Arkansas athletics director Frank Broyles and former Arkansas Chancellor John White, and those who fired him, Long and Chancellor David Gearhart, and all for whom he worked and worked for him and those he coached during his four Arkansas seasons and the five recruits he signed for next season.

Pelphrey expressed his love for the university:

"Four years ago, when I came here I said that this was a dream job," Pelphrey said. "I meant that then and I still do. My love and affection for this state, the people, this university, and that logo (the Hog) — it has stolen my heart. I will always be a Razorback."

Pikeville Ousts Defending National Champs in Kansas City

Pikeville College 76
(9) Oklahoma Baptist 69

Final from Kansas City, Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Pikeville College assured the 2011 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship of a new title holder with a 76-69 win over defending champion Oklahoma Baptist University Wednesday morning.

The win came in the first game of the tournament, a 9 a.m. local time start on Wednesday at historic Municipal Auditorium.

The win came one day shy of the 10-year anniversary of Pikeville's only other meeting with OBU, an 88-83 win over the Bison in the quarterfinals of the 2001 national tournament.

Pikeville (26-7) will advance to the second round on Friday in another 9 a.m. start against the winner of the day’s second game between No. 8 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) University and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.).

The Bears got the win despite early and steady foul trouble, particularly from its post players. Three Bears fouled out, including inside starters Quincy Hankins-Cole and Andre Thornton. The seniors combined for only four points and four rebounds.

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Forde Plays Best Case/Worst Case with Tournament Teams

ESPN's Pat Forde looks at the best case and worst case scenarios for all NCAA Tournament teams.

Here are excerpts on Kentucky, Louisville and Morehead State:

Kentucky (4)

Best Case: With their young stars growing up on national TV, the Wildcats return to the summit and win their eighth national title. Freshman Brandon Knight plays like the best NBA-prospect guard with two healthy big toes. Terrence Jones continues to be an all-court matchup problem and rebounding fool, but now takes better shots. Doron Lamb makes every open 3. Junior Darius Miller continues the late-season blossoming that made him SEC tournament MVP. Kentucky mows down Princeton, West Virginia, Ohio State, North Carolina, Duke and Kansas to win the title, cutting a wide swath through its blue-blood competition for the greatest program of all-time. John Calipari snips the nets at last, and 2,000 Kentucky families name their newborn sons Cal. To complete the rapture, Louisville loses its first game to Morehead State and Rick Pitino gets ejected. In response to rumors of interest from the New York Knicks, Kentucky gives Calipari an $8 million-a-year contract and a half-share in the Rachel Alexandra-Curlin foal and starts construction on a new 30,000-seat arena.

Worst Case: In a crushing case of déjà vu, Joe Mazzulla keys another West Virginia upset of the Wildcats -- this time in the round of 32 -- and extends Kentucky's longest-ever Final Four drought to 13 years. Bob Huggins runs his record to 9-1 against Calipari, who verbally bombs Terrence Jones again in a late-game situation. Big Blue fans who spent all week dissecting the presumptive Kentucky-Ohio State matchup have their daydreams pre-empted by the reality of Mazzulla evicting the Wildcats once more. Every key underclassman goes pro and so does Calipari, who is hired in New York to replace Mike D'Antoni after the Knicks bomb in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Louisville reaches the Final Four with no first-round draft picks.

Louisville (4)

Best Case: Overachieving season reaches new high when the Cardinals ride sizzling shooting and pressure defense to five victories and the program's ninth Final Four. Highlight moment comes when Louisville hits 15 3-point shots and Rick Pitino runs his Sweet 16 record to 10-0 with an upset of No. 1 seed Kansas. After beating Pittsburgh for the second time this year in the Final Four, "them bums" wave goodbye to Ashton Gibbs and say hello to Ohio State in the final. Cardinals lose there but walk away from the season feeling giddy. Preston Knowles, Peyton Siva and Kyle Kuric play like the best backcourt triumvirate in the Dance. Kentucky loses in the second round to West Virginia and freshmen Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb all go pro.

Worst Case: Injury-addled season reaches a new low when big men Terrence Jennings and Gorgui Dieng collide in pregame layup line against Morehead State, knocking each other unconscious. With only end-of-the-bench post men left to contest Kenneth Faried, he goes off for 30 points and 20 rebounds, leading the Eagles to a shocking upset. Peyton Siva makes ill-advised decision to turn pro. Kentucky goes on to win the national title, announces plans to build a new arena that's nicer than the KFC Yum! Center and gets verbal commitments from every single five-star recruit in the Class of 2013.

Morehead State (13)

Best Case: Hoopsworld falls in love with Kenneth Faried -- his braids, his boards and his compelling backstory -- as he leads the Eagles out of remote northeastern Kentucky and into the Sweet 16. Surprisingly athletic Morehead drives the ball with vigor and swarms Louisville's shooters in a first-round shocker, then beats Richmond in a 12-13 bracket-collapse game. Reality arrives in a Sweet 16 loss to Kansas, but by then America comes to appreciate coach Donnie Tyndall's ability to win at one of the toughest places to recruit in America. When the Eagles land at the Lexington airport, thousands of Kentucky fans greet them in ecstasy over the early dismissal of Pitino and Louisville.

Worst Case: The players on one of the nation's sloppier ballhandling teams might as well be wearing pork chops around their necks and playing with pit bulls against swarming Louisville. Eagles turn the ball over 28 times, fail to close on 3-point shooters in transition and are shot back to their backwater burg in short order by the Cardinals. Faried never gets a chance to punish Louisville inside because the Morehead guards can't get him the ball -- they're too busy giving it to the Louisville guards. With Faried leaving, Tyndall gets out, too. Kentucky fans heckle Morehead at the Lexington airport for failing to eliminate Pitino and the Cardinals.

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