Tag Archives: Memphis Tigers

A Pursuit for Gr8tness: Kentucky Basketball in a new era

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. John Calipari (pictured above) has revived Kentucky basketball and mastered the science of the one-and-done.

By Matt Murray

In the evening hours of March 25, 2009, Lexington, Kentucky was solemn and quiet. All that could be heard was the sound of a buzzer going off on the few TVs that had been left on long enough to watch the Kentucky Wildcats fall by double digits to Notre Dame in the NIT. It was rock bottom; the end of a long slide from the top of the mountain of college basketball.  Kentucky had missed the tournament for the first time in 17 years, and their new coach, Billy Gillispie, had seemingly put the finishing touches on running the program out of the spotlight.

For years, Kentucky had thrived in an era of college basketball in which dynasties were the key to success; building and sustaining programs was forged on the foundation of long-term players. But with the introduction of the one-and-done rule, Kentucky was unable to find a way to survive in a new era of basketball. That all changed on April 1st, 2009.

In the span of a week, Kentucky ousted Gillipsie and brought in one-and-done expert John Calipari, who promised the power of his recruiting, mixed with the historical prestige of Kentucky, would be a potent mix that would allow him to create a modern-day dynasty in Lexington. He admitted it would be a different feel, one that would put players before the program, but that’s how a team must survive in this basketball landscape. The teams will serve as revolving doors to the NBA, but it’s the only way to ensure the best of the best want to attend your school. They have to spend one year out of high school before they head to the league, and Calipari has made it nearly impossible to explain why you’d want to spend that year anywhere else but Lexington. Continue reading

Wittry’s March Madness Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. According to our guest blogger Andrew Wittry, John Calipari (pictured above) will be a happy man on the night of April 2nd as he finally gets the monkey off his back and brings home a national championship.

By Andrew Wittry

Andrew Wittry is a senior at St. Xavier High School who literally eats and sleeps sports.  He is looking forward to college and avidly pursuing a career in sports journalism.  Andrew has an already well- established blog called Sports.Eat.Sleep.Repeat., where he posts new content regarding both professional and collegiate sports a few times each week.

Which month would you give up to have more March? While Buffalo Wild Wings jokingly uses this phrase in their recent March Madness advertising campaign, in all seriousness, I would willingly give up a few days of each month to be able to have more of the NCAA Tournament.

After coming home on from practice the other night and looking at the bracket, I could not have been more pleased with the field. When the biggest complaint about a team being left out is Drexel, a team out of the Colonial Athletic Association, who did win nineteen of its final twenty games, but did not have a single quality win out of conference, the committee did an excellent job.  Though Drexel’s amazing late season surge in which they reeled off 19 wins in their last 20 games was highly impressive. I was very excited about how well the local teams fared as Xavier’s run in the A-10 Tournament earned the team a 10 seed and Cincinnati claimed a six spot.  UC’s six was due in large part to giving #2 Syracuse its second loss of the season.

Here are my initial reactions from Selection Sunday:

Is Kentucky’s road to the Final Four too tough? Continue reading

March Madness 2012 Preview

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. The Road to the Final Four begins tonight in Dayton. Here is a guide to help with your bracket.

By Josh Kramer

For the first time in a very long time, there will be no “Food for Thought” today (Tuesday).  A higher being has taken charge.  And that would be none other than March Madness.  Sure there are other things going on in sports, but what else do you really want to talk about?  Sorry Peyton.  You will be taking a back seat today.

The brackets are finally set.  And as usual, Joe Lunardi did a wonderful job with Bracketology, correctly guessing 67 of the 68 teams in the field.  The guy is unbelievable. But enough speculation.  Let’s talk about the actual tournament bracket.

South Region:  The Region of Prestige

Overall Analysis

-Many are proclaiming this the best region in the field.  I do not agree (I think the East is).  But without question, it is not short on “prestigious” programs such as Kentucky, Connecticut, Indiana, and Duke. In addition, three of last year’s Final Four participants reside in the South (Kentucky, Connecticut, and VCU).  But let’s be entirely realistic.  This region starts and ends with the Big Blue Nation.  If Kentucky comes to play, they won’t lose.

Winner

-Kentucky

Sleeper

-Connecticut

Upset Alert

-Xavier over Notre Dame

Fun Facts

-The Connecticut Huskies are praying that history does not repeat itself. Each time UConn has won the title under Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004) the following year has resulted in a second round exit from the tourney (would be third round this year).

-A number one overall seed has been revealed each of the past eight years.  The top seed has only reached the Final Four three times. The only number one overall seed during this year eight year stretch to win the title was Florida in 2007.  Kentucky is praying that they can accomplish what their SEC rival did five years ago. Continue reading

Big Blue Nausea

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. John Calipari (pictured above) appears well on his way to capturing the first National Championship of his career.

By Josh Kramer

It’s a bird.  It’s a plane.  It’s Anthony Davis?  I will be the first to say that Kentucky is not my favorite team in the world.  To be entirely honest, they are probably my least favorite team in America.  Kentucky, also known as the “Big Blue Nation,” is arguably the most tradition filled program in college basketball and their fans make sure that you are fully aware of it.  They are the end-all be-all of sports in the Bluegrass State.   Either way, there is no denying just how well this team is playing right now.

This year’s Kentucky team has people across the nation saying, “John Wall and Demarcus Cousins who?”  Ever since John Calipari stepped foot in Lexington, the target has been on his back.  And along with his controversial past, he brought an absurd amount of blue chips to Kentucky.  I mean, there have been so many blue chip recruits on the Lexington campus during his three-year run, that he has made the “Fab-Five” sound more like the “Mediocre-Five” on multiple occasions.  People say he is a great recruiter, and unless the NCAA tells us differently, we will have to remain under the assumption that he is playing by the rules. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 12-12-2011

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino (pictured above) be all smiles next Saturday after Louisville hosts old Conference USA rival Memphis?

By Josh Kramer

Both number one and number two went down in college basketball.  Baylor claimed its first Heisman.  And the NL MVP was apparently taking some sort of illegal performance-enhancing drug (PED).  Last week was absolutely wild, but this week should be fun in its own right. Here are the events to keep an eye on this week.

5.  Bowl season is upon us.  We all were thoroughly impressed by Robert Griffin III on Saturday night in NYC.  The guys is truly a gentlemen and a phenomenal ambassador of the sport.  RGIII truly embodies what it means to be a student athlete.  But there is still more football to be played.  Bowl season gets underway on Saturday with a triple-header of games.  I am not sure any of these lackluster bowls will be of interest to you unless you are dedicated fan of one of the schools.  Here is the rundown though. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 11-21-2011

Photo courtesy of sacbee.com. Thanksgiving will be a family reunion of sorts for the Harbaugh family as Jim Harbaugh (left) leads his 49ers into Baltimore to take on John Harbaugh's (right) Ravens.

By Josh Kramer

It is safe to say that last week was absolutely a wild one in the wide world of sports.  The College Football world was turned upside down, while the NFL was highly entertaining as always.  College Basketball is back in full force, while the MLB off-season awards were doled out.  Plus the NASCAR Sprint for the Cup came to a wild conclusion.

Here are the events to keep an eye on this week. Continue reading