Category Archives: basketball

Big Blue Nation Should Be Ashamed Of Itself

Kentucky basketball has been the pride of the bluegrass for over a century, and with good reason. UK has won 8 National Titles, second only to UCLA’s 11. Due to the unparalleled success of the basketball program, and the lack of a professional franchise in the state, Kentucky basketball fans are ravenous. There is nothing wrong with passion-until you take it too far! After falling to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament, in the Elite Eight, the passion of Big Blue Nation indeed, went too far.

The contest between North Carolina and Kentucky was truly a “classic,” coming down to the final seconds. After the buzzer sounded and tears were shed, some Kentucky fans went absolutely nuts. A vocal group in the Big Blue fan base directed their ire towards John Higgins,  the lead official during the game, who also officiated during the Final Four.  If you watched the game, the officiating was questionable at best. However, poor officiating occurred for both sides, and to be quite blunt, happens every game on every level. You can certainly criticize Higgins and his crew for missed calls, but to equate it to the bias that occurred between the US and Soviet Union in the 1978 Olympics is ridiculous. Even worse, a small group of fans took to social media and other platforms to threaten and disparage Higgins personally. Dozens of negative comments were left on Higgins’ business website, questioning his integrity as a person and suggesting his business should be boycotted.  Again, its fine to be critical of Higgins as an official, but trying to affect his lively hood crosses a line.

If you as the reader do not feel a line has been crossed, let us offer other instances. While some took shots at Higgins professionally, others up the level of hysteria by threatening his life. Days after the Kentucky loss, Higgins met with FBI officials after receiving several death threats left on his voicemail. There are not enough words in the English language to describe the level of stupidity displayed by these clearly unstable people. If law enforcement can determine individuals who made these threats, please prosecute them to the fullest extent possible. Memo to the Big Blue Nation, there is more to life then basketball, maybe, just maybe, some of you need to get one!


Zags Will Win National Title Tonight

The 2017 National Championship game tips off in just about six hours. The game boast two #1 seeds, the blue blood (North Carolina) and the perennial underdog (Gonzaga). For the past 17 years, Gonzaga has looked to crash the NCAA Tournament party. Tonight, they will have the chance to trade Cinderella’s slipper for the championship crown. Through, Mark Few’s Bulldogs look like the underdog yet again, they are not! The Zags can match Carolina’s size, can score inside and out, and can rebound at a similar pace as the Tar Heels. Let’s be honest, the Tar Heel defense wasn’t as solid as it had been throughout the season Saturday night. If the Ducks had made a few more buckets down the stretch we would be talking about a different National Title Game this evening.

While, Gonzaga does not have the experience that the Roy Williams led Tar Heels do, Gonzaga should be relaxed and ready to play. North Carolina will have the pressure to finish their business after suffering a heartbreak loss, to Villanova, last March. If Gonzaga didn’t match up well with the Tar Heels we would give our nod to Chapel Hill, but Gonzaga has the match up they want and are poised to be on the podium as, ” One Shining Moment is planning tonight.

NCAA Tourney Final Four Picks

We’d like to tell you we had a good reason for not giving you a full tournament breakdown when it tipped off last Thursday, but the truth is, we’re just lazy. Come on, admit it, you   wouldn’t have wanted to read our predictions for all 32 first round games. Have no fear, though, we do have the time to give our Final Four picks.

West Virginia:

Bub Huggins ball club can speed any team up. They press for 40 minutes, hence the nickname, “Press Virginia”. The Mountaineers have enough fire power on the offensive end to stay with Gonzaga, and will turn the Zags over on the defensive end. While we’d love to see Gonzaga in the Final Four, we will have to see it to believe it,   At the moment, we believe the stage will, once again, be too big for the Bulldogs. While there is no doubt that West Virginia will face a determined Arizona Wildcats team, should they get by the Zags. Arizona has also never been to a Final Four under Sean Miller. It is because of their inability to get over the hump, that we will punch a ticket for West Virginia  to Phoenix


As usual, John Caliapari, has a young group of Wildcats. The “Kitty Cats” struggled to get by Northern Kentucky, as the Nose shot themselves into the game with several 3s late, but UK was able to drop free shows late to cap off the  1st round win. Then, against Wichita State, The Cats got big shots from their seniors, and two big defensive plays, to seal a 3 point win. While, there is no denying UK was destroyed by UCLA in December, we suspect that the cats will have revenge on their minds and will over come the Bruins Friday night. The Wildcats will then, likely, move on to a rematch against North Carolina. While, the Tar Heels will certain want to average the loss to Kentucky in Vegas, we see the cats making shots to down the final ACC team in the dance.


The Gators have gotten hot at the right time, completely destroying, albeit an offensively challenged, Virginia Caviler team in the round of 32. While Wisconsin will be a difficult game, the Badgers are not exactly an offensive juggernaut. We see Florida out scoring UW to advance. The Gators should easily dispatch with either “Cinderella, they make come up against, in the regional final, to advance to the championship party.


The Jayhawks just seem to always be in the mix the last several years. Just because of the way the baskets have fallen, The Jayhawks look primed for another run at the title. Although, Caleb Swanigan, is going to be a handful, KU has more talent than Purdue and at this time of year talent wins. Kansas should have no problem with either Michigan or Oregon, given the Ducks injury issues and Michigan’s lack of depth.

Full disclosure, We are just abut last in our bracket pools, so, you may not want to use our picks as betting info. Rather or not these picks are correct, we will be excited win the games tip on Thursday. We will have a Final Four preview for your view pleasure next week.


















The NBA Finals Can Start Now

There are still four plus months left in the NBA regular season.However, the NBA finals might as well begin tomorrow. If you watched yesterday’s game between the Cavs and Warriors, it is hard to imagine any other teams advancing to the finals next June. It is also hard to imagine the inevitable series not going 7 games. The basketball purest may ask, How can you discount the regular season when 2/3 of the season has yet to be played? Well, both teams are leading their respective conferences at the moment, both have lost a combined 11 games, and both have plenty of depth in case of injury.

Taking a look at the conference standings you’ll find that at this point, the playoffs should be a repeat of last year. There’s no question that Toronto can win a game or two against Cleveland but in the end, Lebron and Co. have taken care of business. As for the Warriors, while the Spurs can mount a challenge, but San Antonio still has to deal with father time, as they are not the yongest   team in the league. Also, unlike the Warriors, Greg Popovich’s club doesn’t have the depth should a key player go down.

While an argument can be made that a 3rd straight Warrior-Cavs final is not good for the league, no one can deny that we are headed for yet another classic series in June. It seems all that’s left to do is see who will get the number one pick in next year’s draft.


Sager Leaves Behind Legacy On And Off The Court

2016 has been a year of loss for the sports community. We’ve lost Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, and others. Just a week ago, the sports world loss another giant when Craig Sager lost his 3 year battle with cancer. Sager’s  death not only leaves the NBA sidelines much more empty, but also leaves a void in the world at large. By all accounts, Seger was beloved by all who worked with him. As a former broadcaster, I appreciated his dedication to his craft despite any circumstance. Prior to receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPY’s, a video showed Sager in chemo treatments after working the sidelines on TNT.  Rather than let the Illness stop him from living, Mr. Sager continued to live his life as normal as possible. Even last week, knowing the end was near, Sager was in the stands at his son’s basketball game soaking in every last moment he could with those he loved most.

In his acceptance at the ESPY’s, Sager told the audience, “Time is simply how you lived your life.” If indeed you believe that, Craig Sager’s life was eceptionally well lived, and his legacy on and off the court will not soon be forgotten. Our deepest smpathies to the Sager family and all who are impacted by his passing!


Basketball Break Down: your early Season CBB Preview

With the college football regular season coming to a close Saturday, it’s time to turn our attention to college basketball. After watching an ungodly amount of basketball over the last several weeks, one thing is certain, this season should be a great one. We’ll break it down for you in three sections: Blue Bloods, Top Picks, and Dark Horses.

Blue Bloods:

Early on, the leader of the pack is obviously the nations number #1 team, the Kentucky Wildcats. Led by an outstanding group of freshman, UK looks poised to make another run at the title. The Wildcats are 7-0, and have beaten each opponent by at least 21 points. In addition to outstanding play from the freshman class, John Calipari’s  Cats have received solid play from sophomore Issac Humphries and senior Derek Willis. Kentucky has not played the worlds toughest schedule to this point, upcoming battles with Kansas, UCLA, and North Carolina, will determine rather Kentucky is primed for a deep run in March.

The Kansas Jayhawks have a chance to raise their second  banner in the Bill Self era, this season. Despite stumbling out of the gate with a loss to Indiana, the Jayhawks took down Duke in the Champion Classic, and look ready to add a 12th straight Big XII to their trophy case. If Kansas wants to cut down the nets, they will need the trio of Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, and Carlton Bragg Jr. to lead them to the promise land

As usual, the Duke Blue Devils look ready for another deep tourney run. Coach K and company have taken care of business, despite a last second loss to Kansas in the Champions Classic. Duke has size inside with Marques Bolden and Chase Jeter, along with solid guard play from Grayson Allen and Luke Kenard, If Harry Giles, the nation’s #1 recruit, can be productive once he returns from injury, Duke may be well on its way to a sixth National Championship.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are also in the mix for a title run. The 2016 Maui Invitational champs destroyed their competition on the island, looking like a solid club on both sides of the ball. UNC’s first real test will come tonight at Indiana, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. If the Tar Heels can get standout seasons from  Joel Berry and Kennedy Meeks, the Tar Heels will certainly be in the mix when March Madness begins.

Top Picks :

The defending National Champions, the Villanova Wildcats, are certainly a wise choice.Jay Wright’s squad has a great deal of experience, led by senior Kris Jenkins. On the downside, the Wildcats aren’t likely to face tough tests before conference play, and will face a just a few tough opponents in Big East play. For Nova to repeat as  champs, they will need to receive a favorable bracket from the selection committee.

The Hoosiers are back on the basketball landscape. Tom Creen’s club began the year winning an overtime thriller, agonist Kansas in the Armed Forces Classic. Indiana will face tests against UNC tonight, along with Louisville later on this season. Indiana will need quality play from OG Aunoby and James Blackmon Jr, in order to get where they want to be this season. If the two upperclassman come through, Indiana will certainly scare some folks come tourney time.

The Baylor Bears will certainly make some noise throughout the 2016-2017 season.Baylor has started 6-0, with two wins against the top 25.  The Bears demolished Michigan State and took down #10 Louisville 66-63 to win the Battle 4 Atlantis.  The match ups with Kansas during Big XII play should be interesting, but Baylor has an opportunity to make a run and bust some brackets come March.

Dark Horses

Creighton may be a bracket buster this year. The Blue Jays are 6-0, with wins against Ole Miss, NC State, and #9 Wisconsin Two of those three Power 5 conference wins were by double digits.Creighton is an experienced club, with just five freshman on their roster. With this level of experience, expect the Blue Jays to be a hot commodity in the postseason

Frank Martin’s South Carolina Gamecocks may just be the right fit for Cinderella’s slipper this season.South Carolina has two wins against the top 25, beating both Michigan and Syracuse by double digits.The Gamecocks will also play Clemson, Seton Hall, and Memphis, before SEC play begins.Coach Martin has a very young team, and USC has gotten off to hot starts before, but they generally fade down the stretch. However, something tells me South Carolina might just crash the NCAA party this year.

Keep in mind, it is very early on in the season. Each of the 320 NCAA teams is one injury away from disaster,  but these teams should provide some highlights throughout the year. If you’re a college basketball fan, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year. enjoy it!


Pitino, Louisville have more on their minds than basketball as season looms

The Louisville Cardinals Men’s Basketball team, and the university at large, have more on their minds than basketball as the season nears. Nearly three weeks ago, Louisville received a notice of allegations from the NCAA Infractions Committee ,charging the Cardinal coaching staff with various violations. The most glaring charge holds Head Coach, Rick Pitino, failed to monitor the program. However, the committee did not allege a lack of institutional control, which could have led to serious consequences for the basketball program. At this point, it is unknown rather the basketball programs will face farther violations after imposing a post season ban last year.

The NCAA did impose penalties on former Director of Basketball Operations, Andre McGee, with a Level I violation and a five-year show-cause penalty. The school has not been told of any subsequent infractions and will not face others actions. Pitino however, could face future discipline for failure to monitor his employees. Athletics Director, Tom Jurich has pledged support  for  Pitino saying, “We will appeal any decision made against Coach Pitino.

The allegations against  Pitino stem from a book  written by former escort, Katina Powell.In the memoir, Powell alleged that McGee arranged for prostitutes and strippers to be at parties where recruits and their families were present. Powell also published records showing she received payments from McGee over a period of several years.

Pitino is no stranger to controversies of this nature. The Louisville head coach was involved in an extortion case several years ago stemming from an affair with Louisville resident Karen Sypher. For her Involvement, Sypher was sentenced to seven years in prison for lying to the FBI and extortion. While Pitino was not charged in the incident the issue is a pattern of behavior. There is no questioning Pitino’s coaching ability, the man  has two national titles and took three different schools to the Final Four. However, at what point is the pattern of behavior enough? If Pitino is assessed other penalties it may be time for the Cardinal to look for a new head bird.