Kentucky Rules College Basketball, But Not the NBA
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Kentucky Rules College Basketball, But Not the NBA

Sometimes it doesn't translate.

Everybody knows when it comes to college basketball, Kentucky reigns supreme. Just ask current Kentucky standout De'Aaron Fox, who just recorded the second triple double in Kentucky history (although now it may be in question).

Year in year out, John Calipari brings in top recruiting class after top recruiting class, in order to keep Kentucky the best basketball college. Known for churning out one-and-dones, Calipari knows that while he may lose a handful of guys for the draft, his next class is ready to do damage.

Just look at his past classes. A team led my Demarcus Cousins and John Wall (can't believe they played on the same team), was replaced only two years later by Anthony Davis, who was then replaced by the likes of Willie Cauley-Stein, Nerlens Noel, and later on, Karl Anthony-Towns.

The list of Kentucky studs goes on and on, yet, when you take a look at the NBA right now, the likes of Anthony Davis, John Wall, and Boogie Cousins may be household names, but only John Wall has made it out of the first round of the playoffs.

In an NBA where players will forever be judged on postseason success, i.e. number of rings (thanks LeBron), Kentucky players fall short.

Just think to yourself who the last Kentucky NBA Champion was. If we're not counting coaches or executives (Pat Riley), the most recent, most successful Kentucky alum would be...

Yes, Rajon Rondo. The Rajon Rondo that 1. Looks like Franklin the Turtle and 2. Has plummeted from arguably a top-five point guard to maaaaaaybe a top 20.

Obviously Boogie, John Wall, and Anthony Davis are superstars, but they've been stuck in mediocrity ever since coming into the NBA. Ideally a Kentucky super team would look awesome in the NBA (and could easily compete with the likes of Cleveland and Golden State).

Side note: Also on my wish list, an LSU super team consisting of OBJ, Jarvis Landry, Jeremy Hill.

Moving on, you see, these one-and-dones may wreak havoc on the NBA, but when it comes to NBA success, these Wildcats almost all forgot how to win.

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Wichita State And Kentucky Played Another Absolute Classic

These two teams are so much fun together.

Three years ago, an undefeated Wichita State team and a slow-starting-but-heating-up Kentucky team played an absolutely incredible game of basketball in the second round of the 2014 NCAA tournament. I remember watching it on my couch at home in Pittsburgh, surrounded by relatives who were excited to see me over spring break, and paying literally no attention to anything except the television. (Well, and the buffalo chicken dip.) In the end, Kentucky won out by two points.

This year, 10-seed Wichita State had a chance for vengeance against 2-seed Kentucky, and they dang if they nearly did it.

Yesterday, as the two teams prepared for the "rematch," Wichita State forward Darral Willis, Jr., sparked the quasi-rivalry with some pretty solid bulletin-board material, telling reporters he and the Shockers weren't scared of big, bad Kentucky.

Which meant you KNEW both teams were going to bring it on Sunday.

And it didn't disappoint.

Kentucky held a two-point lead at halftime, the two teams traded leads early in the second half, and neither team ever led by more than seven points the entire way.

And against a team full of first-round NBA draft picks, it was Wichita State's freshman guard Landry Shemet who had the biggest afternoon of all. Shamet hit seven of his 14 shots, scoring 20 points to lead the Shockers within mere points of knocking off one of the 10 best teams in the country this year.

Down the stretch, things got very dramatic, especially in the final two minutes.

After Shamet made three straight free throws, and the teams traded three-pointers on consecutive possessions, Kentucky led by just two points with under 120 seconds to play. Their offense, that three-pointer aside, had been sort of sleepy and it needed something to wake it up.

Enter De'Aaron Fox:


But Wichita wasn't done! Because, like I said, Sunday was all about Shamet, who broke out his super-duper-clutch pants just in time, answering Fox's dunk with this cold-blooded three to make it a one-point game:

But after a Malik Monk block, and then two free throws from the Kentucky freshman, Wichita only had one more chance to tie things up and send it to overtime to get that sweet revenge, and they came thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close... but couldn't make it happen.

Still, such a tremendous game from two very good teams. Wichita State probably (read: definitely) deserved higher than a 10-seed, but Kentucky was just better on Sunday. Also, these two teams should play each other every day for the rest of time.

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Kentucky Turned The Most Weird, Unlikely Triple Play Against Louisville

Talmbout some weird college baseball!

It's pretty easy to lose it amidst the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, beginning of Major League Baseball, and the impending NFL draft, but there's this great thing called college baseball that you most definitely should not forget about because, like all college sports, college baseball usually results in some wild stuff.

Case in point: this insane triple-play in Tuesday's Kentucky vs. Louisville game.

First of all, this is a matchup between two Top 15 teams in the country, which is doubly exciting because Kentucky and Louisville are always, always, always rivals, regardless of the sport being played. So, big ol' stakes going on here

And then Kentucky is beating the supposedly better team, and they decide to turn this absolutely obscene triple play?!

1. Good defensive baseball, Kentucky.

2. @Louisville: WTF WERE YOU DOING HERE?!

In the end: baseball is always fun, and you should not forget to watch college baseball.

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Best Names In The 2017 Kentucky Derby

Aaaand they're off!

The Kentucky Derby is more than just your average horse race. It is a long-standing American tradition with an abundance of rich history. It's a beautiful combination of drinking, gambling, and watching 1,200 pound behemoths sprint around a 1 1/4 mile track.

The Kentucky Derby is a great day for some casual gambling. That being said, much like everyone else who isn't an expert horse better, I don't have any idea who the favorite is. I usually make my pick based solely on which horse has the best name. It's quite a simple strategy.

You can tell a lot about someone from their name.

Irap? Does the name mean the horse actually raps? If this horse has anything in common with some of the SoundCloud rappers from my hometown, then this horse is a loser, and will probably quit halfway through the race.

Stay away from this pick, stay far away.

Classic Empire
This is a boss horse name. If this horse is as powerful as his name, then it's a sure fire lock. Classic Empire has a nice ring to it.

Irish War Cry
I don't know what an Irish War Cry sounds like, but I would imagine it's a loud roar that comes out of someone's mouth after taking a shot of Jameson.

J Boys Echo
I have no idea what this name means, but I love it. J Boys Echo. It's just fun to say. I don't even care that this horse is getting 20-1 odds. With a name this electric, you know he's gonna put on a show for the folks. I wouldn't be surprised if he comes all the way from the back to win, and then takes a filly into the stables after the race. (For you horse rookies, a filly is a young female horse.)

Had to do a little research on this one. Apparently the horse is named Patch because he only has one eye. Now, I'm no horse expert but I don't think missing an eye affects their racing ability. They say that the blind are able to compensate for their lack of sight in other areas. I mean Daredevil is blind and he's a superhero. Patch is only half-blind, think of what he is capable of.

I like to root for the underdog, so that's why I have to go with Patch. One eye or not, put all the money on Patch.

The Kentucky Derby coverage begins Saturday, May 6 at 2:30 p.m. EST on NBC.

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Kentucky is the Best College Basketball School

How 'bout them cats?

From Adolph Rupp to John Calipari, Kentucky has had an amazing tradition of top caliber basketball (excluding Billy Gillespie, we tend to forget about that blip). I never have had season tickets to Rupp because they're so damn hard (and expensive) to get, but whenever I get to go to a game with someone it feels magical.

Walking from your car to Rupp, everyone is so damn excited about the game even if Kentucky is playing the Central Montana State Big Skies. When you walk into the Lexington Center, you walk through the Hilton and over a covered bridge that lets you see all the people and cars in blue below.

When you walk into Rupp Arena, you walk across the old floor and then walking into the arena is a surreal feeling. The whole place is blue (even the chairs are blue unless some jackass doesn't use his ticket). The players look larger than life and they usually make the opponent look like your local high school team.

Then you sit there taking it all in and the lights shut off except for one moving spotlight to announce the players and coach and of course the sixth man, the eRUPPtion Zone (student section, very funny!). But before that is a song that gives me goosebumps. They play an instrumental version of Bittersweet Symphony paired with the video below full of Kentucky basketball history and highlights. It has become the Kentucky basketball theme song by now.

When people talk about Kentucky, they say it is known for horses, bourbon, and basketball and, damn, are they right. Leave the chicken out of it. It's not about the damn fried chicken.

There are countless horse farms and bourbon distilleries in Kentucky (Lexington is the horse capital of the world), but don't forget about basketball. And we're not talking about the Louisville Cardinals. Doctors tell old people not to watch the second half of Kentucky basketball games because it could lead to heart attacks. That is a beautiful thing.

Kentucky basketball is so esteemed by everyone in part because it has been so consistently good since the '30s (Rupp coached the Wildcats from 1930-1972). And if you think older people are deterred by the new one and done style of play, you are wrong. They will support the cats no matter who is on the court and that is why it's amazing.

On any given day in Lexington, you will hear people say to each other "How 'bout them cats?" and the response is always "How 'bout them cats?" It's a mutual love and if you don't like the cats, get out of Lexington because there isn't room for you.

So if you ever find yourself in Lexington, Kentucky, do yourself a favor and visit a drive along the black and white farm fences of the bluegrass, visit a bourbon distillery and then head downtown to cheer on them cats at Rupp Arena! That will be the best Kentucky experience you could hope for.

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George Washington Stood Up For Its Athletes

Abuse is not to be tolerated.

Mike Lonergen.

I'm sure that's a name that probably doesn't ring a bell to any of you. It definitely didn't for me. As a student athlete that competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference I am pretty familiar with George Washington University, as I'm sure most of you are.

On Saturday, Mike Lonergen, the head men's basketball coach was relieved of his coaching duties. You might ask, so what? Coaches are fired all the time.

Not like this though. This case has a similar feel the Mike Rice situation at Rutgers a couple years back. (Not quite Mike Rice, but a familiar abuse story).

In July, Lonergen was accused of emotional abuse by multiple players and a independent investigation by the Washington Post was conducted. (Here's the full article if you have some time).

The GW Men's team has experienced some success the past couple of seasons, shown by a NIT Championship this past season, which resulted in Coach Lonergen receiving an extension through 2021 (that clearly worked out well). It took guts for the administration to do the right thing.

Lonergan was accused of making comments ranging from telling a player he should transfer to a transgender league and also that one player's son would always be on food stamps. Ouch.

In Lonergen's five year tenure, 13 players have transferred to other schools, which raises some red flags. On the surface this was meaningless, supported by an ESPN report that the transfer rate in college basketball has more than doubled in the past five years to more than 700 players. One player refuted this by saying, "A lot of kids transfer because they have delusions of grandeur. Nobody transferred from GW with delusions of grandeur. They just transferred because they hated (Lonergan). They couldn't stand another second of him."

It seems like there was some real deep hated for the former head coach, and just like most accusation cases, he believes he was wrongfully terminated. This has all the ingredients to make up a messy situation (as if it isn't already), and this could be something to keep an eye on, especially with the season just a couple of weeks away.