NCAA Women’s Tourney – UK Hoops Advances to the Sweet 16

UK Hoops vs Ashville - Photos by Mike Cyrus
UK Hoops vs Ashville – Photos by Mike Cyrus

Sometimes the stars can align just right, leaving what is seemingly a wide open path to a land that you have never visited before.

You can’t help but wonder if that is exactly what UK Hoops is thinking right now after they took care of Oklahoma Monday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. How often is it that you can play the first 2 rounds on your home court, then advance to the sweet 16 to play on your other home court?

(Photos by Mike Cyrus unless otherwise noted)

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NCAA Men’s Tourney – Balloon Busted

Special from John Huang for Midwest News and Sports

UK vs Indiana - Photo by Brendon Miler
UK vs Indiana – Photo by Brendon Miler

Totally bummed! I had forgotten how much I hated the Hoosiers! Growing up in the Bluegrass in the 70’s, UK’s biggest rival was not Louisville. It was not Tennessee, or Arkansas, or Florida. No, the Cat’s most hated adversary was the red menace from the border state up north–the Indiana Hoosiers.

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NCAA Tourney – Thoughts from Iowa with John Huang

(Special Article by John Huang for Midwest News and Sports)

Exceptional, exhilarating, and exhausting are three adjectives I would use to describe my initiation yesterday into the media March Madness frenzy that has annually come to define the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. Credentialed officially as a photographer, I was assigned to Des Moines, Iowa, covering my beloved Wildcats as they seek to win that elusive championship number 9. Imagine a lifelong Cat fan being given the coveted opportunity to sit right on the hardwood just an arms-length away from an Alex Poythress pivot and dunk or a Jamal Murray bow and arrow. Continue reading NCAA Tourney – Thoughts from Iowa with John Huang

NCAA Tourney – UK vs Stony Brook

Despite Cool Start, CATS Cruise to NCAA Second Round Showdown with Hoosiers, Setting Records Along the Way

March 18, 2016 – DES MOINES, IOWA – BRENDON D. MILLER – Midwest News & Sports

A cold front moved into the Midwest on Thursday, and the CATS opened their first round game as cool as the Des Moines temperatures, then eventually dispatching overmatched Stony Brook 85 to 57. The first ten minutes of the game were a brick fest by both teams with the score being 10-8 at the under twelve media timeout. Continue reading NCAA Tourney – UK vs Stony Brook

Men’s College Basketball – NCAA Tourney

UConn vs Colorado

3-17-16 Des Moines, Iowa- Steve Triplett

The first game of the first session here in Des Moines had the UConn Huskies taking on the Colorado Buffalos. It was a very competitive first half with Colorado pulling ahead late in the half to take a 9 point lead into the locker room. UConn was led in scoring by Jalen Adams and Omar Calhoun both with 5 points. Colorado was led by Josh Scott with 13 points and Wesley Gordon who pulled down 6 rebounds. Continue reading Men’s College Basketball – NCAA Tourney

College Basketball – SEC – UK Wildcats

Kentucky Needs Overtime to Win SEC Tournament Championship

Nashville, TN – Little Tyler Ulis leads Kentucky to the SEC Tournament Championship. The 5-foot-9-sophomore point guard came up big when it mattered most. Ulis had 30 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in leading the Wildcats to an 82-77 win over the Texas A&M Aggies. Ulis was sensational throughout the tournament but he was especially good during Sunday’s championship game. With fellow backcourt star Jamal Murray not having one of his best shooting games and with the UK big men fighting foul trouble, a lot of the weight was on Ulis’ shoulders.

With a heart of a lion, Ulis willed this team to a win in overtime. For his effort Ulis was voted SEC Tournament MVP, so it was clean sweep for him as he also won the regular season MVP.

While Ulis was the star he also had a strong supporting cast, Murray was not his usual self on offense, but he still managed 17 points and made a three-pointer with fifteen seconds to go in overtime that gave Kentucky an un-surmountable six point lead. Murray joined Ulis on the SEC all-tournament team. Derek Willis also came up big; despite missing all three of his three-point attempts in the first half, Willis finished with 10 points and made a huge three-pointer to give Kentucky the lead for good with one minute to go in the overtime. Isaiah Briscoe played some of his best basketball of the season here in Nashville as he could have easily been voted to the all-tournament team. Briscoe had 10 points, 5 rebounds and team high 6 assists.

It was a well-played tournament for the Wildcats as they got contributions from everyone on the team and the Big Blue Nation fan support was out of this world in the Music City.

This is the 29th SEC Tournament Championship for Kentucky, which is more than all the other SEC schools combined.

The Wildcats will move on to the NCAA tournament where they will be a 4th seed in the East Region and will take on Stony Brook Thursday evening in Des Moines, Iowa.

Cats Rally to Defeat Georgia in SEC Tournament

Nashville, TN – Kentucky’s dynamic backcourt led them to a 93-80 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in the semi-finals of the SEC tournament. Freshman Jamal Murray led the Wildcats with 26 points and Sophomore Tyler Ulis added 25, the third member of the Cats backcourt Freshman Isaiah Briscoe added 12.

It was a hard fought game as Georgia was more physical than the Wildcats for most of the game, but the Wildcats found a little grit and started putting more of a resistance up against the resilient Bulldogs. Junior Derek Willis was also instrumental with 14 points and a team high 7 rebounds.

Georgia was on fire during the first half finishing with a 49-44 lead. It was hot shooting throughout the first 20 minutes that allowed the Bulldogs to hold the Wildcats at bay. Georgia a team that was shooting 39 percent from the field on the season was an incredible 61 percent in the first half including going 6-12 from beyond the three-point line.

Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis helped keep the Wildcats close. Murray had 19 points in the first half and Ulis had 12 points and 4 assists. Foul trouble was a problem for the UK big men as Skal Labissiere was limited to 4 minutes and Alex Poythress coming off his best game of the season was limited to 8 minutes as they both picked up two early fouls.

Kentucky will now take on fellow SEC regular season champion Texas A&M as the co-champions will battle it out Sunday afternoon for the tournament championship.

Poythress Brings Home a Victory for the Wildcats vs Alabama

Nashville, TN – A spectacular homecoming for UK senior Alex Poythress, as he led the Wildcats to an 85-59 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Poythress had 20 points on 7-8 shooting and made a career high four three pointers. Freshman All-American Jamal Murray led the team in scoring with 23 points and SEC Player of the Year Tyler Ulis added 17 points and five assists as the Wildcats shook off a lazy first half and coasted to the 26 point win.

The mostly Kentucky Blue Clad Crowd of 19,000 were loud and supportive as the Wildcats went on several rallies in the second half and did not trail in the final 30 minutes of the game. It is a truly special treat to see the bond between the Big Blue Nation and the SEC tournament.

It was a late arriving crowd and a slow start for the Wildcats as they are in search of their 29th SEC tournament championship. The Wildcats were tight as they committed early turnovers and missed several shots at the beginning of the contest.

Alabama took advantage of the slow start and eased to a 12-10 lead at the 12- minute mark of the first half.

Kentucky finally got on track in the first half with both Jamal Murray and Alex Poythress hitting a couple of three’s apiece and both finishing the half with 8 points each. Dominique Hawkins also came off the bench to contribute 5 timely points as the Wildcats overcame the slow start and outscored the Crimson Tide by 12 points to take a 37-27 halftime lead.

Tyler Ulis might have been feeling the pressure of being voted the league MVP as he was not his usual steady self. He had an uncharacteristic two turnovers early in the game and was only 1 for 4 from the field. Ulis missed the last part of the half with two fouls.

Kentucky will now move on to the semi-final round were they will take on the winner of the South Carolina – Georgia matchup, Saturday at 3:30 Eastern Standard Time.

College Basketball – UK Postseason Awards

Ulis, Murray Tabbed All-Americans by USA Today
CBS names Ulis its SEC Player of the Year, Calipari its Coach of the Year  

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis and freshman guard Jamal Murray, arguably the best backcourt duo in the country, have been recognized for their stellar regular seasons with All-America honors from USA Today Sports. Ulis has been named to the five-man First Team while Murray has been named to the Second Team. Continue reading College Basketball – UK Postseason Awards

College Basketball – Cards Send Lee and Lewis out on Top

Senior Day is perhaps the most emotional moment of a college basketball player’s career. That was never more evident than Louisville’s game against Georgia Tech. Damion Lee, Trey Lewis, and Dillon Avare played their final games in a Louisville uniform. It was emotional not only for the players and coaches, but for the fans as well. Fortunately for all involved, the Cardinals were able to hang on and pull out a 56 – 53 win over a very hungry Georgia Tech team. Continue reading College Basketball – Cards Send Lee and Lewis out on Top