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Kentucky Reaches Sweet Sixteen

So far, so good.

The Kentucky Wildcats went 2-0 this weekend in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament to reach the Sweet 16 for the 16th time in school history. But the wins didn't come without drama.

The Cats outlasted Princeton on Thursday, owing a two-point win to a buzzer beating finger roll by Brandon Knight. The 59-57 victory came on the back of a 17-point performance by Darius Miller and solid all-around play from UK's upperclassmen (DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson).

On...

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Is This a Rebuilding Year for the Cats?

This is a Sweet 16 team. If they get some rest and get hot outside they could make a run, but I just don’t see this team getting past the round of 8. This team will struggle in half court games. It needs to play a full court game with more pressing up top but it can’t because of the depth issue. Tie it up in physical, half court games and this team loses games like GA and Ole Miss.

My take on the starting 6:

T. Jones: Will be a hell of a small forward in the NBA. However, he does not want...

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No Ivy in the Bluegrass, Kentucky Rocks Penn

UK 86-62 Penn

This was the classic 'trap game': the crappy, easy-to-forget-about team at 8pm on a Monday night, sandwiched between Louisville (the emotional high point of the year) and the first game of conference play (the next step for a successful season). Penn, despite their .500 record, is a veteran squad used to winning on their level--granted, a decidedly lower level than UK plays on, but they're not used to losing even to teams that are better than them. So does UK have the...

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Kentucky Pounds Archrival Louisville 78-63

Louisville took the early lead but once Knight tied the score at 12 on a jumper, it was all UK after that. Louisville had long stretches without offense and just couldn't any traction in the first half, as UK continued to stretch their lead up to 35-24 at the half.

In the early part of the second half, Josh Harrellson made his presence felt with an assist and two jumpers. Louisville was able to get into a bit of an offensive rhythm, but they couldn't keep UK from scoring. UK hit their free...

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Cats Crush Coppin State

UK 91-61 Coppin State

Early on, Coppin State couldn't hit the side of a barn. UK was sluggish but relentless and finally blew it open by halftime. Coppin scored much better in the second half-- they actually looked like a real team--but the game was long over by that time.

UK played its most complete game of the year tonight. And Coppin State was the perfect opponent: they made UK work without ever striking any fear that they could pull off an upset. Coppin were scrappy on D, tenacious on...

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4 Keys for the Kentucky Wildcats

I still remain doubtful that ‘Free Enes’ chants will resonate with the NCAA review committee. 

Kentucky will be very good at times this year without Enes. I believe, though, teams that have a strong inside game will give the Cats fits. (See UNC game). Harrellson has played great and within his role, but this is the same slow footed Harrellson who would be playing 5-10 minutes a game if Enes was on the floor. 

The keys I see early on for continued success assuming Enes stays in NCAA jail...

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UK Destroys Boston U. 91-57

UK started the game sluggish, unfocused (Kyle Macy's term was 'nonchalant'). For the first 10 minutes or so they looked like they were still thinking over the shellacking Connecticut laid on them in Maui. They certainly didn't start off like the team they breezed by East Tennessee, the last game they played at Rupp (seems like a while ago, don't it?). Knight, in particular, just didn't get settled in and Miller got two quick fouls and disappeared for the rest of the half. That said, UK was...

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The Players

Its tough to do player evaluations from just the stats because the numbers often conflict with observation. And the stats are generally offense-related and don't give much indication of a player's defensive skills. But without a game to watch tonight, its all I've got to go on.

Lets look over the ups and downs of each player.

Terrence Jones is clearly UK's best player and biggest all-around talent. He'll be gone next year, guaranteed, so get a good look at him while you can. He packs a...

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The Maui Invitational

The last 2 games UK played showed their best and their worst. Against Washington, they were quite evenly matched (dude, check the box score--the stats are virtually identical!), but they persevered, played smart and pulled out a win.

Against Connecticut, they fell into foul trouble early and just never recovered. And they ran into Kemba Walker, who made a serious name for himself in this tourney. (You notice when Jones fouled Walker in the 2nd half, they were quick to pat each other on the...

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UK Twitter

Kentucky freshman Charles Matthews is transferring, the school announced. Former ESPN 100 prospect. - via @ESPN App espn.go.com/espn/now?nowId…
1. This loss means nothing. UK lost a game on the road in bizarre circumstances vs a very good team. If anything,... fb.me/4rtUJiRSK
Time to put Texas A&M to bed and get tuned up for a high seed in the big dance.
Epic collapse by UK tonight. Still something not right with this team.
Tough loss over the weekend, but the Cats showed heart...they'll be back. fb.me/7EWsEFppx

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