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Wildcats Barely Missed The "W"

Via Press Release: CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2011 Final Four on Saturday, April 2 earned an average fast national household rating/share of 8.9/17, which ties with 2010 as the highest rated Final Four since 2005. The 2011 Final Four averaged 15.4 million viewers, which was the highest for the two Final Four games since 2005 (16.6 million; Illinois-Louisville and North Carolina-Michigan State). “We are very pleased that this year’s Final Four ratings matched last year’s strong numbers which were the best in five years,” said Mike Aresco, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “We are excited about the Championship game which features two of the most remarkable stories of the season in Connecticut and Butler.” The first game, Butler beating VCU, earned an average household rating/share of 8.3/17. The game averaged 14.2 million viewers, which was the second-highest viewer average for the first Final Four game since 2006 (14.5 million; Florida-George Mason). The second game featuring Connecticut’s victory over Kentucky delivered a 9.5/17. This 9.5/17 is the best rating in the window since a 10.9/19 in 2005 (North Carolina-Michigan State). The game averaged 16.7 million viewers, which was the highest viewer average for the second Final Four game since 2005 (17.5 million; North Carolina-Michigan State). Turner Sports’ and CBS Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV has delivered the best overall tournament-to-date ratings since 2005. The overall tournament average-to-date rating/share, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 6.2/13, +9% from a 5.7/13. The 6.2/13 is the highest average rating for the NCAA Tournament through the Final Four since a 6.6/14 in 2005. “We are thrilled at the continued success of the Tournament on our combined networks and look forward to what should be a terrific culmination of our joint coverage with Monday’s Championship game between Butler and UConn on CBS,” said Lenny Daniels, Turner Sports Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. The overall tournament is averaging 9.9 million total viewers, +10% from 9.0 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage. This is the highest viewer average at this point in the Tournament since 10.2 million in 2005.

An Important Message from University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd, Jr. About Celebrating the Final Four

Wildcats,

The excitement of the Final Four is upon us and it is a truly great time to be at the University of Kentucky! For our students and fans that will be here in Lexington this weekend rooting on the Cats from the comfort of your home or with a group of friends out on the town, I want to remind you to cheer loud and be proud, but to be respectful and courteous to other fans and to our great city.

First Lady Patsy Todd and President Lee T. Todd, Jr.I am so proud of the way this team has represented the “Kentucky” on their chests. They have taken the title of the Commonwealth’s Team to heart and are proudly representing the greatest tradition in the history of college basketball all the way to Houston.

As the country’s greatest fans, I know we will represent the history and tradition of Kentucky basketball with the same dignity and pride as our team. We know you will gather. We know you will celebrate. But remember you are representing the University of Kentucky and let your actions this weekend be reflective of the pride you have for your university.

Please be safe and respectful in your celebrations. Watch out for one another. Keep each other safe. Be smart and careful. Have fun.

For our fans traveling to Houston, please remember that our team is tending to business this weekend, the very serious business of winning the NCAA National Championship.

“If we take care of our business, there will be plenty of time to get autographs and personal photos beginning next Tuesday,” Coach Calipari shared in a message on his website earlier this week. “We have the greatest fans in America and we want to reward them with our players’ undivided attention, focus and peak physical condition.”

We are embarking on a great weekend for Big Blue Nation – let’s enjoy the ride.

Go Cats!

2010/2011 Is The Most Watched Tournament Since 2005

THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV DELIVERS MOST-WATCHED TOURNAMENT SINCE 2005 AVERAGING 9.4 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS
CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is the most-watched tournament since 2005, averaging 9.4 million total viewers, +11% from 8.5 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage.

The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 6.0/13 rating/share, +11% from a 5.4/12 for 2010, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. The 6.0/13 is the highest average rating for the NCAA Tournament through the Sunday regional finals since a 6.3/14 in 2005.

Coverage of the regional finals on CBS on Sunday, March 27 averaged 12.6 million total viewers, +6% from 11.9 million viewers from CBS Sports’ coverage in 2010. This year’s 12.6 million is the highest viewer average for the Sunday regional finals since 2005 (UNC-Wisconsin; Michigan State-Kentucky – 2OT). Sunday’s regional finals earned a household rating/share of 7.6/16, even with 2010.

Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 2011 NCAA Tournament Dates, include First Four telecast gross. Dates of NCAA Tournament: 2011 3/15/11 – 3/27/11 vs. 2010 3/18/10 – 3/27/10. 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Dates of the NCAA Tournament historical audiences, CBS 1994 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2010 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.

Go Big Blue! Kentucky Baby!!!

CBS Sports’ NCAA Final Four Tip Off Times

CBS Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2011 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four® on Saturday, April 2 (6:00-11:00 PM, ET) tips-off with Butler taking on VCU (6:09 PM, ET). Connecticut against Kentucky follows 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr call the games along with Tracy Wolfson serving as reporter.

Coverage begins with THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR® (4:00-6:00 PM, ET) hosted by Greg Gumbel along with analysts Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and Seth Davis, live from Houston, Texas.

KENTUCKY DOWNS PENN 86-62

Well Kentucky played as ugly a first 14:59  as they’ve played all year against the nerds from Penn.  The Cats’ shooting was terrible, their defense was uninspired and Penn’s Tyler Bernardini scored 16 points in the first half.  The Cats were down 31-19, then they flipped the switch, decided they cared and went on 14-1 run to close out the half led by Josh Harrellson with 6 point, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks in the first half.

Kentucky really turned on the defense holding Penn to only two made baskets over the next 15 minutes after the 31-19 score.  During that span, the Wildcats went on a 46-14 run.  In the end Harrellson got his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds with no fouls.  Brandon Knight scored 22 points with 4 assists and 2 rebounds.  And by the way, Kentucky shot 18 for 22 in the second half (81.8%).  Smokin’.

Calipari was hoarse in the press conference from yelling at Terrence Jones and Eloy Vargas.  He may have yelled at everyone, I don’t know, but Jones and Vargas definitely took the bulk of it.

The Cats are in a good place right now winning by large margins over the teams that they should and winning decisively over Notre Dame and Louisville.  This team is now right on par with last year’s team and should have great run through the SEC.  They came into the season as a team picked to finish behind Mississippi State and Florida, but now they are all but the prohibitive favorite to win the SEC for the 9,000th time.

After the game Calipari once again praised Harrellson for his effort on the court and his total body conditioning before practices this year.  Talking about the lack of defensive intensity in the first half when the Cats were leaving guys with open threes, Cal said, “I was going bananas,” as was the entirety of Rupp Arena.

Cal was still disappointed with Darius Miller saying, “I think he should be all league, but it doesn’t matter what you or I think.  It’s what he thinks.”

I’ve done this a few times in my career and when you’re coaching young teams, your will has to be stronger than theirs and you cannot give in and I don’t give in.”

“Brandon, I’m so proud of him.  How many of you all were in Hawaii with us?  Different player isn’t he?”

Cal mentioned that after he told Eloy Vargas he needed to pull down a missed rebound with both hands Eloy argued, so he was immediately pulled.  On Brandon Knight however, “Brandon is really running our team and playing for his teammates, he can say whatever he wants.”

BLUE/WHITE POST GAME AND COMMENTS

SHOTSo at every game they have snacks for the media. Now I don’t rightly consider myself media. I’m far too unprofessional, unpolished and unpaid for that, but I do get the media credentials for which I am extremely grateful. (I’m talking to you Dwayne Peevey.) Anyway, they have food, and sometimes it’s some pretty good stuff. Tonight, polish dogs. I had three.

So anyway there was a game tonight. The shooting was bad and the Jon Hood that has been so impressive lately took the night off, but there were some nice moves in the lane by Brandon Knight. Who got to the basket at will in the second half. You gotta wonder if Cal told him to be a little more aggressive.

Doron Lamb drew a foul while putting up a gymnastic, contort your body shot and Josh Harrellson continues to have great stats when it doesn’t matter. He had 16 rebounds in the first half. Hey by the way, did you see the beautiful slice to the lane by Jarrod Polson? Living the dream Jarrod, living the dream.

Eloy Vargas played well but not great. I’m really wanting to see some aggression out of him. We really need someone to just get out on the court and get mean on the inside. I don’t think Jorts is that guy. Maybe it’s Terrence Jones but it needs to be somebody. What I am noticing is that we just don’t have a dominant big man inside. Let us all hope that Kanter gets eligible.

DeAndre Liggins drew a foul on his three point shot with .2 seconds left in the first half. Fantastic. I hope that this is and indication of where his head is and his ability to make smart plays. He has the right attitude and plays the right way. I for one am very excited to see how he plays this year. I feel like he will do a lot of those little things that get you the extra point or two that you need to win those close games which will surely come with a young, inexperienced team.

By the way, Jarrod Polson is my new favorite player. He had the most beautiful up and under shot in the last minute.

Some Cal quotes.

On Terrence Jones “He’s pretty good…That kid right there can score the ball.”

“We’re still trying to figure out how we’re supposed to play.”

He said to Brandon Knight, “Brandon, we’ve just got to define your game a little bit. I’ve never had a point guard that can shoot like that.”

“When it looked like we didn’t know what we were doing, you’re right. We don’t. We’ve got a long way to go.”

“I like my team. Josh Harrellson getting like 24 rebounds, you know I don’t think he’s ever had that many rebounds in a rebounding drill.”

“You get up fifteen or sixteen, you make two errors in a row, you’re down 12 or 13, you may lose that game.”

“When is our first game? The twelfth? So what I’ve got three weeks, maybe I should panic. Oh my gosh.”

On Brandon Knight, “The only thing I’ve told him, you can’t go in there and throw your body against people….In college you’re not going to get that call.”

“This may be a pick and roll team. I don’ know.”

“Can Josh do this for fifteen twenty minutes a game? Either we’re the worst offensive rebounding team in America or he’s gotten better.”

Cal was not happy with the free throw shooting remarking though, “We’re a good shooting team.”

What is Kentucky not. “Well I know we’re not the beast inside that we were last year.” But he thinks UK will be better against the zone.

“We’re not playing the way we did last year where every ball has to go through Brandon Knight’s hands.” Last year every rebounded ball was given to John Wall.

On Terrence Jones. “For us to be any good, he has to offensive rebound….We missed forty shots, so he got what one of forty?”

“I like the fact that you saw some cameraderie out there.” “They’re listening to everything we say.”

“We’ll get something out of it. I hope the fans enjoyed it.”

WAYNE TURNER, MARK KREBS, AND PERRY STEVENSON TO PLAY IN BLUE WHITE SCRIMMAGE

UPDATED: Krebs, Stevenson & Turner NOT playing in Blue and White game.
UK Media Relations said via John Calipari’s Facebook page that Mark Krebs, Perry Stevenson & Wayne Turner will NOT be available to participate in tonight’s Blue/White scrimmage as previously announced. UK was informed by the NCAA this afternoon that their participation in a public scrimmage would constitute a contest against outside competition. Their participation could affect UK’s 2 scheduled exhibition games against Pikeville & Dillard.

Original Post Below
So Coach Cal has announced that a few former players will participate in the Blue/White Scrimmage tomorrow.  I just want to say that I love the idea.  With the Cats a little shorthanded, (they only have 11 scholarship players, one still ineligible) it might be hard to get the right kind of chemistry or mix of players on the court to provide an adequate scrimmage.  This is a great idea that pits the team against some talent that will hold its own with experience against youthful experience.  It will be interesting to see how the old guys play against these 18 year olds.  As my old man always said every time he beat me, “Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.”  Well I’d like to see what kind of treachery Wayne Turner has in him now at his ripe old age of 34. And with that in mind, here are the things I am most interested in seeing from these former players.

I want to see Perry posterize someone. Probably should do it to someone who can handle it with a sense of humor though like Josh Harrellson.

I want to see Marky doing some impressions.

And most of all I want to Wayne Turner teach these kids what it’s going to take to bring home “Number 8″ in ‘11.

Big Blue Campout AKA Midnight Madness Campout AKA The Line To Get Tickets To Big Blue Madness is Announced

Cousins and Bledsoe Handing out Breakfast at Last Years Big Blue Campout

Cousins and Bledsoe Handing out Breakfast at Last Years Madness Campout

Tickets for the 2010 Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena will be available Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 a.m., at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Euclid Avenue and online at UKathletics.com and Ticketmaster.com. Madness wil be held on Friday, Oct. 15 and will be part of ESPNU’s coverage of Midnight Madness across the nation.

UK asks that fans wishing to line up ahead of time at Memorial Coliseum show up no earlier than 7 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 29. But personally I would keep my eyes open for people lining up earlier. Big Blue Cats.com will be there to cover all the Madness from the first tent until the release of tickets so make sure to check the site as we draw closer to Oct. 2.

Tickets are free but limited to two per person. Online tickets are also free but there will be a service fee attached.

The following items are prohibited, permanent wooden-type structures and propane tanks or other open flames used in cooking.

Set Your DVRs, The 2010-2011 UK Basketball Schedule Is Out!

Still a couple months away but todays release of the official Kentucky Men’s Basketball schedule makes it feel that much closer.

Kentucky 2010-2011 Men's Basketball Schedule
Source: Kentucky Official Athletic Site

Kentucky Basketball’s Wo”men’s” Clinic

So a few days ago it was announced that Kentucky Men’s basketball will be hosting its annual “Women’s Clinic” on October 6th. Let me say that I have always struggled a little with the concept of the Women’s Clinic. I’m not really sure what that means and I find myself wondering why there needs to be a clinic for women. It should be noted that I am not opposed to the idea. In fact I have been trying to convince my wife that she wants to go. I’m just confused by the idea. Why does this need to happen? Well the reality is that men and women are different. Case in point. (Sorry I couldn’t embed that one.) But here is Bill Cosby’s take on what makes men and women different. If you don’t think Bill Cosby is one of the funniest men ever, I will fight you.

Now my wife says that the perfect women’s clinic would involve purses and chocolate and lotion and crochet taught by Russell Crowe.

But I got to thinking, what should be done for the men’s clinic. A few ideas. How about an instructional seminar on proper power tool operation.


Lessons in child rearing because really, I want to be a manly father someday.

Maybe a little instruction in gourmet dining.

I wouldn’t mind learning how to properly dress sports injuries.

These are just a few of my ideas for the “Men’s Clinic” in October of next year. Really Cal, let’s make this happen. But if you’d still like to incorporate a little crochet, I suppose that can be accommodated.

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