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JARED QUILLEN - jaredglade@hotmail.com
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KENTUCKY BASKETBALL NUMBER 2 IN BOTH RANKINGS AND YOU WANT UTAH STATE'S BILL

Ok so Kentucky is almost back where they belong at the top of the polls.  In this week’s AP (the better one) and USA Today polls the Wildcats are ranked number 2 with first place votes in both polls.

Bill's a friendly guy.

Bill's a friendly guy.

I have included below the top 25 plus the number 39 team in the country, Utah State.  Why?  Well I’ll tell you.  I am currently in UK’s MBA program, but I got an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Utah State in Logan, Utah.  A small town in Cache Valley in Northern Utah.  Utah State while not a national power is now in the midst of its 11th straight 20 win season including post-season play for ten straight years including going 30-5 last year.  Not even UK can boast 11 straight years of 20 win seasons.

Pirate Bill

Pirate Bill

Also in the past ten years with Stew Morrill at the helm, the Aggies are one of only three Division I teams to have won at least 23 games in each of the last ten seasons. The other schools are Gonzaga and Kansas. Over the past ten years, Utah State (.764) has the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation behind Duke (.826), Gonzaga (.800), and Kansas (.798).

Stew Morrill’s overall record at Utah State is 286-97 (.747) and got his 500th win this year against the University of Idaho fighting Sarah Palins on January 23, 2010.  He is also 172-13 (.930) at home including going undefeated at home in his past two seasons in Logan.

Recently the Kentucky Kernel took the position that UK should make more tickets available to students, while I think there are good arguments both ways, I do want to tell you what it does for Utah State having a huge student section.  They have one of the loudest crowds in all of college basketball.  The students stand up throughout the entire game and chant and yell and are generally obnoxious toward every team that comes into the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum, and they come out to watch in some of the most bitter cold Winter weather in America.  I can remember walking up the hill to the arena on sheets of ice and watching for people to slip.  It was actually kind of funny.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that one time I trudged through a foot of snow getting my shoes soaking wet as I walked to a game one night.  But no matter the weather, the students, always the most dedicated fans at any university showed up to cheer their team.  It is as entertaining a place to watch a college basketball game as any place in America, save Kentucky.  When Rick Majerus was coaching Utah to two Final Fours and a second place finish in the 90’s he said that Utah State was the toughest place in the country for his teams to play.

Bill likes to be formal, but he's here to pary.

Bill likes to be formal, but he's here to party.

Utah State is continually the best team that nobody ever talks about, this year not excepted.  They defeated 16th/14th ranked BYU earlier this season are will probably win the WAC with a 25-6 (14-2) record.  But if all of that doesn’t convince you to root for little old Utah State then I think Bill can.  Bill makes players miss free throws.  Trust me.  Could you make a free throw with this man mountain staring you down, calling your name?  I think not.  He claims if he can get them to make eye contact, they will miss.  Bill was recently featured on ESPN’s not top 10  and was interviewed by ESPN where he told them, “”I’d like to go up against the #1 free-throw shooter in the nation, whoever that is, and see what he’s got. Maybe I’d just wear a loin cloth or something.”  A Facebook page was created to celebrate his greatness.  Go join.  And while you’re on Facebook ignoring work or school, make sure to join the BigBlueCats.com fanpage.

I'm not going to that party.

I'm not going to that party.

I’m not going to that party.
Bill the snorkel monster.

Bill the snorkel monster.

Masquerade Bill at the Ball

Masquerade Bill at the ball

Cupid Bill the matchmaker

Cupid Bill the matchmaker with a not ugly girl behind him.

 I think Bill speaks for all of us Aggies/Wildcats when he says, “You will miss this shot!”

AP Top 25
 1. Kansas (62) 24-1 1,622
 2. Kentucky (3) 24-1 1,557
 3. Villanova 22-2 1,482
 4. Purdue 21-3 1,403
 5. Syracuse 24-2 1,389
 6. Duke 21-4 1,278
 7. Kansas State 20-4 1,239
 8. West Virginia 19-5 1,101
 9. Ohio State 20-6 1,068
10. Georgetown 18-6 966
11. Michigan State 20-6 906
12. New Mexico 23-3 888
13. Gonzaga 21-4 830
14. Wisconsin 19-6 697
15. Texas 20-5 674
16. Brigham Young 23-3 669
17. Vanderbilt 19-5 529
18. Butler 23-4 527
19. Pittsburgh 19-6 398
20. Tennessee 18-6 381
21. Temple 20-5 347
22. Baylor 19-5 316
23. Wake Forest 18-5 286
24. Texas A&M 18-6 231
25. Richmond 20-6 101
ESPN/USA Today Poll
 1. Kansas (30) 24-1 774
 2. Kentucky (1) 24-1 745
 3. Villanova 22-2 704
 4. Purdue 21-3 658
 5. Syracuse 24-2 645
 6. Duke 21-4 636
 7. Kansas State 20-4 580
 8. West Virginia 19-5 510
 9. Gonzaga 21-4 507
10. Georgetown 18-6 443
11. Michigan State 20-6 432
12. Ohio State 20-6 428
13. Butler 23-4 411
14. Brigham Young 23-3 346
15. New Mexico 23-3 330
16. Wisconsin 19-6 322
17. Texas 20-5 287
18. Tennessee 18-6 241
19. Vanderbilt 19-5 200
20. Temple 20-5 187
21. Pittsburgh 19-6 181
22. Baylor 19-5 102
23. Texas A&M 18-6 98
24. Northern Iowa 22-3 73
25. Wake Forest 18-5 58
39. Utah State 20-6 3

4 comments to KENTUCKY BASKETBALL NUMBER 2 IN BOTH RANKINGS AND YOU WANT UTAH STATE’S BILL

  • Tom Blevins

    Jared, I don’t blame you for being proud of Utah State, and I wouldn’t want to ttake anything away from their 11 straight 20 game win seasons. That’s quite an accomplishment! However you’re wrong that Kentucky can’t boast of that same accomplishment. From 1991 to 2007 Kentucky had SEVENTEEN straight seasons in which the Cats won at least 22 games! I just want to set the record straight. It doesn’t take anything away from what Utah State has done. Go Aggies and go Big Blue!
    Best regards,
    Tom

  • Jared Quillen

    Hey thanks for commenting Tom. You are absolutely right about the Cats’ run between 91 and 07. I was referring to the past ten years as Kentucky finished 18-13 in 07-08 and should have phrased it thus.

  • Wild Bill the man!! GO AGGIES!!

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