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NBA Preseason Game At KFC Yum! Center

Apr 10, 2014 -- 10:14am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com 

Press Release: 

The KFC YUM! Center will host an NBA game for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 4 this year. Miami Heat will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans in a preseason contest. Tickets for the game go on sale on Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at the KFC Yum! Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

The Miami Heat, who will seek their third-straight championship during the 2014 playoffs, are led by NBA All-Stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Pelicans are led by former No. 1 pick and 2014 NBA All-Star Anthony Davis.

Davis and Pelicans guard Darius Miller were both members of the University of Kentucky squad that won the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

It's a well-known fact that Kentucky is basketball country, yet many area fans have never been able to experience a professional game in person," said KFC Yum! Center General Manager Dennis Petrullo. "This event is a great opportunity for people to put aside their college basketball allegiances and cheer on some of the best players in the sport."

CHAMPS! - Racers Drop Yale For CIT Crown

Apr 04, 2014 -- 10:33am

Phil Baker

@ESPN80 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

Cameron PayneThe Murray State Racers put a cap on the 2013-14 season with a championship win in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament in a 65-57 win over the Yale Bulldogs at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.


 
The Racers (23-11) won four games at home in the CIT to become the sixth champion of the event that began in 2009 and just the second-ever to do it on their home court.
 
The game started with amazing energy from a revved up crowd at the CFSB and the Racers getting out to a 7-0 lead. Despite the early lead, the Racers were put to a test by a very game Yale (19-14) team. The Bulldogs kept pace with the Racers and ended the half with a 7-3 run to cut the MSU lead to 27-26 at the intermission.

In the second half, the Bulldogs carried over that momentum and led early in the stanza at 28-27. However, the Racers quickly turned the tables with a 10-0 run to lead by 11 at 46-35 with 10 minutes to play. Yale would simply not go away as it answered with its own 10-0 run, cutting the lead to a single point with just over seven minutes left in the contest.

The Racers pushed through and made seven of nine free throws in the final two minutes to hold on for the 8-point win. Playing a key factor in the victory was a record-tying 14 blocks by MSU as Jarvis Williams and Jonathan Fairell each had five for their career-highs.

Cameron Payne led MSU with 24 points, while Jarvis Williams added 16 by going 8-for-8 from the field to go along with five blocks. Fairell added nine rebounds to his five blocks, while Payne pulled down seven boards.
 
Payne and Williams scored 40 of MSU's 65 points.

Following the game, Payne was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Williams and Yale's Justin Sears and Javier Duren were named to the All-Tournament team.

Game Notes
The Racers claimed their first post-season title of any kind since winning the 2012 OVC Tournament. The win was their first non-OVC tournament championship since winning the Great Alaska Shootout in 2011.
 
MSU is the first CIT champion to win on its home court since Santa Clara did it in 2011. In the last two CIT's, East Carolina had won at Weber State last year and Mercer won at Utah State in 2012. This year was the sixth staging of the CIT after it was launched in 2009.
 
The Racers displayed some great defense in their five-game run to the CIT title. MSU held teams to 66.0 points per game and recorded 36 blocked shots and 37 steals. Opponents only managed 38 percent from the field against the Racers including 29 percent from 3-point range.
 
Cameron Payne, the CIT MVP, scored 20.6 points per game, grabbed 5.2 rebounds and dished out 5.0 assists. Jarvis Williams, named to the CIT All-Tournament Team, scored 17.2 ppg and grabbed 7.4 rebounds. He shot an amazing 71 percent from the field on 35-of-49 shots. Williams also blocked 17 shots.
 
The Racers set a record for most home games played in a season with 18. MSU was 17-1 at home this season with their only loss coming to Middle Tennessee (Nov. 26). MSU will carry a 15-game win streak into the 2014-15 season. The Racers are 39-6 at home in the Prohm era.
 
MSU Head Coach Steve Prohm is 75-23 in his three seasons with the Racers for a winning percentage of .765.
 
MSU's five-game win streak to finish the season matches their longest of the season. MSU also won five in a row from Jan. 2-16.
 
Ending a season is a rare event and today marks the first time MSU has done this since 1978. Although the last time it happened, it was because of a poor season. MSU was 8-17 in 1977-78 and didn't qualify for the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament with a mark of 4-10. On Feb. 25, the Racers ended the season with an 85-84 win over Austin Peay at Racer Arena.
 
Cameron Payne, the second MSU freshman to score 500 points, had 24 tonight and finished with 572 for 24th place on the MSU all-time single-season list. Lamont Sleets was the first MSU freshman to do it with 522 points in the 1979-80 season.
 
Payne finished second on the assist list with 185. Chad Townsend (1996-97) has the top spot with 212.

Murray State Men's Basketball

2014 Jordan Brand Classic Rosters Revealed

Mar 31, 2014 -- 11:56am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

 

Rosters for the 2014 Jordan Brand Classic All-American national game were revealed earlier today. Slated for April 18th at Barclays Center,

From Scout.com:

Duke and Kentucky landed the most players in the game with four each. North Carolina will have three players participating, while Kansas landed two players in the game.

EAST TEAM


Grayson Allen –- Duke
Joel Berry –- North Carolina
James Blackmon — Indiana
Justin Jackson -– North Carolina 
Tyus Jones –- Duke 
Trey Lyles –- Kentucky 
Jahlil Okafor -– Duke 
Kelly Oubre — Kansas
L.J. Peak –- Georgetown 
Karl Towns -– Kentucky 
Reid Travis — Stanford
Rashad Vaughn -– UNLV 
Isaiah Whitehead -– Seton Hall 

WEST TEAM
Shaqquan Aaron –- Louisville 
Cliff Alexander -– Kansas 
Devin Booker –- Kentucky 
Kameron Chatman -– Michigan 
Daniels Hamilton –- Connecticut 
Stanley Johnson — Arizona
Chris McCullough –- Syracuse 
Emmanuel Mudiay –- SMU 
Theo Pinson –- North Carolina 
D’Angelo Russell -– Ohio State
Myles Turner –- Undecided 
Tyler Ulis — Kentucky

Justise Winslow — Duke 

 

PRE-GAME PARTIES FOR CARDS & CATS FANS

Mar 28, 2014 -- 12:03pm

Phil Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

 

Displaying Party small.jpg

 

REMINDER if you are a Cardinals or Wildcats fan ESPN 680 Louisville | 105.7 FM will be near Lucas Oil Stadium leading up to the big game! 

BIG BLUE NATION: Head over to the The Slippery Noodle just two blocks from the stadium!StraitPinkie.com will be dishing out some AWESOME shirts for those in attendance! NO COVER, Drink Specials and we will be doing LIVE Call-Ins throughout the day getting you set for the Battle of the Commonwealth Sweet 16 Edition. (Some UofL tees will be on hand too Cardnation)

CARDNATION: If you are 21+ and were lucky enough to get some of the tickets head over to Sensu Indianapolis as we will hosting shows throughout the day getting you set for the Sweet 16 Showdown between the Cards and Cats! Big Time Yurts will be on hand to get you set for the game!

A HUGE DAY OF COVERAGE from Indy and back in Louisville! Keep the dial locked to your big game station(s) ESPN 680 | 105.7 Frankfort Getting you set for the Clash of the past two Champs! 

ESPNLouisville.com 

Louisville Cardinals v Kentucky Wildcats

Keep the dial locked to ESPN 680 | 105.7 

ESPNLouisville.com
 
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Wildcats survive and advance

Mar 24, 2014 -- 3:10pm

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

Via: Dick Vitale 

Wichita State and Kentucky truly defined March Mayhem.

They played a sensational game that went to the wire. Big Blue Nation celebrated a big win, though it was not the kind of upset you would expect from a No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup.

The Shockers came into the game unblemished at 35-0. They were superb on both ends of the court all season long. They received a bad break on Selection Sunday when they drew the Wildcats in the round of 32.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Harrison and Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Charlie RiedelAndrew Harrison scored 20 points as Kentucky outlasted Fred VanVleet and Wichita State.

I said it then, and I will say it again, there is no way that Kentucky should have been a No. 8 seed. I believe the Selection Committee has to take into consideration the performance of a team down the stretch heading into the Big Dance. Kentucky matured and grew up as a team, playing closer to its potential in the SEC tournament championship loss to Florida.

The Wildcat players needed to perfom at an A-plus level, utilizing the skills and talent which was described by many as outstanding prior to their arrival. Expectations were unreal as many projected John Calipari's diaper dandies as contenders to go 40-0. That was never really close to reality.

Kentucky was up and down during the regular season, lacking any consistency whatsoever. But during the SEC tournament, the 'Cats showed glimpses of greatness that many expected.

It all materialized Sunday, as they sent the Shockers to the locker room with their first L.

Kentucky responded with a gutty performance to hold off the tenacious Shockers. But Wichita State has a lot to be proud of despite the loss. Gregg Marshall's team had a remarkable season.

The Harrison twins came through big-time, combining to score 39 big points. Julius Randle, held to two points in the first half, went to the basket often and put up 11 second-half points.

Cleanthony Early was absolutely brilliant for Wichita State, hitting long-range jumpers and driving to the basket for layups. He finished with 31 points in the defeat.

Now we have the matchup that the Selection Committee really wanted: Louisville vs. Kentucky. There will be a sea of red and blue in Indianapolis. Think that is a hot ticket now?

Kentucky won the first meeting this season, 73-66. The Harrison twins and James Young were stars in that first meeting, while Luke Hancock had a rough shooting day for Louisville.

This should be a classic renewal of a tremendous rivalry.

Familiar feeling for Crean, Hoosiers

Mar 16, 2014 -- 11:15am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

VIa: ESPN.com | Dana O' Neil 

INDIANAPOLIS -- The question wasn’t terribly difficult or even unique. Odds are Tom Crean has heard it a few hundred times in his coaching career. 
 

[+] EnlargeTracy Abrams
Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY SportsTracy Abrams was one of three Illinois players in double figures against Indiana.

But when asked, minutes after his Indiana team lost to Illinois 64-54 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, what his message was for his team, Crean paused. He paused for a really long time, started to talk and then stopped himself, looked up to the ceiling as if trying to divine an answer from the tiles and finally answered. 

“We have to match the toughness and competitive spirit every time we play,” he said. 

Crean went on for a bit longer on that same theme, until finally he came around to the real answer and the reason for that long pause. 

“I try to deliver that message differently,” he said, “because I’ve given it a few times.” 

Which, of course, is exactly the problem with the Hoosiers. The message isn’t getting through now and hasn’t gotten through all season. The same things that ailed them in November are still points of emphasis now -- smart defense, commitment for an entire game, grit and determination. 

It’s all added up to an abysmal 17-15 record that, as pedestrian as that reads, is actually not that good. It includes the helter-skelter results that mirror this helter-skelter season -- wins against Iowa and Ohio State, losses to Penn State and Purdue. 

Indiana is young, relying almost exclusively on freshmen and sophomores (Will Sheehey being the exception), but just like folks down the highway in Kentucky are tired of hearing that refrain, the message is falling on deaf ears in Bloomington too. 

The Hoosiers are headed to the NIT -- Crean made it perfectly clear after the loss to the Illini that he believes and wants his team in the postseason -- except no one wants to go to the NIT. 

In a lot of ways, it’s not entirely this particular team’s fault. The aggravation and impatience that is suddenly voicing its displeasure around the Hoosier State (a Twitter pulse check postgame found serious elevated blood pressure) is almost a lingering hangover from last year’s Sweet 16 exodus. 

So much was expected from that team a year ago, promised even. After the long road back from Kelvin Sampson Exile, Indiana was back -- preseason No. 1, Final Four aspirations, a national program enjoying its place in the sun once again -- but it never materialized, ending a weekend before the Final Four in Atlanta. 

Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo left, and so some reorganization was to be expected. But with a good freshman class coming in and Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell back, this was supposed to be the time that the Hoosiers do what the Hoosiers always did. They would regroup because the top programs never had to be rebuilt over and over again. 

And now this, back to the dregs of the NIT, back to asking fans to be patient through some growing pains after there were so many rebirthing pains before then. 

“We have the talent,” Crean said. “We just have to get to growing up and continue to learn.” 

Except that’s a tough message for Crean to deliver, almost as difficult as trying to drive the message home to his team.

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