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Monday afternoon notes: Rankings, awards and more

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The onslaught of basketball news during lunchtime on Monday is just now slowing down, so let's clean house and run down everything that has to do with Kentucky:

  • First, John Calipari and the other 11 SEC coaches joined the weekly teleconference on Monday. Coach Cal, Ole Miss' Andy Kennedy, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings and Florida's Billy Donovan all fielded questions about the Wildcats. Click on this link to see a full transcript of the UK-related comments.
  • On the teleconference, Calipari discussed the possible open practice or scrimmage he mentioned after the win over Vanderbilt. Since UK has no midweek game, plans are in motion to hold a special event on Wednesday that may be open to students. As of right now, nothing is set in stone, but Memorial Coliseum has been talked about initially as the site for the event with an outside chance of going to Rupp Arena should attendance warrant a larger venue. Calipari also mentioned the possibility of opening the event to non-students. Again, no definitive plans have yet been made, but stay tuned for more information later today or tomorrow.
  • No surprise here, but the Cats remain No. 1 in both major polls for the fourth consecutive week. In the Associated Press Top 25, UK once again received 63 out of a possible 65 votes, with the other two going to second-ranked Syracuse. Cal's Cats received all 31 first-place votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
  • The No. 1 ranking in the polls is nice, but it doesn't matter much (at least not directly) to UK's seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The ranking that does matter to the Cats' tournament resume is the RPI and Kentucky jumped two spots to No. 3 this week with a pair of wins over top-30 foes. UK's lone opponent this week, Ole Miss, checks in at No. 50 in the RPI.
  • Marquis Teague played two of the best games of his young career in wins over Florida and Vanderbilt and was rewarded with SEC Freshman of the Week honors. In winning the award for the first time, Teague posted averages of 12.5 points, 9.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds. He also had the first double-double of his young career in a dominant win over then-No. 8/7 Florida. Early in the season, UK was succeeding at times in spite of inconsistency from Teague, but the point guard has been a guiding force in Kentucky's best stretch of play this season, dishing 46 assists against just 17 turnovers in his last eight games.
  • released a new edition of Bracketology and the Cats check in as a one seed yet again. Joe Lunardi pegs UK as the No. 2 overall seed behind Syracuse, playing its first two games in Louisville and Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in Atlanta. Take a look at this link to see what UK's path to New Orleans might look like if the season ended today.

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