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Web Wednesday - NCAA Tournament Edition

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Each Wednesday here at Cat Scratches, we're going to take a look back at the latest week's news in UK Athletics from around the web.

Best on the 'net

Men's Basketball: Jay Bilas: Anthony Davis lives up to early potential (Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader)

"I was standing under the basket and saw a pass headed right at my head," Bilas recalled Tuesday. "I was just ducking when all of a sudden two big hands come out of nowhere and grab the ball like it was tossed. I mean, this was a bullet, and I was sure it was going to hit me."

Davis caught the ball and scored.

"Holy (Toledo)," Bilas recalled thinking. "That was one of the best catches I can remember."

Men's Basketball: Kentucky's Coach Cal asks Cats to turn it up (Kyle Tucker, Courier-Journal)

After winning all 16 of its league regular-season games by an average of 16.4 points, UK won by a combined 12 points against LSU and Florida -- two teams the Cats had previously throttled -- in the SEC quarterfinals and semifinals. Then they collapsed over the final five minutes against the Commodores.

"I'm a little bit of a perfectionist. I want them to dominate people," Calipari said. "It may not be fair, but that's how I view these guys -- trying to get them to that next level, trying to make sure that they understand you're going to have to outwork the other teams."

Men's Basketball: Western Kentucky earns a date with UK (Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader)

With President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron seated in the front row along one baseline, this so-called "First Four" game of the 2012 NCAA Tournament ranked first only chronologically until a improbable Western Kentucky rally made it memorable.

Western came back from 16 down in the final five minutes to win 59-58.

Men's Basketball: Ex-Cat Delk recalls late loss helping '96 title team (John Clay, Lexington Herald Leader)

He talked then about how that SEC tourney loss motivated that team.

"It was a game where I thought that was the best loss we could have had," said Delk, who was a senior in 1996. "Because going into the tournament, you didn't want to be too high.

"If we had won that game, it could have been, 'OK, we're going to cruise through this and we're going to win easily.' We could have gotten knocked off early. We re-focused ourselves."

Men's Basketball: Where does John Calipari rank among best coaches without a title? (Jeff Eisenberg, YahooSports.com)

Calipari certainly appears to have succeeded based on that method of evaluation. Kentucky (32-2) enters the NCAA tournament as a clear title favorite after being one Christian Watford buzzer-beating three away from an undefeated regular season.

If Calipari does not cut down the nets with this Kentucky team, the pressure on him to win his first ring will only intensify. Here's a look at where Calipari ranks on my list of college basketball's best all-time coaches who did not win a championship.

Women's basketball: Kentucky women sweep AP SEC awards (Paul Newberry, Associated Press)

Kentucky has pulled off another sweep of the awards, this time for The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference women's basketball team.

A'dia Mathies was named player of the year Tuesday, Matthew Mitchell claimed the coaching award, and Bria Goss picked up newcomer of the year. On Monday, the Wildcats took all three awards for the men's team.

Women's basketball: UK Hoops travel to NCAA Tournament for third consecutive year (Luke Short, SurfKY News)

The No. 2 seed is the second in school history for the Wildcats, and ties their highest seed ever in the tournament. Kentucky was also a two seed in 1982. The other first-round matchup in Ames, Iowa, features No. 7 seed Green Bay (30-1) and No. 10 seed Iowa State (18-12).


"It's a really historic night for us, and we're so excited," UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell said. "It's the first time in our school's history that the women's program has been to three straight tournaments. It's the first time we've ever gotten a seed this high (since 1982). It's a great night for us and we couldn't be more excited about advancing to the tournament and getting a two seed and having a chance to compete for a national championship. It's a real, real exciting night for our program."


Freshman A.J. Reed pitched six dominating innings and had three hits, including a home run, and three RBIs to power the 16th-ranked and unbeaten University of Kentucky baseball team past Wright State 9-1 on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

The 6-foot-4, 235-poound Reed (3-0) became the first player in UK's modern-era history (1979-present) to start a game on the mound and at the cleanup batter. He allowed seven hits and the run, throwing first-pitch strikes to the first 21 batters.

Former Wildcats making headlines


Courtney Lee and rookie Chandler Parsons each scored 21 points, Patrick Patterson blocked Serge Ibaka's point-blank putback attempt in the final 2 seconds, and the Rockets charged back from an 11-point deficit in the last 3 minutes to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-103 on Tuesday night.


One person didn't view Brandon Knight's breakout game on Saturday night as a breakout: Knight himself.

Knight jumped out like a rocket in the Pistons' blowout win over the Toronto Raptors, atoning for two low volume performances in wins against the Lakers and Hawks (six points, seven assists total). He scored all 19 of his points in the first half and finished with seven assists.


Forward Tayshaun Prince became the sixth player in franchise history Saturday to play in 700 career games with Detroit. Prince, a 2002 draft pick, has played at least 78 games in seven of his nine seasons. The only players who have played more games in a Pistons uniform are Joe Dumars (1,018), Isiah Thomas (979), Bill Laimbeer (937), Vinnie Johnson (798) and Lindsey Hunter (703).

News from UKAthletics.com








Women's Golf: Kentucky Finishes Seventh at the LSU Golf Classic

Video of the week




President Barack Obama made his NCAA Tournament picks with Andy Katz of ESPN. He has UK advancing to the national championship game.


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/03/13/2108483/bilas-anthony-davis-lives-up-to.html#storylink=cpy

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