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Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Aug. 27)

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bestofblue.jpg It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week: Volleyball takes Kentucky Classic

The No. 13-ranked Kentucky volleyball team started its season off with a bang over the weekend, posting three wins in route to the Kentucky Classic championship.

Kentucky got off to a beautiful start with a 3-0 sweep of North Carolina in the first match of the season in front of a huge crowd at Memorial Coliseum Friday evening. On Saturday, the Wildcats held off a scrappy Lipscomb team who battled Kentucky to a grueling fifth set before the Cats nabbed the final stanza.

With the Kentucky Classic title on the line, UK took the first, third and forth sets to handle Long Beach State behind the strength of outside hitters Ashley Frazier and Lauren O'Conner. The duo combined for 29 kills as O'Conner tallied 16 kills to lead Kentucky to the four-set victory.

O'Conner's performance vaulted her to MVP of the Kentucky Classic, and senior setter Christine Hartmann and junior middle blocker Alexandra Morgan joined her on the All-Tournament team.

Player of the week: VanLandingham's goal-scoring outburst continues

Ashley VanLandingham leads the women's soccer team in scoring through the first two games of the year. She has one in each of UK's first two games. Not impressed? Well, she's a defender.

The junior has been on a tear through the first two games, albeit a small sample size. Last season she finished with one goal all year, so just two games into the season, she's already doubled last year's efforts. Both goals have come via free kicks.

"I did work on (free kicks) over the summer, but I think it comes from the emphasis that we put on set pieces in practice," VanLandingham said. "It's a very important thing in games and we worked very hard on it."

Game of the week: Men's soccer's valiant comeback effort falls just short

The opening game of the Johan Cedergren era for the men's soccer program didn't end like Cedergren had hoped. In a 4-3 loss at Dayton Sunday night, the Wildcats fell way behind in the second half as Dayton scored four second half goals to put UK at a 4-1 disadvantage.

Dayton and UK played to a first-half stalemate, where no team penetrated the goal through the first 45 minutes. Each team swapped goals early in the second half before Dayton knocked in three unanswered goals on the Cats to pull ahead 4-1.

Kentucky tried to dig out of the hole with offensive fire power and make a late run at the Flyers. They came up with goals from Charley Pettys and Matt Lodge in the second half to mount a late comeback attempt, but Dayton held the one-goal margin to the final horn and came away with the victory.

Photo of the week: Vollyeball shows off the hardware

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Video of the week: A day in the life of fall football camp




Alumnus/Alumnae of the week: Rusin makes splash in big-league debut

As the Chicago Cubs continue to handout big-league opportunities to some of their organizational prospects, former UK lefthander Chris Rusin took full advantage of his first Major League start.

Rusin hurled five innings of one-hit baseball in his Major League debut, and retired the first nine Milwaukee Brewers he faced in order. His instant success on the mound may have been a surprise to some, but his ability in the batter's box shocked the world, as Rusin tripled in his first plate appearance of his career.

The lefty fell into trouble in the fourth, after hitting a couple of batters and loading the bases, an infield single scored the lone run against Rusin. Though he was saddled with the loss (0-1, 1.80 ERA), it was a spectacular debut for the former Cat.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of May 29)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week: Baseball posts best SEC Tournament finish in modern era

Following a historic regular season for the University of Kentucky baseball team, Gary Henderson and company came two wins short of an SEC Tournament Championship last weekend. 

Kentucky posted two wins in the SEC Tournament as the No. 4 seed, defeating Ole Miss and a red-hot Mississippi State squad. They received lights-out starting pitching from A.J. Reed and Jerad Grundy as well as outstanding relief efforts from Taylor Rogers and Trevor Gott. The pitching staff allowed just two runs in the first two games.

Offensively, senior third baseman Thomas McCarthy led the way for the Cats, eventually receiving SEC All-Tournament Team honors. McCarthy batted .462 (6-for-13) for the tournament, including three doubles in Kentucky's 5-1 win over Mississippi State.

The UK tournament run came to an end Saturday at the hands of those same Mississippi State Bulldogs, coming from the loser's bracket, and falling 2-1 in the elimination game. The Wildcats will continue the postseason beginning on Friday against Kent State in the NCAA Tournament.

Player of the week: Quigley ends decorated career with runner-up finish

The best player in Kentucky men's tennis history finished his illustrious career with a runner-up finish in the NCAA Singles Tournament Monday. Eric Quigley saw his collegiate career come to an end to defending champion Steve Johnson of Southern California, 6-4, 6-4.

Quigley became just the third player in program history to compete in the Finals of the event, putting up a competitive effort over the top player in the nation. Johnson ends his career on a 72-match win streak. Quigley defeated five ranked players on his way to the Finals, his first time breaking through the round of eight in his career.

The five-time All-American will finish 27 wins ahead of the next-best mark in UK men's tennis history with career record of 172-47. His senior season is one for the record books as well with a 54-8 mark, which is a single-season record.

Photo of the week - Baseball celebrates Thursday

Photo by Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) Photo by Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)

Video of the week - Highlights from Quigley's semifinal win



Alumnus of the week: Rondo's triple-double propels Celtics to Eastern Conference Finals

In an exhilarating Game 7 85-75 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Rajon Rondo provided a legendary performance to send the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rondo did it all Saturday posting a stat line of 18 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds on his way to his ninth career playoff triple double as his Celtics defeated Jodie Meeks' 76ers. The point guard was coming off of a rough Game 6 performance in which he scored just nine points and handed out only six assists, a playoff low. 

Rondo and Boston now face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, already facing an 0-1 deficit to the defending Eastern Conference Champions.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of May 14)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Co-Teams of the Week: Men's tennis advances to third straight Sweet 16, Baseball regains SEC lead

This past weekend, two Kentucky teams put themselves in advantageous positions for their postseason hopes. 

The men's tennis team entered the weekend as the No. 6 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, hosting a Regional on their home turf. The talented group of Wildcats used its home court advantage to blow past both Radford and Indiana in the first and second round, respectively, with 4-0 victories. 

While the tennis team was taking care of business across the street at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center, the baseball team was working on a sweep over Alabama at Cliff Hagan Stadium. 

Kentucky junior southpaw Taylor Rogers went seven innings of two-run baseball in game one as the Wildcats pulled out 4-2. Sunday's weather forecast forced the hand of each team, eventually causing them to play two on Saturday.

With UK sitting behind both South Carolina and LSU heading into the weekend, Kentucky's sweep of the doubleheader Saturday gave them the slightest lead in the conference heading into next weekend. The Wildcats came back from a 5-1 deficit with a five-run seventh inning in game one on senior day, eventually taking the game 7-6. They then slugged their way to a 7-1 win in the rain that clinched a series sweep over the Crimson Tide.

The sweep over the weekend gives UK the overall lead in the conference and an opportunity to control its own destiny as far as the conference championship and the top seed in the SEC Tournament heading into Starkville, Miss. to face Mississippi State this weekend.

Player of the Week: Quigley sharp in start to NCAA Tournament run

Kentucky men's tennis player Eric Quigley is the third-ranked player in the nation. He showed why this weekend in help leading his team to wins over Radford and Indiana this weekend.

In the first round, Quigley and doubles partner Panav Jha helped earn the all-important doubles point with an 8-5 win. Then Quigley took to singles and, despite some rust from a lengthy layoff, handled an overmatched opponent in Radford's Nick Sayer. It was far from Quigley's best performance, but the 6-2, 6-1 score would suggest he was still rather successful.

In round two, it was more of the same for Quigley and the Wildcats. Quigley and Jha helped grab the doubles point to start the match, 8-3. Then, the third-best player in the country loosened up and dismissed Indiana's top singles player Isade Juneau, 6-1, 6-0. It was a short and sweet victory, and with his teammates taking care of business on surrounding courts, the all-time winningest player in Kentucky tennis history advanced to the Sweet 16.

Game of the Week: Baseball rallies for first of two twinbill wins

The skies were cloudy and Kentucky's chances in game one of Saturday's doubleheader looked grim after falling behind to Alabama 5-1. The big hit eluded Kentucky's bats and UK struggled in the field while Alabama mounted its lead. It was far from the game the Kentucky seniors had hoped for on their Senior Day, at least up until the seventh inning.

Then things got interesting.

The Cats loaded the bags in the bottom of the seventh, trailing 5-1. Cameron Flynn started the chipping away of the Alabama lead with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2. Senior Michael Williams came through with a big single that plated a run. J.T. Riddle laced a two-out, two-RBI double to tie things up at 5. And UK finally regained the lead after Brian Adams grounded to second base, but the second baseman booted it allowing the go-ahead run to score. 

After Alabama tied it in the eighth, Williams came through once more with patience rather than his normal aggression, and worked a bases-loaded walk which accounted for the winning run. Trevor Gott, who put out the fire in the eighth inning, worked a scoreless ninth and picked up his third win of the season to help UK take the series win.

Video of the Week - Senior Day highlight package



Picture of the Week - Henderson encourages crowd during Senior Day festivities
Gary Henderson asks the crowd to stand and applaud a senior student manager. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) Gary Henderson asks the crowd to stand and applaud a senior student manager. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)

Alumnus of the Week: Sean Woods named head coach at Morehead State

A member of the Unforgettables is getting a chance to create another unforgettable experience for himself. Former Kentucky basketball player Sean Woods is set to become Morehead State's 13th head coach in program history with a press conference set to introduce him on Monday at 2 p.m.

Woods is fifth on the all-time Kentucky career assist list with 482 and perhaps had his biggest game in a Wildcat uniform against Duke in 1992, scoring 21 points in the Regional Final. 

Woods comes to Morehead State after four years as head coach at Mississippi Valley State University.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of May 7)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the Week - Kentucky posts crucial sweep of LSU

Going into Friday's opening game against Louisiana State University, the Kentucky softball team knew what it had to do to have the best chance of making the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have a high enough RPI to be considered, but in order to be selected, UK would have to be either at or about the .500 mark by the time SEC Tournament play was over.

With a 26-27 record going into the series, the goal was to take at least two games from LSU, but ideally sweep the Tigers so that no matter the result in the SEC Tournament, the Cats would be no worse than .500. After winning in extra innings in the opener 4-3, UK got their second win on Saturday, another one-run affair, 2-1. 

Kentucky had a chance to get a sweep with the final regular season game of the year awaiting on Sunday. Sunday's game was also Senior Day, and head coach Rachel Lawson decided to bring back her ace, senior Chanda Bell, on the last day of the season. Bell delivered in the grandest way imaginable with a 1-0 no-hitter victory as Alice O'Brien delivered the game-winning hit in the sixth inning. 

The win gave UK a 29-27 (15-13 SEC) record. Kentucky will head into the SEC Tournament as the fifth seed to face Georgia in Tuscaloosa, Ala. in the opening round. 

Player of the Week - Corey Littrell salvages finale vs. Florida

After Kentucky had fallen to Florida in the first two games of a three-game set, head coach Gary Henderson went to his sophomore stud Correy Littrell to stop the bleeding. The Wildcats had just lost their first series of the season last weekend to Vanderbilt and were on the verge of getting swept for the first time Saturday afternoon against Florida.

Littrell served as the perfect stopper and got UK on the board in the series after throwing eight innings of one-run baseball as Kentucky got an important 2-1 win over the Gators. With the win, Littrell chalked up his seventh victory of the season and has yet to lose a game. He struck out five and did not walk a batter while not allowing a run through eight innings. The sophomore didn't allow a run through 8 innings, but gave up a leadoff homerun in the ninth before being lifted. 

Game of the Week - Softball comes back, beats LSU in extras

Kentucky trailed 3-2 in the seventh and was down to its final out in the seventh when senior third baseman Brittany Cervantes stepped to the plate. With the Wildcats needing as many wins as possible heading into postseason play, Cervantes came up with one of the biggest hits of a career. Facing one of the best pitchers in the nation in LSU's Rachel Fico, Cervantes deposited a game-tying solo blast deep over the centerfield fence to send the game to extra innings.

Senior pitcher Chanda Bell posted a scoreless top of the eighth to give UK a chance to walk-off with a victory in the bottom of the frame. Fico then walked Rachel Riley and Ginny Carroll. With one out in the inning, Alice O'Brien sent a frozen-rope line drive to the left fielder. With the play right in front of her, LSU left fielder Ashley Langoni saw that pinch runner Ashleigh Gustafson had taken off for third. Langoni, with a chance to catch the line drive and turn a double play, took her eye off the ball as it glanced off her glove, and Gustafson scampered home for the game-winning run.

It was a huge win for the softball team, which set the tempo for the following games in the series. The 4-3 win was the first of three one-run wins Kentucky would hang on LSU on the weekend.

Video of the Week - Highlights from softball Senior Day



Photo of the Week - UK meets President Obama
Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics
Alumnus of the Week - Phillies' Joe Blanton tosses complete game shutout vs. Atlanta

University of Kentucky product Joe Blanton threw what he called the best game of his career Thursday in a 4-0 complete game victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Blanton blanked the Braves allowing just three hits while striking out six to pull the Phillies (13-13) to .500 on the season. After Atlanta had roughed up Philadelphia the night before, plowing through many of the Phillies' relievers, Blanton knew he had to go deep into the game.

When asked if it was the best game of his eight-year career, Blanton replied, "I think so. Just the fact that we had a lot of guys who pitched a lot of innings last night, so I needed to go deep and I did."

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of April 30)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the Week: Softball wins weekend series over No. 2 Florida

As Kentucky fights for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats did themselves a huge favor by taking two-of-three over the No. 2 ranked Florida Gators on the road this weekend. 

The Wildcats started the series off right with a 2-0 win in the opener. Seniors Brittany Cervantes and Chanda Bell did the damage as Cervantes belted her 10th home run of the season and Bell shutout the Gators in the circle.

After the Gators evened up the series in game two, head coach Rachel Lawson sent her ace out again. Bell showed up in a big way. She allowed just one run to keep her team in the game. Then fellow senior Rachel Riley blew the game open with a bases loaded double en route to a four-run sixth inning to help capture the series in a 5-1 victory.

Player of the Week: Chanda Bell delivers two Ws in series win over No. 2 Florida

Senior pitcher Chanda Bell set the tone this weekend in their series win over the Gators. In Kentucky's game one victory, Bell hurled 7 shutout innings, allowing just four hits, walking one, and striking out eight in their 2-0 win. The win bumped her record to 13-10 on the season.

Bell was called upon again in the finale, as the Cats needed a win to take the series. As a true senior leader, with her team grasping to post-season hopes, she delivered once more. Facing one of the most vaunted offenses in the country, Bell shut Florida down. She struck out 13 Gators on her way to seven innings of one-run ball, nabbing her 14th win of the season.

Game of the Week: Orta, Nadzam impressive at Payton Jordan Invitational

Some Kentucky runners had huge days over the weekend in Palo Alto, Cal. In the Payton Jordan Invitational, Luis Orta ran the second-fastest 3,000-meter Steeplechase in UK history with a career-best time of 8:47.52. Orta's time was good for fourth, and he was just one second away from a second-place finish.

Josh Nadzam broke his own personal best in the 1,500m with a time of 3:45.10. Nadzam's previous best of 3:47.07 came in his junior year. It was a come from behind win for Nadzam, coming from fourth place, moving up to second on the last lap, and eventually taking the lead to grab the victory.

Several other runners participated in the meet. Sophomore Matt Hillenbrand ran a career-best 3:47.20 in the 1,500m. Junior Walter Luttrell over came his career-best in the 5,000m, beating his old best by 37.3 seconds with a 14:11.79 time. Freshman Keffri Neal finished second in his heat in the men's 800m with a time of 1:51.04, his career-best. And junior Megan Wright ran a 4:34.81 in the women's 1,500m run, also her career-best time in that event.

Video of the Week - "Born a Champion"



Alumnus of the Week - Bledsoe plays key role in historic playoff comeback

With a 9:30 start on the East Coast and the Memphis Grizzlies up by 27 in the 3rd quarter, not many people got to see the incredible finish to the first-round match-up between the Clippers and the Grizzlies in the NBA Playoffs. They also did not get to see former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe help lead the way.

Though they faced the large deficit, the Clippers never felt they were completely out of it. They used a 35-point 4th quarter to grab a 99-98 win in game one. Bledsoe scored 7 of his 9 points in the fourth quarter, including a big three-pointer, while chipping in two assists and grabbing four rebounds in the comeback win.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of April 23)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the Week: Baseball wins three of four, takes series from No. 1 LSU

In what could be considered one of the biggest weeks in UK baseball history, the No. 2 Wildcats came through in a big way. After taking down UC earlier in the week 7-0, Kentucky fell to No. 1 LSU in Friday's opener of the three-game series. 

Per usual, Kentucky bounced back and took the final two games of the weekend as it has in every SEC series since sweeping defending national champions South Carolina in the opening weekend of SEC play. The Wildcats dominated the top-ranked Tigers 8-1 on Saturday to even the series, and won a nail-biter in the finale, 7-6.  

Kentucky (35-6, 13-5 SEC) has yet to lose an SEC series this season, and with the two wins over LSU, holds a one game lead in the conference. The big weekend, despite less than ideal weather conditions, broke a weekend series record for attendance with 9,496.

Players of the Week - Rossi, Jomby named to SEC All-Tournament team

Kentucky junior Anthony Rossi and sophomore Tom Jomby were named to the All-Tournament team this weekend. The Wildcats fell to Georgia in the final of the SEC Tournament, losing their first match in conference play.

Rossi recorded big wins this weekend in the tournament, defeating Jeff Offerdahl 6-4 to take the set and clinch the match against Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals. He was also in position to win his match against Mississippi's Jonas Lutjen, leading 5-1, when play was suspended and Kentucky had clinched a birth into the tournament championship. 

Jomby was key in doubles play all weekend, getting wins along side Alejandro Gomez against Vandy and Ole Miss. The sophomore also won singles matches Vanderbilt's Blake Bazarnik (6-3, 7-6) and Mississippi's William Kallberg (6-3, 6-3) before falling in the championship to Georgia's Ignacio Taboada.

Game of the Week - Baseball takes series over LSU with 7-6 win in rubber match

The top two teams in the country and SEC split the first two games of their weekend series in Lexington, Ky. this weekend, forcing a decisive game three for conference superiority. Both Kentucky and LSU entered the series with an 11-4 mark in the SEC, and the winner of Sunday's game would hold a one-game lead in the conference.

In a see-saw battle, the Tigers and Wildcats exchanged jabs with some of the best talent in the country, but despite LSU's best effort, Kentucky came out on top. It was a total team effort for the Cats, as a balanced offensive attack along with a huge bullpen effort staved off the Tigers while earning a 7-6 win. 

After Kentucky had fallen behind 5-4 in top of the sixth inning, they answered with three runs on four doubles in the bottom of the frame. Zac Zellers, Matt Reida, J.T. Riddle, and Austin Cousino each recorded doubles that inning. Meanwhile, the bullpen duo of Tim Peterson and Alex Phillips combined for 3.1 innings of one-run baseball to close the game out and finish of the Tigers. 

Photo of the Week - Cousino elevates
Photo by Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) Photo by Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)

Video of the Week - Highlights from baseball's series clincher



Alumnae of the Week - Brandon Knight scores career-high 28 in win over Cleveland

Brandon Knight, one of a long line of successful point guards to play for John Calipari, put up a career-high 28 points in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night.

In Detroit's 116-77 blowout of the Cavs, Knight shot 11-of-12 from the field while adding 7 assists. In an up and down season for the first-year point guard, Knight is ending the season on a high note. Knight is averaging 18.3 points and 5.5 assists in the last six games and 15.1 ppg and 3.8 apg in his rookie campaign.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of April 16)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the Week - Men's Tennis captures outright SEC title

For the first time since 1992, the men's tennis team can lay claim to the Southeastern Conference Championship after completing an 11-0 record in the conference for the first time in school history. They finished off their undefeated conference slate with an impressive 6-1 victory over No. 43 Vanderbilt.

The Wildcats dominated in doubles, winning all three matches. Then in singles, only dropped one match and got wins from Eric Quigley, Anthony Rossi, Alex Musialek, Alejandro Gomez and Grant Roberts.

Kentucky has wrapped up the top seed in the SEC Tournament this week, which starts Thursday in Starkville, Miss. The Wildcats have a first round bye and will begin play on Friday.

Player of the Week - Cumbess hurls no-hitter to clinch series win over Georgia

For the first time in her career, Lauren Cumbess threw a no-hitter on Saturday to defeat No. 10 Georgia, 4-0. Kentucky got a big win Friday night on national television, where Cumbess went 2-for-3 on the night at the plate, but it was on the mound Saturday where she made her greatest impact.

Cumbess shut down an impressive hitting Georgia team and struck out seven Bulldogs on the day while allowing just five base runners. The win was important in that it got UK to .500 in the SEC as the Wildcats battle for postseason position in the SEC Tournament. 

Game of the Week - Baseball holds on to take series in finale

After dropping a heart-breaking game at Arkansas in the series opener, the UK baseball team rallied on Saturday and swept a double header to take their first series in Fayetteville since 2002. 

Kentucky got a 5-4 win in first game of the twin bill, and got involved in another one-run game in series finale. The Wildcats tallied their only runs of the game on Cameron Flynn's fourth inning two-runner homer in the fourth inning. Correy Littrell turned in another stellar outing in the rubber match allowing just one run in 6.1 innings. Tim Peterson, Alex Phillips and Trevor Gott finished things off. Gott came in with two men on and two outs in the eighth inning, and promptly got the final out of the eighth and retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve a 2-1 victory for his eighth save of the season.

Photo - SEC champs
Photo by Steve Harp, UK Athletics Photo by Steve Harp, UK Athletics
Video - Highlights from Cumbess' no-hitter



Alumnae/Alumnus of the Week - Daniel Orton has best professional game

With All-Star center Dwight Howard out with a herniated disk, the Orlando Magic turned to former Wildcat Daniel Orton for big minutes Sunday. Orton logged over 28 minutes against Cavaliers filling in for Howard and had his best day as a pro. Orton went 5-8 from the field while scoring 11 points, pulling down four rebounds and five steals. 

Orton's previous career-high in minutes was 11 on April 9, and his previous high in points was 4. Orton more than doubled both figures in the Magic's 100-84 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of April 9)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week - Men's tennis clinch share of SEC title

Dennis Emery's squad continues to roll as the sixth-ranked Kentucky men's tennis team took down No. 14 Ole Miss Sunday in Lexington. The 5-2 victory was good for at least a share of the SEC regular season title, just the second in school history.

Kentucky got huge performances in singles, including the match-clinching point from senior Eric Quigley, who moves to 10-0 against SEC opponents this season. Anthony Rossi, Tom Jomby, and Alejandro Gomez also won in straight sets after Ole Miss had taken the doubles point early in the match.

Sitting undefeated in the conference, Kentucky (22-4, 10-0) needs a win over Vanderbilt this weekend or a loss by Georgia (9-1) to win the SEC title outright.

Game of the Week - Baseball rides Sunday win to yet another series victory over Ole Miss

Staring down a rubber match after No. 1 Kentucky and No. 10 Ole Miss had split the first two games of a weekend set, the top-ranked Wildcats proved their ranking with a dominating 8-3 win over the Rebels Sunday afternoon. Kentucky got a solid pitching performance out of sophomore starter Corey Littrell, who got his fifth win of the season as the UK won their fourth consecutive SEC series to start the season.

Down a run in the sixth inning, the Wildcats (30-3, 9-3) loaded the bases with Cameron Flynn coming to the plate. Looking to do some damage, Flynn blasted a grand slam for his eighth homer of the year as the Cats plated five runs in the inning, giving UK enough cushion to finish off the Rebels. 

Player of the Week - Cervantes hits three homers in softball's series win over South Carolina

As the Kentucky softball team looks to make a strong push in its conference schedule down the stretch, senior third baseman Brittany Cervantes is doing all she can to see it through.

The UK record holder for home runs in a season continues to add to her total. In a 2-1 series win over conference foe South Carolina, Cervantes launched three homers, one in each game, to help the Cats capture the weekend set against the Gamecocks. She went 4-8 (.500) with 4 RBI and 3 walks over the three games against USC.

Photo of the Week - Celebrating the title, one more time

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics
Video of the Week - Coach Cal puts on his dancing shoes

Head over to CoachCal.com to watch John Calipari address his team in the locker room after winning the national championship, then break out a couple dance moves much to the delight of his players.

Alumus/Alumnae of the week - Rajon Rondo in midst of 17-game double-digit assist streak

Former UK point guard Rajon Rondo is having one of his best seasons a pro. Right now, he is red hot with 17-game stretch in which he has accumulated at least 10 assists each contest. The 17-consecutive games with double-digit assist totals is good for the fourth-best in NBA history.

Rondo is averaging 12.1 points and 11.2 assists per game this year, but over the 17 games, he's averaging 13.2 assists per contest, including a couple of 17-assist performances. Three games before the streak began, Rondo reeled off a 20-assist performance that was part of a triple-double against the Knicks in which he scored 18 points and pulled down 17 rebounds.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of April 2)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week - Men's basketball one step away

One the most hyped and anticipated teams in Kentucky history, the Wildcats sit just one win away from capturing UK's eighth national championship in school history. After defeating in-state rival Louisville in the Final Four, 69-61, they move on to face the other winner in the semi-finals in Kansas.

It will be another rematch for Kentucky, the third such game for UK in the NCAA Tournament (Indiana and Louisville). The Wildcats defeated Kansas in just the second game of the season up at Madison Square Garden, 75-65. Kansas will have an opportunity to avenge their loss early in the season, while Kentucky looks to finish the mission they started out on almost five months ago. 

Player of the Week - Anthony Davis wins Naismith Award, dominates in Final Four

Anthony Davis continues to rack up the hardware while backing up those accomplishments on the hard wood. On Sunday, less than 24 hours after advancing to the national championship game with a win over Louisville, Davis was named the recipient of the 2012 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T as the Men's College Player of the Year. 

Davis proved worthy of the accolade with one of the best games in Final Four history. He posted an 18-point, 14-rebound, five-block game Saturday night, the first such game in a Final Four since 1988. The freshman from Chicago averages a team-leading 14.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while blocking 180 shots this season.

Davis won six of the seven major National Player of the Year awards: Adolph Rupp Trophy, USBWA, Basketball Times, Associated Press, Wooden and Naismith.

Game of the Week - Kentucky wins first series at Georgia since 2000

With an 11-2 win over the Georgia Bulldogs Sunday afternoon, the Kentucky baseball team (27-2, 7-2) sits alone in first place atop the Southeastern Conference and has garnered the No. 1 ranking in the Collegiate Baseball poll. 

Facing a rubber match in the SEC for the second straight weekend, the Kentucky offense erupted for 16 hits and 11 runs as UK cruised to an impressive win over No. 18 Georgia on the road. J.T. Riddle led the onslaught offensively for the Wildcats with a three-hit, four-run afternoon. He blasted his second homer of the season and had two RBI in a 3-for-3 game with a walk. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Corey Littrell worked 7.2 innings on the way to his fourth win of the season. Littrell allowed just eight hits and one run, walking two and striking out five

Video of the Week - Recap of UK-U of L



Alumnus/Alumnae of the week - Jodie Meeks goes off for a career-high 31 points

Former Kentucky basketball Jodie Meeks has had a really good week. With Sixers teammate Andre Iguodala out for the second consecutive game with a knee injury, Meeks stepped up and delivered the best game of his NBA career, leading Philadelphia to a 103-85 win over Cleveland. While it wasn't quite the 54 points that Meeks poured on Tennessee a few years ago, he was scorching hot from beyond the arc, hitting seven 3-pointers in the game. The seven 3s were as many as he had hit over the last six games combined.

Meeks also posted two other double-digit scoring outputs this week against the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs with 12 and 11 points respectively.

Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Mar. 26)

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Thumbnail image for best of blue logo_web.jpg
It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the Week: Men's basketball advances to Final Four

With an impressive 82-70 win over Baylor, the Kentucky men's basketball team has advanced to their second consecutive Final Four. Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the way for UK with 19 points while Anthony Davis notched his 19th double-double of the season with an 18-point, 11-rebound performance. They are averaging a scorching 88 points per game in their first four games of the NCAA Tournament. Davis and Doron Lamb were announced to the NCAA Tournament South Regional All-Tournament Team, while Kidd-Gilchrist was named Most Outstanding Player of the South Regional. Kentucky advances to face in-state rival Louisville next Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET in New Orleans, La. 

Honorable mention: Baseball takes two of three at Tennessee

The Kentucky baseball team dropped their its game of the season Friday night in Knoxville, Tenn., but came back Sunday to win both games of a double header, which included the completion of Saturday's weather-delayed game. UK took the first game 6-2 then shut out Tennessee 6-0 in series finale to win the three-game. Kentucky (24-1, 5-1) also defeated Cincinnati in a mid-week tilt on the road before their second conference series of the season. Monday, the Wildcats moved up in the Baseball America poll all the way up to No. 10, which marks just the second time in program history that they've appeared in the top 10 of the poll. 

Player of the Week: Samarie Walker steps up on the big stage

The women's basketball team advanced to the Elite Eight Sunday evening, and they can thank Samarie Walker for much of that. With Kentucky shooting lights out from the perimeter in the Sweet 16 matchup with Gonzaga, Walker owned the paint. She scored 16 points and grabbed 12 boards for a double-double to propel UK into an Elite Eight battle with Connecticut, Walker's former team. Walker has been huge for the Wildcats throughout the tournament and is averaging 13 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2 steals through the first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Game of the week: Softball completes Friday comeback


Down 4-0 through four innings on the road against No. 18 Auburn, the Wildcats appeared headed toward a fourth straight loss to open SEC play. They had other ideas. UK scored three runs in the fifth inning and one in the sixth to tie the game and send it to extra innings. With Chanda Bell pitching shutout inning after shutout inning, Alice O'Brien plated the first of four runs in the top of the eighth inning to lift the Cats to an 8-4 win. UK would go on to win on Saturday as well for just the fourth series victory over Auburn in school history.

Photo of the Week: UK Hoops celebrates Sweet 16 berth

Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics

Video of the Week: Fans great Final Four-bound Cats at airport



Alumnus/alumnae of the week: Jacob Tamme, Kelenna Azubuike sign pro contracts

It was a big week for a couple of former Wildcats on the professional level. Former Kentucky tight end Jacob Tamme will be reunited with his old quarterback in Indianapolis, Peyton Manning, after signing a three-year deal with the Denver Broncos. Tamme considered returning to Indianapolis, but felt that following Manning was a better opportunity. Tamme, 27, has appeared in 60 games in four seasons, with 14 starts. He has 92 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns, all with Indianapolis.

Former Wildcat basketball player Kelenna Azubuike is looking to make a comeback after a knee injury in the 2009-10 season. Azubuike signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks last week for the remainder of the season, with an option for next year. He was immediately assigned to Dallas's D-League affiliate the Texas Legends to get him back up to speed and knock off some rust. In his career year in 2008-09, the 6-foot-5 swingman averaged 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 74 games.

Recent Comments

  • J.D.: Let me online please read more
  • Jack Walker: This is a big plus for UK athletics. Edric and family are dedicated to all aspects of track and field read more
  • bbmike: The Glory to God, but I don't think trips like this happened before Barnhart was around. I could be wrong, read more
  • Patrick: Nice story Ryan, very impressive. read more
  • Guy Ramsey: Anthony Davis (men's basketball) is playing for Team USA. Three track and field athletes who attended UK will compete as read more
  • anonymous: How many players will take part in the London Olympic Games? read more
  • Juan4UK: Great for Mitch, congratulations.But, no 3 goggles in this photo and no UK sticker to put on the sign: tssk, read more
  • John Dutton: Hi, This is an awesome thing you are doing. I would definitely love to connect with any of the athletes read more
  • Kameron: beautiful... I too have been to Korah a few times. Thank you for beautifully describing it. Brings tears to my read more
  • Douglas Edwards: I wish I had had the option to purchase "mini" packs before I paid fullprice for full season. Where is read more
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