A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

It’s Cats vs. Norse: UK, Northern Kentucky University paired in NCAA tourney first round

By Glenn Osborne KyForward managing editor John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats, fresh off an SEC tournament championship win over Arkansas, will meet Northern Kentucky University Friday in first-round NCAA tournament play in Indianapolis. The Norse are making their first appearance in the NCAA tourney in their first year of eligibility. The No. 8 Wildcats, winners of the SEC regular season and...

WKU head men’s basketball coach Harper resigns unexpectedly following suspension of three players

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor In a surprise announcement Thursday night, Western Kentucky University head men’s basketball coach Ray Harper issued a statement that he was resigning from the post he’s held since 2011-12. Harper’s announcement came shortly after Western Kentucky athletics director Todd Stewart issued a statement saying three members of the Hilltoppers’...

Wildcats assigned No. 4 seed in East Region, could face Indiana in second-round showdown

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor Despite sharing the Southeastern Conference regular season championship with Texas A&M, then knocking off the Aggies in the finals of the conference tournament Sunday, Kentucky received a No.4 seed in the East Region for this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship and will have to travel west to Iowa for first-round play. The Wildcats will...

Sports Notes: Calipari says freshman Labissiere may be showing signs of breaking out of funk

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor It didn’t take Skal Labissiere long to remind Kentucky Wildcat fans what all the excitement was about when he joined the program this year as one of the nation’s top recruits. The 6-11 freshman, who tallied just four points in his previous three games, entered the contest Saturday against Ole Miss six minutes into the first half. He grabbed the first...

Sports Notes: By any definition, Pitino’s exiting salute to UK fans took some shine off a great game

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor A few leftover ramblings from a great rivalry game that lived up to the hype … Louisville coach Rick Pitino criticized the officiating at halftime of Saturday’s Kentucky game to CBS sideline reporter Dana Jacobson. He was later called for a technical, then capped his day by allegedly flipping off some rowdy fans on his way out of the gym after the...

Sports Notes: Calipari breathed sigh of relief after surviving latest Poythress injury scare

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor For John Calipari, the key moment in Kentucky’s 72-58 win over Bobby Hurley’s Arizona State team Saturday came just before the start of the second half. Senior forward Alex Poythress had gone out of the game with what ESPN’s game announcers were calling a hyper-extended right knee. They expressed skepticism about whether he would return in...

Sports Notes: Even in a year that saw teams with losing records rewarded, UK left out of bowl mix

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor Let’s just call it adding insult to injury, the announcement of the various bowl matchups coming on the heels of another disheartening Kentucky football season. This is all you need to know: In a year in which three teams with losing records (Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State) were rewarded with bowl spots, the Wildcats are once again sitting on the...

Sports Notes: Despite modest numbers, Barker came up big for Cats when it counted the most

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor By most standards, the numbers were modest, nothing to brag about really. Kentucky redshirt freshman Drew Barker completed 12 of 29 passes in his first collegiate start at Kentucky for just 129 yards. No interceptions, no touchdowns. Mainly, he handed the ball off on a cold, windy and wet night at Commonwealth Stadium and watched his running backs account for...

Sports Notes: Wildcat fans are starting to question whether Stoops and Co. are up to the task

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor After more than a month of watching junior quarterback Patrick Towles’ play regress, after watching Towles and his offense fail to score a point after gaining first downs inside the Vanderbilt five-yard line twice, after seeing Towles audible to a fade pass and throw a killer interception from the VU one, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops finally decided he had...

Sports Notes: Kentucky’s season, bowl hopes figure to hinge on tough road match with Vanderbilt

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor The SEC Network experts analyzing the Kentucky-Georgia game Saturday were unanimous in their predictions. None of them thought much of the Wildcats’ chances to pull off the upset between the hedges. Their opinion about coach Mark Stoops’ troops sure didn’t improve much following a 27-3 blowout that saw UK outscored 17-0 over the final two quarters...

Sports Notes: Big time game atmosphere not matched by Wildcats’ performance on the field

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor The stage was set for a spectacular end to an historic weekeend. With the buzz about American Pharoah’s “grand slam” win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland still electric, attention shifted to the New Commonwealth Stadium. The crowd, while not a sell out, was large and enthusiastic, ready to witness something special. Young (and...

Sports Notes: Backup Barker finally gets on the field on the wrong end of a Kentucky blowout

Kentucky backup quarterback Drew Barker saw his first live action of the season in the fourth quarter of the Mississippi State game (UK Athletics Photo) By Glenn Osborne KyForward Sports Editor All season long, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has maintained that he’d like to get some live snaps for his backup quarterback, redshirt freshman Drew Barker. The only problem was finding the right...

Sports Notes: Expectations for Kentucky football program may be a little unrealistic

Despite disappointing losses to Florida and Auburn, UK coach Mark Stoops has the Cats on track for a six- or seven-win season and a bowl appearance (UK Athletics Photo)   Perhaps it’s just indicative of Mark Stoops’ ability to inspire confidence that expectations for the Kentucky football program have risen so high and so quickly.   When Stoops took over the program from Joker...

Sports Notes: Surprising Cats could be in first place in SEC East when dust settles Saturday

A win over Auburn Thursday would leave Kentucky with a 5-1 record for the second season in a row. A loss by Florida would leave the Cats in first place in the SEC East (Bill Thiry Photo)   If I had made a list a few weeks ago of things I expected to be true halfway through October, the University of Kentucky sitting in sole possession of second place in the Southeastern Conference East Division...

Sports Notes: Emotions rolling at The New CWS as Wildcats continue to win close ones

Coach Mark Stoops’ Wildcats passed a major gut-check moment Saturday with the comeback win over EKU in the kind of game UK used to lose (Bill Thiry Photo)   Under eight minutes were left in the fourth quarter when Eastern Kentucky quieted what was left of a New Commonwealth Stadium crowd of over 63,000 by scoring a touchdown that provided the visitors from the Ohio Valley Conference a daunting...

Sports Notes: Impressive win over No. 25 Tigers not enough to break Cats into rankings

Freshman Ethan Thomas rushed for 59 yards against Austin Peay and caught three passes for 30 yards (EKU Athletics Photo)   Kentucky’s encouraging win over No. 25 Missouri Saturday was the first for the Wildcats over a ranked team since 2010, a span that covered 19 tries.   Yet that 24-13 confidence-building performance wasn’t enough to break coach Mark Stoops’ troops into...

Sports Notes: It's early, but Wildcats, Cards both surprising the college football experts

Patrick Towles and his UK teammates celebrated after snapping a 22-game road losing streak with a win at South Carolina (UK Athletics Photo)   Quick show of hands. How many of you predicted that when you rolled out of bed on Sept. 14, Mark Stoops’ Kentucky team would be undefeated after two games and Bobby Petrino’s Louisville Cardinals would be a perfect 0-2?   Yeah, me neither.   [widgets_on_pages...

Sports Notes: It’s early, but Wildcats, Cards both surprising the college football experts

Patrick Towles and his UK teammates celebrated after snapping a 22-game road losing streak with a win at South Carolina (UK Athletics Photo)   Quick show of hands. How many of you predicted that when you rolled out of bed on Sept. 14, Mark Stoops’ Kentucky team would be undefeated after two games and Bobby Petrino’s Louisville Cardinals would be a perfect 0-2?   Yeah, me neither.   [widgets_on_pages...

Sports Notes: UofL athletics may be betting that some recruits will want to see the money

Louisville’s athletics department announced that its cost of attendance scholarship was among the most generous in the nation (UofL Athletics Photo)   Most schools from the so-called “Power Five” conferences downplayed the impact that new cost of attendance scholarships would have on recruiting, particularly in football.   The prevailing argument seemed to be that a player...

Sports Notes: Barnhart says not every Cat fan thrilled about big Thursday night home game

UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart said Mark Stoops is less focused on bowl games and more on competing for championships (UK Athletics Photo/Chet White)   Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart took a turn at the podium at the beginning of last week’s Football Media Day and although his remarks were overshadowed somewhat by those of head coach Mark Stoops and the players, he made...