A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jamie Vaught: Cal’s record-seeking Wildcats provided fans a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Despite a disappointing loss in the national semifinals, Kentucky provided its fans with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As many as seven Cats could leave early for the pros (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Just a few days after Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns graced the cover of Sports Illustrated with the Wildcats gunning to become college basketball’s first undefeated squad since 1976, UK’s...

Jamie Vaught: Cal's record-seeking Wildcats provided fans a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Despite a disappointing loss in the national semifinals, Kentucky provided its fans with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As many as seven Cats could leave early for the pros (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Just a few days after Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns graced the cover of Sports Illustrated with the Wildcats gunning to become college basketball’s first undefeated squad since 1976, UK’s...

Ashley Scoby: Kentucky’s historical season provided highest of highs and lowest of lows

Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson and Aaron Harrison apply defensive pressure to national Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky during Saturday’s semifinal game (UK Athletics Photo / Chet White)   As far as sports go, it’s always been all or nothing for me: either zero interest, or an all-consuming obsession.   The first time I remember even paying attention to the NCAA tournament was in...

Ashley Scoby: Kentucky's historical season provided highest of highs and lowest of lows

Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson and Aaron Harrison apply defensive pressure to national Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky during Saturday’s semifinal game (UK Athletics Photo / Chet White)   As far as sports go, it’s always been all or nothing for me: either zero interest, or an all-consuming obsession.   The first time I remember even paying attention to the NCAA tournament was in...

Sports Notes: Most eyes are on Indy this weekend, but some are looking ahead, too

Kentucky survived a scare from Notre Dame to advance to the Final Four, where Wisconsin awaits for a rematch of last year’s semifinal contest (UK Athletics Photo / Chet White)   As the eyes of Big Blue Nation (and the rest of the basketball-watching country) turn toward Indianapolis to see whether top-ranked Kentucky can close the deal, some eyes are being trained on next year’s team.   Reports...

Ashley Scoby: Luck of the Irish runs out as Kentucky now just two wins away from title

Karl-Anthony Towns dominated with inside scoring Saturday in Kentucky’s NCAA Elite Eight matchup with Notre Dame (UK Athletics Photo)   “Don’t miss,” Andrew Harrison told himself as he walked to the line for two free throws. His 37-0 team was tied 66-66 with Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional Final Saturday night, and six seconds potentially remained in his undefeated season.   “Those...

Ashley Scoby: Road to season of perfection had genesis in Bahamas exhibition defeat

Tyler Ulis says he remembers Kentucky’s exhibition loss mainly because he missed some critical free throws and three-point attempts near the end (UK Athletics Photo)   CLEVELAND — The concrete answer for “how to beat Kentucky” requires a run-on sentence, and a look back to August.   This team can lose – and it has – when they have played six games in eight days, against...

Ashley Scoby: Still perfect, miffed Wildcats wake up to teach West Virginia a hard lesson

Kentucky jumped on West Virginia early Thursday and cruised into the Elite Eight with a 78-39 win (UK Athletics Photo)   What’s the old saying about what not to do around a sleeping wild animal?   A team called the Mountaineers theoretically should have known not to poke the bear that is now a 37-0 Kentucky team. But previous to the teams’ Sweet 16 matchup Thursday night in Cleveland,...

Jamie Vaught: Even better than advertised, Wildcat guard Ulis returning to home state

Kentucky freshman Tyler Ulis has a 128-38 assist-to-turnover ratio this season, ranking No. 4 nationally with a ratio of 3.37 (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Some random March Madness jottings:   — Even though Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis was a McDonald’s All-American who played at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago, the 5-9 freshman is returning to his home state of Ohio this weekend...

Ashley Scoby: Floreal’s dance moves have become part of Wildcats’ pregame ritual

Former UK walk-on EJ Floreal is not only the team’s best dancer, he says he’s the best dunker, too (UK Athletics Photo)   Every team has its tics, its superstitions, its rituals. For the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats, their’s is EJ Floreal.   No one remembers how it started, or which game it preceded. But somebody on the team pushed Floreal in the middle of the pregame huddle...

Ashley Scoby: Floreal's dance moves have become part of Wildcats' pregame ritual

Former UK walk-on EJ Floreal is not only the team’s best dancer, he says he’s the best dunker, too (UK Athletics Photo)   Every team has its tics, its superstitions, its rituals. For the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats, their’s is EJ Floreal.   No one remembers how it started, or which game it preceded. But somebody on the team pushed Floreal in the middle of the pregame huddle...

Ashley Scoby: In the midst of a down streak, Booker due for yet another breakout stretch

In basketball, the worst part about shooting is its streakiness.   But the best part about shooting? Its streakiness. No matter how up and down it may be, one piece holds true: The “up” streak always comes back around eventually.   [widgets_on_pages id=“Ashley”] Devin Booker has exemplified that phenomenon better than perhaps anyone this year. He’s been up (making 5-of-6 three-pointers...

Billy Reed: UK's quest for ninth national title not the only thing drawing tourney viewers

Even if a ninth national title for Kentucky seems inevitable, gambling keeps viewers riveted to the NCAA Tournament (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Even the inevitability of Kentucky’s ninth NCAA championship has not diminished interest in this year’s basketball tournament, and the reason has nothing to do with mesmerizing coaches or players.   It’s gambling.   I’ve read estimates that...

Billy Reed: UK’s quest for ninth national title not the only thing drawing tourney viewers

Even if a ninth national title for Kentucky seems inevitable, gambling keeps viewers riveted to the NCAA Tournament (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Even the inevitability of Kentucky’s ninth NCAA championship has not diminished interest in this year’s basketball tournament, and the reason has nothing to do with mesmerizing coaches or players.   It’s gambling.   I’ve read estimates that...

Sports Notes: Wildcats may go undefeated, but Thomas More beat them to the punch

High-scoring Sydney Moss (far right) led Thomas More to the NCAA Division III women’s basketball title, the school’s first in any sport (TMC Athletics Photo)   Heading into March, two state schools were looking at unbeaten records and taking dead aim at national championships.   One, John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats, stand four games away from that goal after winning their...

Ashley Scoby: Cincy's 'rough 'em up' strategy fails to slow Wildcats as streak marches on

Willie Cauley-Stein had a monster dunk to spark a Kentucky run that led to a NCAA win over Cincinnati, giving the Cats a record 36-0 record (Jamie Vaught Photo)   If there is a style of play that No. 1 Kentucky hasn’t seen yet, it will probably have to be invented in the next couple weeks. And it still might not be enough to beat the Wildcats.   With a 64-51 win in a Round of 32 wrestling...

Ashley Scoby: Cincy’s ‘rough ’em up’ strategy fails to slow Wildcats as streak marches on

Willie Cauley_Stein had a monster dunk to spark a Kentucky run that led to a NCAA win over Cincinnati, giving the Cats a record 36-0 record (Jamie Vaught Photo)   If there is a style of play that No. 1 Kentucky hasn’t seen yet, it will probably have to be invented in the next couple weeks. And it still might not be enough to beat the Wildcats.   With a 64-51 win in a Round of 32 wrestling...

Ashley Scoby: Late-night start leaves UK yawning through first-round NCAA win

Despite a sluggish start Thursday, Karl-Anthony Towns helped Kentucky pull away from Hampton with 21 points and 11 rebounds (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Kentucky players expected more from their performances in a 79-56 victory over Hampton Thursday night, and that mindset just about sums up their season. The win moves the Wildcats to 35-0, tied for the best start in NCAA history, and puts Kentucky five...

Cats' Cauley-Stein, Badgers' Kaminsky among finalists for Naismith Player of Year Award

Kentucky junior Willie Cauley-Stein is one of four finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year Award (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy, given annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the national Player of the Year.   Cauley-Stein joins Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant and Duke’s Jahlil...

Jamie Vaught: CBS sideline reporter Wolfson sees Wildcats as tourney's No. 1 storyline

Tracy Wolfson is covering her 10th NCAA Tournament as a sideline reporter for CBS (Jamie Vaught Photo)   Tracy Wolfson has seen a plenty of March Madness.   “I’ve been part of close to 10 tournaments,” she said.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jamie”] And this year’s NCAA tournament promises to be an exciting one as top-ranked UK, now 34-0, could become the...