The Sweet 16's Wednesday News and Views

Drew Franklinby:Drew Franklin03/18/14


The 2014 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys' Sweet 16 State Basketball Tournament tips off Wednesday afternoon in Rupp Arena at 12:00 p.m. with one of its best first round match-ups: the South Oldham Dragons versus the two-loss Tigers of Hopkinsville. Once that game concludes, the Wednesday Sweet 16 goers will get Trinity vs. Owensboro to conclude the first session of the day, followed by Scott County vs. Fleming County and Campbell County vs. Johnson Central in the night session. KSR will be in the building all day to take in the action, so look for Skinny Ryan Lemond somewhere in the arena.

For me, it'll be my first time attending the state tournament since my Madisonville Maroons got Fairdale'd at the buzzer in 2001 and I'm very excited to see Rupp Arena during one of its best events of the year. I will be a Campbell County Camel in the fourth game of the day but will be enjoying the basketball with no rooting interest the rest of the time. Our friend Les Johns tells me Hopkinsville is the team to watch, but I can't convince myself to get behind the team that sent the Maroons home in the regional tourney. (And for you Hoptown folks, Madisonville has the better Ferrell's.)

If you have a team in this year's Sweet 16, drop us a comment in the comments section tonight and let us know who we need to look out for and why. And if you don't, maybe you can learn a thing or two with us.


It's going to be a fun and exciting week, and maybe, just maybe, it'll come with some suspense in the end. Hope to see you there! *****  March Madness is underway and Albany kicked it off with the tourney's worst unis. Meanwhile, former UK target T.J. Warren is leading NC State to victory over Xavier. Tomorrow night we'll get to see if Tennessee can make a statement for the SEC in its play-in game against Iowa in Dayton. The Vols and Hawkeyes will play around 9:10 on TruTV. Dare I say, "Go Vols"?. Bruce Pearl is back! Bruce Pearl is back! Speaking of the Vols, Auburn introduced former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl as its replacement for Tony Barbee on Tuesday, and Pearl jumped off the plane to a mob of fans, as only Bruce Pearl can: College basketball followers have mixed emotions about Bruce Pearl. Me? I love the guy and couldn't be happier he's back in the game. I have no doubt he'll ignite the Auburn basketball program and provide the SEC with some excitement, just as he did in Knoxville before the cookout photo ended his run with the Vols. The Wildcats practiced twice on Tuesday. After taking a breather on Monday, Coach Cal had his team back in the Joe Craft Center for two Tuesday practices, implementing the new tweak for this weekend's trip to St. Louis. Tomorrow they'll go twice again and then it's off to the Big Dance, where Kansas State awaits Friday night. 247Sports' Chris Fisher believes the first tweak was for Andrew Harrison to look to pass first and he has the stats to back it up. But Cal was asked after the LSU win if driving and kicking was the tweak, and he shot that guess down in the postgame press conference. I still believes it's nothing schematic, purely mental, and the new tweak is to kick the confidence up another notch before the tourney. Anthony Davis picked the Cats over Michigan State in his bracket. davis-bracket John Wall picked Florida over Wichita State. wall-bracket DeMarcus Cousins picked Kentucky vs. Kentucky with Kentucky winning it all. cousins-bracket Well played, Boogie. Well played. Wall explained his pick here. Join us in WKYT's Hoops Hysteria contest. The KSR staff will be competing against some of Lexington's celebrities in the bracket challenge to win money for the charity of our choosing, and you can get in on the action too with the chance to win nice prizes. The grand prize winner will take home a 60″ Samsung LED 1080 p 120 Hz TV; a pair of UK branded boots from The Boot Store; a $200 Arby’s gift card; a $200 certificate of deposit from Central Bank; and a $200 Appalachian Wireless gift card, a prize package valued at $2,000. Get signed up here. Quentin Snider is your 2014 Kentucky Mr. Basketball. The Louisville Cardinal signee and Ballard star was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky, the same award Dominique Hawkins earned one year ago. He's the first Louisville signee to raise the Kentucky Mr. Basketball trophy since, meh, who cares. LaRue County's Ivy Brown earned Miss Kentucky Basketball honors. She'll be suiting up for the Lady Hilltoppers next season. Cats express interest in UNLV's Bryce Dejean-Jones. UNLV's Bryce Dejean-Jones will graduate this spring and hopes to find a new home for his senior season of college basketball next year. He will be eligible to play immediately wherever he goes as a graduate student transfer, unless he decides to enter this summer's NBA draft. UK assistant Orlando Antigua called Dejean-Jones' AAU coach to get a feel on where Dejean-Jones stands, so there is some interest there, but it's too early in the process to have any idea which way he is leaning. The Herald-Leader's Ben Roberts chatted with Dejean-Jones' former coach Tuesday night; you can read what he had to say here. This compilation of buzzer-beaters will get you fired up for the Big Dance. This 10-minute video features every buzzer-beater from the 2013-14 college basketball season. Let the Madness begin. Go Cats, everybody.

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