The unofficial start to the college basketball season is here.
Kentucky basketball's historic preseason event, Big Blue Madness, is scheduled for this evening at 9 p.m. ET, officially tipping off the 2020-21 seasons for the UK men's and women's basketball teams.
Like Kentucky's Pro Day last week, tonight's event will take place in Memorial Coliseum, the first time Big Blue Madness has been held at the historic venue since 2004.
A television-only event due to safety concerns with COVID-19, Big Blue Madness will feature introductions of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, practice drills, scrimmages, player spotlights, a performance by the 24-time national championship cheerleading team and more.
Tom Hart, Jimmy Dykes and Carolyn Peck will be on the call for the 90-minute telecast live on SEC Network.
As for us here at KSR, we will have extensive coverage of the event right here on the website before, during and after the event.
It's basketball season, BBN.
Kentucky prepares for Alabama
While the UK men's and women's basketball teams look to open their seasons with a bang, the football team faces several major challenges ahead of them as they close out the back end of their schedule.
The first? A road trip to Tuscaloosa to take on the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
"It was a rough start on Monday [with John Schlarman's memorial service], but the guys really bounced around good the rest of the week," UK head coach Mark Stoops said Thursday evening. "We need to have another good practice tomorrow, get on that plane with a strong mindset, ready to play a good Alabama team."
After a defensive effort that left Stoops "pissed off" following the team's win against Vanderbilt last weekend, the UK head coach says the defense has responded well with a good week leading up to the trip to Alabama.
"They did. In general, over time, our defense usually responds," he said. "They have a good pride about them and have had a good week. They know they have a great challenge ahead of them this week."
The hype video has been released
Speaking of UK vs. Bama, the Kentucky football video team released its official hype video for this weekend's game.
As expected and per usual, the finished piece is fantastic.
Take a look:
Kroger's KSR Game of the Week is a good one
The playoffs are here!
This week's Kroger KSR Game of the Week is a good one, as the Pikeville Panthers are set to take on the upstart Sayre Spartans in Pikeville.
Coached by former NFL quarterback Chad Pennington, Sayre enters Friday's game with an undefeated 8-0 record in their first full varsity season. The Spartans are led by Pennington's son Cole, who has thrown for 1,906 yards and 27 touchdowns as the team's starting quarterback. Trey Dennis is Pennington’s go-to receiver and has recorded 58 catches and 11 touchdowns in 2020.
Sitting at 5-2 on the year, the Pikeville Panthers also boast a father-son, coach-quarterback combination of their own with coach Chris McNamee and his son, Isaacc McNamee. The Panthers are the state’s Class A reigning champions.
In a rare early playoff matchup between two top-five teams, it's win or go home from this point forward.
Come see Freddie Maggard and Ryan Lemond at the Bryan Station Kroger
To celebrate the high-profile matchup for Kroger's KSR Game of the Week, KSR's own Freddie Maggard and Ryan Lemond will be at the Bryan Station Kroger in Lexington this afternoon at 5 p.m. ET.
There, the KSR duo will be handing out Kroger gift cards and talking all things football for those who stop by. For a gift card, all you have to do is say the magic words: "Kroger Presents the KSR Game of the Week.”
Kentucky basketball ranked the greatest program of all time
It's official: UK basketball is the greatest program in the history of ever.
In CBS Sports' official rankings of the "Greatest College Basketball Programs Ever," Kentucky came in at No. 1 by an overwhelming margin.
To come up with the final list, CBS used various data points such as national titles, Final Four appearances, conference regular season titles, Elite Eights, and draft picks.
It’s astounding. Kentucky is unequivocally the most successful and consistent program in college basketball in the past 10 years, the past 20, 30, 40, 60 and even 80 years. UK’s 131 NCAA Tournament wins: most ever. Its 2,320 wins in history: most ever. How about this: it has made 21 Elite Eights NOT including the years it also went to the Final Four, which adds another nine to that pile. By far the most ever. Kentucky’s 102 top-60 NBA picks since 1946: most ever. It’s been ranked for 919 weeks, tops in college basketball history. The 59 NCAA Tournament bids outpaces No. 2 North Carolina by NINE. Its domination of the SEC is silly; those 47 regular-season titles, in addition to 17 Final Fours, catapulted Kentucky past the competition.
The Wildcats had a significant 300-point advantage over second-ranked North Carolina, followed by Duke, UCLA and Kansas to round out the top five.
Check out the entire list here.
Devin Askew will speak to the media at noon
Kentucky freshman guard Devin Askew will sit down with the media at noon to close out UK basketball's preseason interviews, where he will break down the roster and preview the upcoming season.
KSR will have all the coverage you need right here on the website leading up to Big Blue Madness this evening.
KSR in an hour
Matt Jones and the KSR crew will be live from 10 a.m. to noon to preview Big Blue Madness and break down KSR's Game of the Week, among other topics.
Be sure to tune in.