UK – Live Breathe Blue

Kentucky Football — Cardinal Grudge

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Cardinal Grudge—By John Huang

The annual football clash between UK and UL is more than just your typical rivalry game. It not only gives the winning school undisputed bragging rights for the rest of the year, but it also allows either Lexington or Louisville to claim urban supremacy over the other. The two cities are separated by a mere 77 miles along the I-64 corridor, but when it comes to cheering on their respective teams, their fans might as well be worlds apart. Out-of-staters are completely clueless to our differences—they wouldn’t know the distinction between The Galt House or the Campbell House, the Yum Center or the Hope Center, Freedom Hall or Joe B. Hall. But all Kentuckians are fully aware that when choosing between the Cats or the Cards, you best know exactly where you stand and make absolutely sure that you never cross over to the other side.


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Kentucky Basketball — Let’s Play Two!

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Let’s Play Two! —By John Huang

“Let’s play two!” I know Ernie Banks was referring to his beloved sport of baseball when he uttered the famous phrase, but who says we can’t apply it also to our Basketball Cats. I’m putting in overtime this week and taking all of you on a Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving doubleheader extravaganza. The UK Men’s Basketball team will take on Cleveland State in an early afternoon tip and the UK Hoops Women’s team will follow-up with their contest against Morehead State later that evening. Let’s go courtside and dissect the action.


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Kentucky Basketball — Duking It Out!

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Duking It Out–By John Huang

I’m ecstatic! Kentucky’s 69-48 rout against Michigan State last week in the Champions Classic in New York was a successful early season test against a nationally ranked opponent. Yet, an even greater reason to celebrate is that Duke lost that very same evening. OK, the elitist Ivy League wannabes may have had three of their injured freshman star players sitting on the bench in their JC Penneys, but all we heard the entire preseason was the national media fawning all over Duke, Duke, and more Duke. Frankly my dear, I’m sick of hearing about them.


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Kentucky Football — Senior Day Sendoff

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Senior Day Sendoff—By John Huang

There are three things in life you can still count on with absolute certainty–death, taxes, and a Senior Day victory over Austin Peay. Barring an upset of historic proportions rivaling the likes of Chaminade, Buster Douglas, or the Miracle on Ice, a Wildcat win over the hapless Governors was all but guaranteed. Fortunately, after sleepwalking through the first quarter and falling behind 13-0, UK didn’t make history, rallying back to crush the Governors 49-13 and sending the overmatched OVC visitors back home on the last train to Clarksville. I’ll let others nitpick the negatives on this one. A win is a win and the Cats are 6-5 and bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.


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UK Hoops — Rise and Shine

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Rise and Shine—By John Huang

Coach Matthew Mitchell was in a very good mood during his post-game press conference. While the rest of Corporate America was gearing up for their power lunches, his UK Hoops team had just finished dispatching and demoralizing the University of New Hampshire 92-43. The early 11:00 am tipoff was part of Coach Mitchell’s Winning Tools Education Day where all local school children were invited to attend the game for free. “Good win today,” the coach began. “Really happy the team came out with energy. I was really proud of their attitude, enthusiasm and energy in warmups and it led into the game. I just thought we played hard today.”


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Kentucky Basketball — (Over)scheduled

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Overscheduled—by John Huang

As a basketball fan, I’d prefer to see Kentucky load up solely on top 25 caliber opponents. I’d love to see them play a yearly home-and-home series against Duke or Carolina, and dispense with the likes of Duquesne or Cleveland State altogether. However, that’s neither practical or beneficial. Look over the current list of UK’s pre-conference opponents and you’ll discover the consummate mix of sacrificial patsies versus tournament contenders; home game snoozers versus made-for-TV extravaganzas; traditional basketball heavyweights versus nameless up-and-comers. Coach Cal, the chess master, knows exactly what he’s doing—instilling confidence early on while still providing enough tough challenges in preparation for a successful tournament run in March.


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Kentucky Football — Quitting Your Cattle

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Quitting Your Cattle—By John Huang

“Don’t ever quit your cattle on a stormy night.” That’s how Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops responded after I asked him about the confidence level of his team prior to their trip down to Knoxville. After the stormy loss to the Georgia Bulldogs last weekend, I’m certainly not quitting my cattle and neither are the coaches. Unfortunately, the cattle may not have gotten the message as Tennessee shredded the Wildcats 49-36 on a perfectly crisp and sunny autumn afternoon in the heart of Volunteer Nation.


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Kentucky Basketball — Rupp Remodeled

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Rupp Remodeled—By John Huang

I’m in love again. Like a perfectly restored finish on a classic car, Rupp Arena’s latest makeover has my heart a fluttering. The new overhead scoreboard, ribbon boards and freshly blue painted air ducts have put the much-needed Big Blue shine back into the home of our glorious and proud program. There’s an immediate “wow factor” now when you walk through the doors. It’s brighter, classier and definitely more inviting than before. It’s not quite the YUM Center yet, but our beloved venue should never be compared to its haughty little brother down the road anyway. Rupp Arena remains the elegant grande dame of basketball palaces—the upper deck bleachers and championship banners still oozing tradition while finally being escorted into this new millennium.


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Kentucky Football — Dawg Days of November

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Dawg Days of November—By John Huang

It was fun while it lasted! After Florida lost to Arkansas earlier in the day, everything seemed to be falling into place for a magical Wildcat run to a first-place finish in the SEC eastern division. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The Commonwealth crowd was stoked all evening but couldn’t propel the Cats to those rarefied heights.


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Kentucky Basketball — Hold Your Horses

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Hold Your Horses—By John Huang

Hold your horses. I’m no Jerry Tipton but I’m already a wee bit worried about this year’s version of the UK Basketball Wildcats. Before you go booking travel arrangements for The Final Four in Phoenix next April, just think back to Tubby’s Team Turmoil or—or even more recently, Cal’s NIT team. I’m not predicting any losses to Robert Morris with this bunch of Cats, but if recent history proves correct, it’ll take time for this team to morph into a championship caliber unit.


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