Guest post: Reflections on win over UCLA

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)


The game ended late, and by the time I could quiet my mind and sleep, it must have been 3 am.  After some sleep, I want to reflect a little on what I think I saw last night from the Cats, and take a very quick peek ahead to Sunday evening’s war with North Carolina.

If Tar Heels play Monk tighter on Sunday, he knows teammates can have big games

Malik Monk had 21 points Friday. (Vicky Graff Photo)


Malik Monk put his name on the national scene with his 47-point performance in December during UK’s overtime win over North Carolina.

Sunday in Memphis the two teams meet again for a berth in the Final Four.

Monk knows what to expect Sunday.

“I think they’re going to play me even tighter, so that means (De’Aaron) Fox is going to have his way or anybody else is going to have his way. We’re just going to see what they’re going to do at the beginning of the game, and we’re going to go off that,” Monk said after Friday’s win over UCLA.

Kentucky vs UCLA Photo Gallery

Photos by Jeff Houchin

Fox was “phenomenal” in 39-point performance in win over UCLA

De’Aaron Fox (Jeff Houchin Photo)


Only three Kentucky players — Dan Issel, Jack Givens and Tayshaun Prince — have scored 40 points or more in a NCAA Tournament game. Freshman De’Aaron Fox almost made it four Friday night.

Fox had 39 points to help Kentucky beat UCLA in the South Region semifinals and advance to Sunday afternoon’s regional final against North Carolina for a berth in the Final Four.

Cats too Fox-y for UCLA


Kentucky has had some sensational individual performances in NCAA Tournament play but the best in the John Calipari era came Friday night in Memphis.

Fox scored a career-high 39 points on 13-for-20 shooting from the field and 13-for-15 at the foul line as UK knocked UCLA out of the NCAA with a n 86-75 win.

Fox scored UK’s first eight points and then put the game away at the foul line in the final two minutes.

Prince Throws No. 17 Kentucky to 20th Win of Season

LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a game that took just over an hour and 20 minutes to play, the No. 17 Kentucky softball team behind seven inning in the circle from Meagan Prince and a home run by Katie Reed took the series opener with the No. 22 Arkansas Razorbacks, 2-1 on Friday night.

The win is the 20th of the season for the Wildcats, who improve to 20-6 on the season, and now sit at .500 in the Southeastern Conference at 2-2. The No. 22 Razorbacks fall to 22-7 overall and 2-5 in the SEC. 

Blues City Cafe karma working for UK

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)


Need something to make you feel better about tonight’s Kentucky-UCLA game in Memphis?

Well, thanks to photographer Vicky Graff, there might be some good karma brewing for the Wildcats.

Vicky has a knack for finding out obscure facts when she’s on the road with the Cats because she’s never met a stranger and talks to everyone. But this NCAA tidbit could be golden.

“I ate at Blues City Cafe last night (in Memphis). I heard from one of the restaurant managers that when Cal was coaching at Memphis he had taken his team to that restaurant the night before the game,” Graff said.

Monk Lands on NABC All-America Second Team

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kentucky men’s basketball freshman guard Malik Monk added to his long list of postseason awards by making the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-America Second Team on Friday.

Monk was joined on the second team by Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Luke Kennard (Duke), Jonathan Motley (Baylor) and Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga).

The teams were selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, which currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches.

Numbers favor Calipari’s Cats by 3 over UCLA

Bam Adebayo (Jeff Houchin Photo)


One testament to the quality of the Kentucky non-conference basketball schedule, year in and year out, is the number of times the Cats seem to meet a prior regular season opponent in the NCAA tournament, especially in the Sweet 16 and beyond. Since Coach Calipari has been on the Kentucky sidelines, his Cats have played a total of 16 NCAA Tournament games in the Sweet 16 or beyond.

How is UCLA different from December?

UCLA coach Steve Alford was asked Thursday what is different about his team from December when it won 97-92 in Rupp Arena.

Here’s what he said:

“That’s a good question. You know, I think both of our teams are better. I think when you look at the December game, we had 18 turnovers. I’m sure Cal was probably disappointed with some things that his team did in that game, as well. I just think we’re better. They’ve won 13 straight. I think we’ve won 12 out of 13 or 13 out of 14, if I’m not mistaken. So you’ve got two teams that have really settled into their identity of being up-tempo, fast-paced, very skilled players that are playing the game at a fast pace and making decisions,” Alford said.

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