Guest post: Despite predictions, NCAA has lacked bevvy of upsets

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo


I don’t know if UK could have beaten North Carolina  or not, but I believed they had been playing at a level that made that not just possible but likely.  Then the wheels came off against Indiana, exposing all of the team’s early season deficiencies all at once. That is what usually happens in this tournament to frauds when a good coach gets a week to prepare a plan to expose those deficiencies.  That is what happened to UK against IU.  If IU had not done it, I now think UNC would have.

Janee Thompson: “It’s been a fun ride”

Janee Thompson, left, and Makayla Epps after Friday's loss (Vicky Graff Photo)

Janee Thompson, left, and Makayla Epps after Friday’s loss (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here is what Makayala Epps and Janee Thompson had to say after Friday’s loss to Washington in the NCAA Tournament.

Matthew Mitchell: “Disappointing night for us”

Here is what Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell had to say Friday night after his team lost 85-72 to Washington in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals in Rupp Arena.

COACH MITCHELL: Well, what a great game tonight for the University of Washington. Just congratulate them. They were outstanding. They were prepared and they played hard, and they made tough shots and big shots and really, really impressed with their performance tonight. So we congratulate them and wish them well as they move forward.

Kentucky-Washington postgame notes and numbers



MARCH 25, 2016




  • Washington improves to 25-10 overall.
  • The Huskies are in their 18th NCAA Tournament and second consecutive.
    • UW is 18-17 all-time in the tourney.
    • This marked UW’s eighth overall Sweet 16 and first since 2001.
    • UW is now 3-6 in the regional semifinals.
  • Washington hit 11 of 28 from the 3-point line (39.0 percent).
    • Marked the most 3-pointers since netting a season-high 12 at Washington State on Dec. 29, 2015.

Gran on Cats: “They’re not entitled to anything”


Kentucky players have offered “no resistance” to new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran because of the culture he says coach Mark Stoops has built.

“This is how it is. You either buy in or you don’t. The ones that aren’t receptive aren’t going to be here. But I haven’t sensed any of that. Matter of fact, it’s been the opposite. They’re hungry, they’re excited,” Gran said Thursday.

Matthew Mitchell does not just have a fastball but now has a curve, changeup and slider to throw at teams

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo


Want to know why Kentucky has been able to have such a successful season with a young team and roster depleted by preseason defections?

Let Washington coach Mike Neighbors, who sends his team against Kentucky tonight in Rupp Arena, explain in baseball terms what UK coach Matthew Mitchell has done.

“I think Matthew’s done a really good job changing the depth, taking the pressure off full court all the time and becoming a really good half-court team when he needs to be, and I think that’s made them a lot harder to play against,” Neighbors said Thursday.

Washington coach’s girlfriend is a UK fan

Amy, left, and Holly Ratliff (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Amy, left, and Holly Ratliff (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)


What are the odds of the women’s coach at Washington bringing his team to Rupp Arena to play in the NCAA Tournament and his girlfriend happens to be a Kentucky fan living in Lexington?

Well, that is exactly what has happened.

Washington coach Mike Neighbors dates Amy Ratliff, who normally works for the game day operations staff at Rupp Arena. Both Amy and her twin sister, Holly, were both wearing their Washington shirts Thursday and will be again tonight when the Huskies play UK.

Rupp Arena does not guarantee UK Final Four berth

Janee Thompson hugged coach Matthew Mitchell after a NCAA win. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Janee Thompson hugged coach Matthew Mitchell after a NCAA win. (Vicky Graff Photo)


Playing in Rupp Arena this weekend doesn’t guarantee Kentucky its first Final Four trip. Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell only has to point out last year’s home loss to Dayton in NCAA play to make his point.

Friday night UK hosts Washington and if it wins will play the Notre Dame-Stanford survivor on Sunday for a Final Four berth.

Washington won at Maryland last week to advance to Lexington, another fact Mitchell was quick to note Thursday.

Fans Invited to Cat Walk Prior to Friday’s Sweet 16 Game

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Members of the Big Blue Nation that wish to cheer on the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team before they depart for the arena on Friday are encouraged to gather at approx. 5 p.m. ET in the lobby of the Lexington downtown Hilton Hotel.

The Wildcats are expected to depart the team hotel for the arena at approx. 5:20 p.m. ET. The team bus will be at the Broadway entrance of the hotel and fans should gather next the fountain in the lobby.

Poythress to throw out first pitch at April 7 for Legends

Former University of Kentucky basketball star Alex Poythress will throw a ceremonial first pitch at the Lexington Legends opening-night game Thursday, April 7 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

“We’re really excited to have Alex with us on opening night,” said Legends President/CEO Andy Shea, “and we know the fans will be excited to see him take the mound.”

The game between the Legends and the Lakewood BlueClaws will begin at 7:05 p.m.    Gates will open at 5 p.m., and an autograph session with Poythress will begin as soon as gates are open.