This is your Weekend What’s Next? A preview of all the things coming up that a Louisville sports fan will want to know about, let’s get it rollin’.
Louisville starts things off with a noon tip at the KFC Yum! Center against Syracuse. The University will honor the 25th anniversary of the 1986 NCAA championship team with festivities before, during and after the game. If you want to see some highlights from the contest, check out my mid-week blog and scroll down to the “Memory Lane” section. There you will find a link to the highlights from the 1986 final.
As for this game, the two teams are in the heat of the race to capture one of the “double byes” in next month’s Big East tournament, with Louisville tied in the loss column for third and Syracuse leading a group of 6 teams a half-game behind them. All told 3rd place through 11th in the Big East are all one game apart in the loss column. That’s nuts- a 2 game losing streak can take a team from 3rd to 10th!
Back in mid January, the Orange were ranked in the top 5, but then went on a four game losing skid. They looked to have corrected course with a couple nice road wins at Connecticut and South Florida, but were defeated at home by the red hot Hoyas of Georgetown Wednesday. So maybe they are not “back” like many claimed.
As for the Cards, it seems fair to wonder how much they have left after a dramatic and disappointing loss in South Bend Wednesday. That was quite a game- huh? Kyle Kuric had a huge game with 28 points and 6 boards. Syracuse already knew to watch out for him after he torched them in the second half in the last game at Freedom Hall a year ago.
The game provides a good match-up at the point with Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine and Louisville’s Peyton Siva both ranked among the top 40 assist men in the country. Syracuse and Louisville both enjoy establishing pace, but both seem to prefer differing paces. Looking forward to the game and as always in the Big East, it will take another fine performance fo Louisville to win and press on towards a bye in the Big East tourney.
As for Kentucky they make the yearly trip to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt at 1pm Saturday. In the past decade, the Cats have lost more road games at Vanderbilt than any other opponent (6-tied with Florida). For comparison, the Cats have only lost that many total to the “big” state school south of the border- the Tennessee Vols.
So this will be a tough one. Add to that the Cats have lost 4 of their last 6 road game- all but one to inferior opponents- and Vandy’s mini-roll at home, winning there twice this week, and you see how Vanderbilt is favored in this one. With just under a month to go in the season, these two teams are in a 4 way tie for the second SEC East bye as well, so to steal one on the road would be nice for the Cats.
From an individual standpoint, it will be interesting if we are seeing a Josh Harrellson resurgence, or merely another optimistic blip on a fairly bare radar screen of a career. Harrellson’s 16 points Tuesday against Tennessee was reminiscent of some of his bigger performances in Lexington, and a vital Harrellson could really bring this team out of the mini-slump they are in.
When he’s on, he is a big, versatile threat that defenses have to account for, which opens up the agile guards’ driving lanes. When he’s not, he is an anchor in the middle and usually winds up on the bench in foul trouble.
Another concern is the play of Terrence Jones. Teams have figured out to push him to his right, and he’s finding the driving baskets tougher to come by. Sure he almost had a triple double Tuesday, but the third stat was turnovers! I would like to see Jones on the low block more often where he won’t be required to be an explosive dribbler with both hands. We’ll see how Vanderbilt handles Jones, as they are able to play some agile power forwards as well.
Before moving on, I want to send a quick promotional note out about Doug Proffitt’s Friday Flashbacks piece tonight on Adolph Rupp. He found some great old video and sound bites in our archives of the baron. That airs tonight during the six o’clock news- check it out.
After Kid Rock Friday night and the Cardinal men from 1986 and today on Saturday, the Louisville women take over on Sunday. They play the 19th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. The Cards are slightly ahead of West Virginia in the standings so this is another big conference positional battle here in town this week. Louisville will look to build some consistency after a road win at Villanova last weekend.
Finally, also in the early window Saturday, Indiana travels to Ann Arbor Michigan to face the Wolverines in a rematch of their big victory last month. Despite obvious improvement from a year ago, Indiana has fallen back into the basement in the Big ten standings after Iowa, Northwestern and Michigam all picked up wins during the last week.
Here on WHAS11, we are bracing for Sunday’s big NBA games. LeBron and the Heat travel to Boston at 1PM and that is followed by the Lakers visiting the Orlando Magic. Two games featuring many of the league’s biggest stars this Sunday on WHAS11.
If you read my Mid-week Buffet column this week, you know that I have a cold. In an effort to ditch the sucker, I spent most of Wednesday in the bed. I know this was tough on my wife who had to take care of my son and I at the same time, but for me? It was a chance to get caught up on some movies.
All told I saw four movies in two days. Prior to this, I hadn’t seen 4 movies in the last two months. I will rate them in the “Fan or Ban” format I used earlier in the year where if I like something then I am a “fan” and if I don’t like it- I want to “ban”
First, I saw “Inception.” Yeah I know, this should have been done months ago, but Mrs. FMD is not into science fiction or most complicated, multi-layer, action movies in general. So I didn’t get a good chance to sit and watch a film alone in some time.
Fan- I liked the thought provoking nature of the movie, much in the way that I enjoyed the same in the TV series Lost. The movie kept you on your toes and every once in a while you had to re-calibrate all your assumptions of the movie based on new information. Also, I think the film was very well directed and can see why it received such acclaim. I normally like my movies to have a neat bow on the end, so I feel like my experience with the film is complete, but did not mind the ambiguous ending and of course I have formed my own opinion.
I also like the general subject of dreaming within a dream. I hate this when it happens to me in real life though. Hate it. I wake up from one dream thinking “man I’m glad that dream is over- what a doozie” then all of a sudden nothing seems right again. Arrgghhhh. The reason I liked this ina movie is it lets me know I am not alone in dreaming within a dream. Did you know this is usually a sign that you overly stressed?
Ban- There wasn’t much I did not like about this movie, but it was difficult for me to follow the action in the weightless scenes, and I would like to know if my interpretation of the movie is correct. I also hope they don’t try a sequel.
Total FMD Rating: Fan. If it were a sports team, I’d be a season ticket holder and follow on fan message boards. Probably wouldn’t make many road trips though.
The second best movie I saw was the bank robber movie “The Town.”
Fan- I thought it was a good plot with interesting twists along the way. I know little about Boston, but liked how the movie brought us into the world of the different neighborhoods and the characteristics of each. Any movie which incorporates multiple sporting venues is a winner for me and somehow I did not know how much Fenway Park plays into it.
Ban- Afleck isn’t the greatest actor, and I know it was rated R, but I didn’t expect the little graphic violence there was. There was a lot of adult language thrown around, but that isn’t so much a criticism as a warning.
Total FMD rating: Fan. If it were a sport team I’d attend a few games and follow regularly on TV.
The other two movies I saw were concessions to Mrs. FMD. The better of the two being “Easy A”
Fan- Easy A was a tribute to teenage romantic comedies in the 80’s(think John Hughes). In fact it directly references “Say Anything”, “Sixteen Candles”, “Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off”. In my opinion, it re-created the feeling of those movies as well as any modern adaptation has in some time. Now I will not cop to liking “16 Candles” or “Breakfast Club”(I have seen them each once) but I was a big fan of “Say Anything” and everyone digged on “Ferris” right?
This one centers on a girl named Olive who gained sudden popularity due to a series of spiraling lies about her promiscuity. Her quest to reclaim and be proud of who she really is pushes the action to the inevitable romantic conclusion.
The lead character was cute and funny. The supporting performances were well acted and full of “oh that guy or girl was in ______ that I also loved.” For a “chickflick” it was pretty good, there’s a reason it’s been so well reviewed.
Ban- Well it was a “chickflick” and the ending, while satisfying, comes up a little too quick.
Overall FMD grade: Fan. If it were a sports team, not something I would go out of my way to see, but something I would really enjoy when I get the opportunity.
The last movie was “Going the Distance.”
Fan- I thought the characters were real. Too many times romantic comedies give us sanitized characters who rarely swear, rarely have time conflicts or those moment when others intrude on their time. Too often everything falls into place. This movie had all that which we all deal with day-to-day. I also think many of us have tried the long distance relationship to varying degrees of success.
Ban- The problem is that while I did generally like the movie, the above is all I can really say was enjoyable. The above made for some familiar dialogue and situations, but in the end was the thing that made the movie decent and not bad. There was just nothing special or notable about the film in my opinion.
Overall FMD grade: Ban- only because there was nothing about this movie that sets it out. The overall story arc is predictable, even if the story path makes a couple of stutters along the way. If it were a sports experience, it would be like watching a game on DVR. You already know how it turns out, and while it may seem like this is something different while you watch, it turns out exactly like the you would expect.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!