The Big Blue Nation invaded the East Room of the White House Friday afternoon as President Barack Obama honored the 2012 National Championship team in front of a packed room filled with cheering fans, family members and friends. Obama especially commended the players' ability to play as a team and said because of that ability, they were able to "do something special right away."
In a last minute move to the finish I’ll Have Another won the 138th Kentucky Derby, upsetting a top contender who held the lead most of the race. “It’s beyond belief,” said trainer Doug O’Neill after the race. “Somebody asked me earlier in the week what would it be like to win the Kentucky Derby. I used Bubba Watson’s quote when he won the Masters: I never dreamt this far. I never in a million years thought we could do this,” he said.
Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari and assistant coaches Orlando Antigua, Kenny Payne and John Robic have signed multi-year contracts with the University of Kentucky, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced on Friday. “It’s rare, in this day and age, to be able to keep a staff together that has helped produce a national championship and back-to-back Final Four runs,” Barnhart said in a statement released by the UK athletics department. “We want to show them how appreciative we are of their hard work and dedication, and how much they mean to this program.”
It may not be the most stunning trophy in the sports world, but the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team isn’t shy about showing off its national championship trophy. Over the past month the wood and gold-plated trophy has been kissed by the players, sat in the Cincinnati Reds dugout, and this week a Lexington baker even made a cake that looks like the trophy. It's made stops across the state from Ashland to Paducah.
Bodemeister has been made the early 4-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with Union Rags the second choice in a full field of 20 horses. Trained by three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, Bodemeister was assigned the No. 6 spot at the post position draw today at Churchill Downs. Six horses have won from that position, the last being Sea Hero in 1993.
The University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team is heading to Washington D.C. to meet President Barack Obama this Friday. Kentucky won its eight national championships this year, and the presidential meeting is typical for NCAA basketball champions.
A series of records were broken during the spring meet at Keeneland Race Course. The Lexington facility set a record for largest single day attendance, and for largest amount ever wagered on a single race. "We’ve had a wonderful meeting attendance-wise. We have such great enthusiasm from our fans and we’ve had such wonderful community support that we’ve actually had record attendance,” said Amy Gregory, a spokeswoman for Keeneland.
Sometimes you have to look long and hard to find a positive story featuring a Kentuckian who does well on the national stage. We know there are heroes among us; however, the national media and entertainment industry seem to try hard to go out of their way to spotlight what’s wrong with our state and its inhabitants. For example, Anderson Cooper of CNN fame featured Kentuckians who believe in aliens on a recent show.
A win this weekend in Lexington’s Bluegrass Stakes could make Hansen a favorite in the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky-bred is considered the two-year-old champion, winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile, the Gotham and an Eclipse Award. Owner Kendall Hansen says his 6-5 favorite is ready to run.
The field is set for the 2012 Toyota Bluegrass Stakes and the post positions have been drawn. Two-year-old juvenile Hansen is favored to win the final prep race before the Kentucky Derby. The names were drawn Wednesday morning at Keeneland’s Limestone Café. 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Hansen was picked first and will take position four in the $750,000 stakes race. Owner Kendall Hansen admitted, despite odds of 6:5, he’s nervous for his horse going into Saturday.
UK Wildcat fans showed no signs of slowing down Tuesday afternoon, as thousands welcomed home their NCAA champions with a sea of blue. With cameras in hand and adrenaline still running high, fans packed Rupp Arena for a glimpse of Coach John Calipari and his national champions Tuesday afternoon. Cheers erupted as the team’s tour bus pulled into the arena and the players emerged, many capturing video of the crowd on their own cell phones.
Gov. Steve Beshear today proclaimed Tuesday, April 3, as “Championship Day” in Kentucky, in recognition of the University of Kentucky basketball team winning the 2012 NCAA men’s basketball title. “Our state not only sent four teams to the tournament, but made up half of the Final Four and brought home the trophy,” the governor said in a statement released by his office. “The Wildcats have been the team to beat all season, and in last night’s game against Kansas, they proved once again that they’re the best team in the country.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A public celebration for the National Champion Kentucky Wildcats is planned for Tuesday afternoon at Rupp Arena. Hundreds of the Big Blue faithful lined up outside Rupp Arena in the early hours Tuesday to get the free tickets for the celebration. The Wildcats' plane is scheduled to touch down at Blue Grass Airport at around 3 p.m.
The University of Kentucky now has its eighth national championship in men’s basketball. UK was in control for much of the title game last night against Kansas. The Jayhawks cut the Wildcat lead down to five with about a minute and a half left in the game, but UK held on for an eight point win 67-59. Freshman sensation Anthony David pulled down 16 rebounds and had six blocks in winning the Most Outstanding Player Award.
It’s down to one game for the national championship tonight in New Orleans. The University of Kentucky goes for its eighth basketball title while Kansas University vies for its sixth. The two teams met back on November 15th in New York when the Wildcats beat the Jayhawks 75 to 65.
As the frenzy over the NCAA Final Four proves, many Kentuckians love college athletics. What they might not know is that taxpayers are picking up a large part of the tab. The state's eight public universities subsidize their sports programs with a total of almost $50 million a year from their schools' general fund budgets, which largely rely on state tax money and students' tuition and fees. Spending on athletics has remained strong despite nearly a decade of cutbacks in state funding, which have pushed much more of the financial burden of attending college onto students.
Gov. Steve Beshear and his family will travel to New Orleans for the NCAA Final Four, which begins with an historic matchup between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. This is the first time since 1991 that a single state has sent two schools to the Final Four.“It’s a thrilling time to be a basketball fan in the state of Kentucky, because no matter who prevails Saturday night, the championship game will feature a team from Kentucky,” Beshear said in a press release issued by his office.
The University of Louisville/University of Kentucky rivalry will reach new heights Saturday night when the Cards and the Cats clash in the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans. Some are calling it the biggest sporting event in the commonwealth’s history. This has the feel of a Kentucky Derby week, with the national media lens on Louisville and Lexington, focused not on thoroughbreds, but on what makes this basketball rivalry so intense.
Historically, celebrations following big University of Kentucky tournament games have straddled the line between celebrations and civil unrest, and Saturday's historic game against rival University of Louisville has the potential to draw the biggest — and rowdiest — crowd ever. In anticipation of thousands of people spilling into the streets and drunken celebrations that often include the burning of couches, officials from Lexington and UK held a news conference Wednesday to discuss plans to prevent injuries and property damage following Saturday's Final Four matchup. The game will mark the first time in NCAA history that two Kentucky universities have faced off in the Final Four.
Championship-level celebrations often have a way of getting out of hand, and city, county, and campus authorities say they have a plan in place to make sure the Wildcat faithful show their team spirit in a safe and respectable manner.UK Police Chief Joe Monroe says it will take a team effort to stop revelers from engaging in dangerous behavior.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer presented his Lexington counterpart with a bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon today as part of a friendly wager on who will win the Final Four matchup between U of L and UK. Fischer says Lexington Mayor Jim Gray needs to brace himself for a loss in New Orleans. “I think later this week you all need to be focused on starting to medicate yourself because there’s going to be a huge disappointment in Catland come Saturday.”
Three Kentucky teams and the Indiana Hoosiers return to action tomorrow in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. The Murray State Racers take on Marquette at 5:15pm at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville.That’s also where the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats play their third round game. UK takes on Iowa State at 7:45pm. The Louisville Cards face New Mexico at 9:40pm in Portland, Oregon and the Indiana Hoosiers meet Virginia Commonwealth at 7:10pm in Portland.
Three of the four Kentucky teams in this year’s N-C double A basketball tournament are moving forward with games tomorrow. The University of Kentucky proved too much for Western Kentucky University, winning going away last night 81-66. UK takes on Iowa State, who knocked out defending N-C double A champion Connecticut last night. Murray State defeated Colorado State 58-41 before a vocal crowd in Louisville. The Racers now face Marquette Saturday. The Golden Eagles were a 20 point winner over Brigham Young. The University of Louisville Cardinals got a seven point win over Davidson in the west region. The Cards take on New Mexico Sat, who beat Long Beach State by 13.
The men’s NCAA basketball tournament gets into full swing tomorrow, with four Kentucky teams and the Indiana Hoosiers taking the court. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers hope to extend their surprising post-season run with a victory against top-seeded Kentucky at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville. Tipoff is 6:50pm. Western freshman forward George Fant says he’ll be ready for the Wildcats.
Marcey Bronczyk was beaming and breathless Monday afternoon as she stood outside the ticket booth at Memorial Coliseum. Bronczyk, 53, and her son Chris Bronczyk, 24, both University of Kentucky students, had just won the right to buy tickets to the UK men's basketball team's opening-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Louisville.
Louisville and Kentucky both begin play next weekend in the women’s NCAA basketball tournament. The pairings were announced tonight. The seventh seeded Cardinals will take on number ten seed Michigan State Saturday in College Park, Maryland. UK is a number two seed and will face 15th-seeded McNeese State Saturday in Ames, Iowa.
Tickets for the NCAA Tournament games at Louisville’s Yum Center are hard to come by and as Alan Lytle reports, that could open the door to a variety of scam artists. Heather Clary with the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky says it’s a good idea to do some checking on who’s selling before you start buying.
UK freshman Anthony Davis was named the Sporting News 2012 College Basketball Player of the Year on Tuesday. And teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was named to the Sporting News Second Team. Rounding out the first team along with Davis were Draymond Green of Michigan State, Isaiah Canaan of Murray State University, Thomas Robinson of Kansas and Jared Sullinger of Ohio State.
A state historical marker that will eventually be placed at the childhood home of Muhammad Ali was unveiled today. The bronze marker is currently on display at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage. It will be moved to the west Louisville home in the spring.
E.A. Couch, who was among the starting five of the 1956 Carr Creek basketball team that won the state high school championship — and who played for legendary University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp — died Wednesday at his home in Paintsville after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 75. "He was an excellent ball shooter. A fine gentleman," said Freddie Maggard of Corbin, a guard on the 1956 Carr Creek team.