Friday, March 30, 2007

NCAA Final Four

Road to the Final Four: Outside the Games, 3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
The Final Four Show, 3:30 - 6 p.m. (Bryant Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis)
Commentators: Jim Nantz, Billy Packer

Ohio State 67, Georgetown 60
Florida 76, UCLA 66

At the end of Florida-UCLA game, the NCAA Division 1 Men's Championship game will pit a rematch of the two schools that played in the BCS title game this past season as well as a rematch between the two teams that last played on December 23, 2006.

UK's offer to Billy Donovan

ESPN reports:
Kentucky officials are prepared to offer Florida coach Billy Donovan an annual raise of more than $1 million as part of a contract that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball.

Sources close to Kentucky's search said the school is prepared to tender an offer to Donovan early next week, either after Florida is eliminated from this weekend's Final Four in the Georgia Dome, or after it plays Monday night for its second consecutive national championship.

When asked whether he has authorized anyone to negotiate with Kentucky on his behalf, Donovan said Friday, "Absolutely not. I have told our athletic director that I am focused on UCLA. What a great opportunity ... and there shouldn't be any distraction with any of this stuff."

The sources said Donovan, a former Kentucky assistant under Rick Pitino, is the Wildcats' top choice to replace Tubby Smith, who unexpectedly resigned last week to become Minnesota's coach. Kentucky's starting point in the negotiations will be a seven-year contract that would pay Donovan at least $2.8 million per season and as much as $3.5 million with performance-based incentives, the sources said.

Florida, seeking to become the first team to win consecutive national titles since Duke in 1991 and 1992, plays UCLA in a national semifinal Saturday night.

"One of the things we have talked about is distractions and how they're going to come and a lot of times you can't control how they do come," Donovan said. "For me right now, it has been all about UCLA and all about preparation and all about getting ready to play this game. I'm just so happy we've gotten to this point."

"There's always going to be speculation and people want to talk, and I can't control that. What I can control is how I choose to focus my time and how my team chooses to focus its time. I think right now our team has great respect for UCLA and our focus is getting ready to play them."

After this season, Donovan would have five years remaining on his contract with Florida, which pays him about $1.8 million per season.

Donovan and his agents have been in negotiations with Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley for nearly a year. The two sides haven't yet reached a contract extension, but Florida was already prepared to pay Donovan at least $2.5 million per season before the Kentucky job opened, sources said.[...]

Kentucky officials have hired Parker Executive Search, an executive search firm in Atlanta, to conduct its coaching search. Dan Parker, president of the firm, was contracted by Minnesota to lure Smith to the Gophers, and Indiana used his firm to hire Kelvin Sampson from Oklahoma.

Regardless if Donovan stays at Florida or leaves for Kentucky, he figures to become one of the five highest-paid coaches in the country. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams each earn close to $3 million per season, and Michigan State's Tom Izzo is paid about $2.6 million annually, according to industry sources.

How did you do on the quiz?

You can view it here.

In other coaching news, Billy Gillispie is holding out on a contract extension. Perhaps he is waiting on Billy Donovan's decision?
At the end of another bizarre day in Texas A&M's quest to lock down basketball coach Billy Gillispie, school officials delayed an announcement of a new contract agreement after receiving indications from Gillispie that he wants to keep open his options for the most tantalizing of current job openings — Kentucky.

According to sources close to the situation, Gillispie late in the day balked at verbally agreeing to a new contract placed before the A&M board of regents for approval on Thursday. Under the new contract, Gillispie's base salary would jump from $1.25 million to around $1.6 million per year.

The school had hoped to announce the new deal Thursday afternoon and put to rest nearly a week of speculation about Gillispie's intentions to stay at A&M.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tubby Smith would recommend UK coaching job

Tubby Smith, the former coach at the University of Kentucky, said that he would recommend the coaching job to a colleague.
Although he willingly gave up coaching at Kentucky because he wanted to work where he felt “wanted,” Tubby Smith said Thursday that he would recommend his former job to a colleague.

“Sure,” he said. “You kidding me?” Smith acknowledged the pressures associated with leading college basketball’s winningest program and dealing with its famously demanding fans. But he noted that the job pays well and can attract a quality coach.

“Anytime a coach has made it to the level that Kentucky calls, they’re capable of handing it,” said Smith, who spoke to reporters after participating in a Final Four news conference sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. “There are a number of coaches who have proven they’re capable and ready.”

Many believe one such coach is Billy Donovan, whose Florida program will seek a second straight national championship here. Smith declined to talk specifically a about whether he’d recommend the job to Donovan, whom he called a “great friend.”

But Smith said that Donovan was “tough enough, smart enough” to handle any high-pressure college coaching job.

Smith averaged 26.3 victories in 10 seasons as Kentucky coach. He led the Wildcats to five Southeastern Conference regular-season championships, five SEC Tournament titles and the 1998 national championship.

Where do we stand with Billy Donovan?

Another day goes by and we still do not have a coach at UK.

I don't know if what Adam Allen said was true. We're still waiting for Coach Billy Donovan, himself, to make a yes or no statement.
Just as Allen started to worry about his Gators future, he looked down at his cell phone.

Allen received a text message Tuesday from Donovan, who addressed the circulating rumors.

"It said he knows there are a lot of rumors going around but that he's just glad to have me, and he's looking forward to coaching me at Florida," Allen said.

Donovan has not made a concrete statement about his future while the Gators continue their run in the NCAA Tournament.

When asked about the possibility of coaching at Kentucky in Wednesday's NCAA coaches' teleconference, Donovan again remained tight-lipped.

"My focus is on our team and our program and the Final Four," he said. "To me, there is nothing more to address. I've already addressed it."
Privately, he may have already made up his mind but when he's in public, we don't know. Here's another:
No matter how hard he tries, the shadow of Kentucky and its vacant coaching job continues to hang over Billy Donovan. As he prepares his team for its Final Four game against UCLA and UK fan Web sites speculate that he's likely to join the Wildcats, Donovan said again Wednesday that Kentucky is not a part of his thought process right now.

"I think there have been distractions all year long to our basketball team, and if I were to address this right now, my focus is our team, our program and this great opportunity to play in the Final Four," he said. "To me, there is nothing more to address. I think I've already addressed it."
He's coming. He had another chance to flat out say no, and he didn't. The only option I see is that he's leveraging for a higher pay raise while at Florida. I'll tell you this right now. Add Donovan to the Kentucky tradition and you get the five star recruits. Florida won't be anywhere near as good next season.

Ultimately, this is Billy Donovan's decision to make. One way or another, I believe that he will have to listen to what UK has to say. He worked here under Rick Pitino and saw us make two deep runs in the tournament (1991-92, 1992-93).

There will be some good years and there will be some bad years--it's happened before. But there will never go another decade without an appearance in the final four ever again. This is Kentucky, a tradition unlike any other.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Major League Baseball screws fans over...

Come on Jim Bunning, do something! Bunning is a Hall of Famer. Maybe he should threaten to do something about this!

The Chicago Tribune reports:
Senators spent two hours urging Major League Baseball and TV executives not to let the Extra Innings pay package land exclusively on DirecTV's satellite system. But despite congressional brush-back pitches — warnings of legislation and even the oft-repeated threat to review baseball's anti-trust exemption — MLB President Bob DuPuy didn't flinch.

Although he promised to continue negotiating through Saturday, the eve of opening day, DuPuy said baseball was willing to make an unpopular call — inconvenience about 230,000 Extra Innings subscribers on cable and the Dish Network satellite system — to get broad distribution of the league's planned Baseball Channel on DirecTV in 2009.

But DuPuy would not agree to extend the negotiations into the season, allowing cable and the Dish Network to carry Extra Innings while talks continued.

"We as a business matter view the Baseball Channel as critical to our long-term survival and the interests of our fans who want more baseball,'' he said during the two-hour hearing.

For that same reason, DuPuy also dismissed an offer made Tuesday by In Demand, a pay package provider owned by Comcast, Time Warner and Cox cable companies, that would allow Extra Innings to be on cable and Dish Network for two years. Questions about distributing the Baseball Channel could come closer to its launch.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who convened the Commerce Committee hearing, supported the offer. DuPuy balked.

"We believe that DirecTV has the right to begin to help us build the channel," DuPuy told Kerry.

As part of an exclusive seven-year, $700-million deal for Extra Innings, DirecTV has guaranteed to put the new 24-hour channel on its most popular tier, which reaches about 15 million subscribers.[...]

Instead, baseball created a new problem — fans outraged by the deal with DirecTV. Some who subscribed to Extra Innings last year on cable literally are unable to get DirecTV, either because of physical obstacles (trees, mountains) or tenant restrictions.

In hopes of reaching a compromise, Kerry had summoned top executives from DirecTV, Dish Network's parent EchoStar Satellite, and In Demand.

"Baseball is an integral part of our culture," he said. "Sports leagues have tremendous market power. What we need to do is make sure that market power works in the public interest."

But while Kerry got the executives to agree to meet in the next 48 hours, he was unable to get much more.

The sides had trouble even agreeing on the facts.

DuPuy said In Demand and EchoStar had rejected his offer to continue carrying Extra Innings by matching DirecTV's deal. But In Demand Chief Executive Robert D. Jacobson and EchoStar President Carl Vogel said MLB's offer was missing a key component — the same 20% equity stake in the Baseball Channel that DirecTV received.

DuPuy said only DirecTV deserved the stake because it had stepped up first with the best deal.
Here's something worth noticing.
Kerry said that the problem could be resolved "if both parties have a serious intent to do it." If not, he'll consider legislation.

But Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) warned DuPuy and the TV executives they don't want to risk that.

"When the fans react, Congress may react," he said. "You may be well advised to act before we do."

ESPN Magazine's Tom Friend on Rome is Burning

Earlier today on ESPN's Rome is Burning, hosted by Jim Rome, ESPN Magazine columnist Tom Friend was a panelist to discuss the latest Billy Donovan talk. Not only does he continue to insist that if Donovan goes anywhere that it's to coach the Miami Heat in the NBA, but he stated and this is direct verbatim from the show today, "Billy Donovan has in his contract that he can not leave Florida for the University of Kentucky."

Nowhere does it have any sort of clause saying he cannot go coach at UK.

In fact, section 13A of his contract is very specific when it states "Termination without a Cause." Meaning, either party can terminate the contract between March 1st and April 1st of any year, except for the year the contract expires.

What I heard on the television show today was a complete embarassment to ESPN. If you are going to talk about a contract and what is stated, you should at least make sure what you are saying is in there. There is NO CLAUSE saying he cannot go to UK to coach.

You can read his contract right here.

In other Kentucky-related news, Duke graduate Jay Bilas had this to say in an ESPN chat when asked which school he would coach: Kentucky or Florida.
"Kentucky. It is one of the game's greatest programs, and that new facility the Cats have is truly amazing. UK has great support, and it is one of the giants. Love that place."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Afternoon roundup

YouTube of Kentucky shine on me...wait a second, I linked to this yesterday when talking about Jack Conway hating Bush before it was cool.

With less than 60 days til the May primary election, which I might have to vote absentee for, Jonathan Miller and Irv Maze have raised over $800,000 for the campaign.

Change for Kentucky endorses Miller-Maze

Just saw this in my inbox:
This past Saturday, March 24, a group of 30 Change for Kentucky county organizers, representing 10 CFK/DFA groups, met in Elizabethtown, Kentucky to determine what role our organization would play in the 2007 Kentucky gubernatorial primary.

We poured over candidate questionnaires, mined polling data collected in our CFK Primary Survey, and met individually with six of the seven candidates for the Democratic Primary (in person or via video).

Most importantly, throughout the day we talked--about the future of Kentucky; about the rising tide of pessimism and disappointment people feel about Kentucky politics; about our mission and our responsibility to help change Kentucky from the grassroots up.

At the end of the day, we came to this decision: Jonathan Miller should be the next Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and Change for Kentucky will support him in his effort to win the Democratic primary in May.

What we’ve learned, seen and felt over the last month is that Jonathan Miller and his running mate Irv Maze share a remarkable idea of government: solutions rather than politics, accountability without hedging, morality as the engine of good policy (not a stick with which to beat others).

Our organization was founded to support fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates. With cradle to college ideas, expanding the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program, ending no-bid contracts, reforming mountain top removal mining, Jonathan Miller respects and believes in those principles; he understands how inherent they are to making Kentucky strong from the inside.

Over the next 56 days, we’ll encourage you to join together to help elect Jonathan Miller. If you are already part of a county group, we’ll ask that you keep working together. If you are out there alone, we’ll ask you to talk to your neighbors, maybe attend a letter writing party or a house meeting in your area. If you are part of another progressive organization, we’ll ask that you look at the Miller-Maze platform, and see how their ideas match up with your beliefs and goals. Together, we can make a difference in what promises to be a close election on May 22.

This is an exciting and new chapter for Change for Kentucky and our DFA affiliates. It’s another landmark in our progress and growth. We’ve come a long way so far, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as representatives of a new brand of Kentucky politics.

Change for Kentucky county organizers met this weekend, and we came away believing that Jonathan Miller is the best candidate for Kentucky Governor. We believe that he will work hard every day, that he will take his job and his responsibility seriously, that he will advocate for our beliefs, and that he will make our vision of Change for Kentucky a destination--not just a saying.
Good news.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kentucky offers Billy Donovan $3.5 million for 7 years

Kentucky Sports Radio picks up on a story that The Cat's Pause published tonight. Essentially, the university has given Florida men's basketball coach Billy Donovan a contract offer of 7 years for $3.5 million per year. I'll have more up as I get it.
You have heard the rumors…..and so have I. Stories abound all around the Lexington area that a preliminary deal has been reached with Billy Donovan to become UK coach with a 5-7 year deal averaging between 3 and 3.5 million dollars. This news has been message board fodder for the last couple of days and tonight, the Cats Pause lended their two cents by putting the rumor on the front page of the site. The UK fan base is abuzz at the possibilities and excitement is raging at the possibility of a new era in Kentucky basketball.

But that raises the question, is it true? Simply put, regardless of the rumors, and even the Cats Pause story is a rumor, there still remains a question as to whether such a deal has been consumated. I have to say….call me cautiously skeptical. I think there is a VERY good chance that Billy Donovan becomes the next Kentucky coach. However I question whether the deal has been agreed upon at this team. Many are speculating that UK and Donovan’s agent came to a preliminary deal this weekend and are now simply waiting for the tournament to finish before announcing it. I am confident that meetings have taken place and I believe Donovan is seriously considering the job. But I am not ready to say it is a done deal at this time.[...]

Bottom line is this…..the likelihood of Donovan becoming UK’s next coach continues to increase. His players were quoted today as saying they couldnt believe he would leave and dismissing the stories. I expect that there will be MAJOR pressure on him to stay, even from some of the same guys now being quoted. However Donovan refuses to say no to his interest in Kentucky, including today on PTI when Tony Kornheiser put him on the spot. Billy will listen to UK…..and I think the chances are high he becomes the next UK coach. I have spoken to a few people who have said to me today that the deal with Donovan is all done but the signing…..and maybe they are right. But the signing is still a MAJOR obstacle, especially with the intense media scrutiny of the Final Four coming. It may be “all over but the shouting”…..but in this case, the shouting is still an important component.
Here's what was reported on WLEX 18 in Lexington:
"Kentucky is poised to name Billy Donovan as its next basketball coach shortly after Florida's final game in the NCAA tournament. The reported package -- a 7 year deal at 3.5 million dollars per year. If Donovan stays the full 7 years, there's a 3.5 million dollar loyalty bonus. The deal reportedly got done last Thursday and Friday during a meeting with Donovan's agent in Lexington."

Darrell Bird has this to say in the Rupp Rafters:
Here is what I posted on House of Blue.

Steady guys, geez!!! This post on House of Blue -- where we discuss rumors every day -- is exactly what it says it is. Blockbuster deal done? (note question mark). Did not come from UK officials (as stated). REPORTEDLY set to offer. Can still fall through? Yes.

I put a one paragraph teaser on main page simply to direct folks to the message board, same as we did with Sunday's Scuttlebutt segment. That's it. If this had been a news story announcing UK will sign its coach I would have included comments from UK officials.

This is one of several rumors circulating -- only this one can't be shot down -- and from what I've learned these are the details. But we are still a long way from done as evidenced by the reference to another story coming up about Plan B candidates if this doesn't pan out. (I've been told some media outlets ran with this info as fact, which is unfortunate but I can't control that.)

I can appreciate the excitement over the possibilities, but let's take a breath. And thanks to everyone who read it for what it is, adding comments like, "I hope this is true." "I'll keep my fingers crossed."
UPDATED 3/27 at 1:30 PM:
WLEX 18 has retracted their comments last night.
Scott Stricklin, UK's associate athletics director in charge of media relations told LEX 18 Tuesday morning that, "we are closer to the beginning of the search than the end."

Late Monday night, the website posted a story saying Kentucky is reportedly poised to name current Florida head coach Donovan its new basketball coach shortly after Florida's final game in the NCAA tournament. In that story, Cats Pause managing editor Darrel Bird the terms of the contract are "seven years at 3.5 million per year. Should Donovan complete all seven years, there is a $3.5 million loyalty bonus."

The Cats Pause story also said, "indications are that everybody is on board from both sides and only Billy D's signature awaits."

The Cats Pause is now backing away from their original story, and now says the hiring is a rumor. LEX 18 Sports has attempted to contact Bird but has been unable to reach him.

Catching up...

It's been an interesting basketball news weekend, hasn't it? I can't remember the last time that there was a final four and it was overshadowed by something else of this caliber.

Another Hoosier resident has said they will run for Governor as a Democrat.

The IRL's switch to ethanol in their race cars has recieved praise by both Indiana senators.

Former President Bill Clinton is the latest person to go on the offensive against President Jimmy Carter.
Former President Bill Clinton, in a handwritten letter to AJC Executive Director David Harris, voiced appreciation for his efforts to expose the inaccuracies in President Jimmy Carter’s book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Thanks so much for your articles about President Carter’s book. I don’t know where his information (or conclusions) came from …” said Clinton. “I’m grateful.”
This is a pretty pathetic choice of words on Tom Delay's part.

I gotta give credit to Ronnie Ellis. The first paragraph in a recent column says it all.
Government and politics faded to the background of public consciousness Thursday with the news of Tubby Smith’s departure as the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball coach. With 10 candidates running for governor and lawmakers wrangling over a financial crisis in state employee and teacher retirement systems, everything stopped when word spread Smith was leaving UK.
I couldn't agree more. Politics is taking a backseat until a new coach is named.

Gubernatorial candidates talked about health care recently.
"You can judge a society by looking at how it cares - or doesn't care - for its people," said state Treasurer Jonathan Miller, one of seven Democrats running for governor in the May 22 primary.

The proposals come amid efforts elsewhere to deal with high insurance costs and the plight of the uninsured. Massachusetts requires everyone to carry insurance, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed extending health care coverage to most of his state's uninsured. Other states, including Kentucky, have taken incremental steps with laws and programs to reduce the cost of insurance for small employers.

In Kentucky, Miller vowed to make universal health-care coverage a priority, promising "common-sense steps" to phase it in. He would encourage small businesses to pool together to insure workers, expand Medicaid to cover more low-income families and broaden a children's health insurance program. Miller links the issue with another one - expanded gambling. He said he would push for a constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling and would devote a portion of gaming revenues to health care initiatives.
About Billy Donovan, he's going to continue to fuel rumors about him taking a job with the University of Kentucky because he has not exactly said no.

I would not be surprised if some of the behind-the-scenes action would be similar to this.

You've got to be kidding me, right? Bracketology for politics? I'm sorry, but where I come from, that's blasphemy!

Jonathan Miller's work on prepaid tuition has raised the treasurer's profile.

Bernie Manchen is wrong to think that Billy Donovan would never leave.

Nick Calethes would follow Billy Donovan to Kentucky.

Billy Donovan on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption (PTI)

Tony Kornheiser mentioned at the beginning of the show that Florida men's basketball coach Billy Donovan would be on the show to talk about the Kentucky job.

In the first three minutes, they spoke about the returning trip to the final four and Joakim Noah.

He did not deny having interest and that his focus is on UCLA and the final four.

You read correctly...

An editorial was published this morning in today's C-J sports section.

Rick Pitino and John Schnatter plan fundraiser for Lunsford?!?

Please tell me that I misread the headline on this article. Please! This is the last thing that I need to read right now. It's bad enough he's coaching in Louisville but Lunsford of all things?!?
University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and Papa John's founder John Schnatter will hold a fundraiser next month for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lunsford.

The event, which is expected to raise about $200,000 for Lunsford's campaign, is scheduled for April 4 at Schnatter's sprawling home in eastern Jefferson County.

Schnatter, a Republican and a longtime friend of Lunsford, said admission to the invitation-only event is $1,000 -- the maximum political contribution allowed by Kentucky law.

Adam Bozzi, a Lunsford campaign spokesman, said "a couple hundred" people are expected to attend.

Schnatter, who has a history of giving to both Republican and Democratic candidates, said he supported Gov. Ernie Fletcher four years ago mainly because "I think a lot of Steve Pence," who was Fletcher's running mate at the time.[...]

Pitino, a Democrat, normally has given to Democratic candidates -- the one exception in recent years was two $1,000 donations he gave to his former player, Richie Farmer, who was running for agriculture commissioner. He sponsored a fundraiser for Chandler in 2003.

In 1991 he supported Democratic gubernatorial nominee Brereton Jones and in 1996, while coach of the University of Kentucky basketball team, he introduced President Bill Clinton at an election-eve event at UK that may have helped Clinton carry the state.

Pitino later revealed that following the Clinton event, then-U.S. Rep. Jim Bunning sent him a letter objecting to his 1996 role and saying "you have definitely lost me as a UK fan."

Other members of the Pitino-Schnatter fundraiser host committee include former U of L star Junior Bridgeman, developer Jonathan Blue, former UK star Jimmy Dan Conner and lawyer Ed Glasscock.

I hated Bush before it was cool...

If one was a Texas Ranger fan, I could understand that.

Joseph Gerth picks up on some tidbits. The first is about Jack Conway's car.
If you ever wondered where Louisville lawyer and Democratic attorney general candidate Jack Conway stands on President Bush, look no further than his SUV.

Last Wednesday he attended a Lexington fundraiser for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton -- starring her husband, former President Bill Clinton -- at the home of Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan. A sticker on the back of his vehicle said, "I hated Bush before it was cool!"
The second is: Don't go to Greg Stumbo for advice when it comes to filling out your brackets for March Madness.
If Bruce Lunsford is elected governor, we know one job he ought not give running mate Greg Stumbo: operating the office's NCAA basketball tournament pool.

The campaign released Lunsford's and Stumbo's tournament picks just before the games began two weeks ago -- and by last Friday morning, the ever-pandering Stumbo had already lost all but one of his Final Four picks.

(He chose the University of Kentucky to make the Elite Eight, the University of Louisville to make the Final Four and Eastern Kentucky University to upset top-seeded North Carolina.) Lunsford, on the other hand, correctly picked three of the Final Four teams.
The only team I did not pick was UCLA. In retrospect, I should have. They are a tough team and I wouldn't be surprised if they give Florida an early exit back to Gainesville...except Donovan would make a pit stop in Lexington.

Back to Stumbo, no number 1 seed has ever lost in the first round. Eastern Kentucky had no chance from the get go. Kentucky, as much as I would have liked, had no chance to get past Kansas. Louisville, uh, what were you thinking? You are as bad as Mitch McConnell and Tony Kornheiser.

Pitino not interested in returning

You can officially scratch Rick Pitino off the list of candidates for the vacancy at the University of Kentucky.
Pitino said Monday that while he enjoyed his eight years with the Wildcats, he's happy coaching Louisville and wouldn't consider returning to the school he led to the national championship in 1996.

"I would never ever leave [Louisville] to go to another college because they're my family," Pitino said.

Though Pitino said he was "shocked" by Tubby Smith's sudden departure last week, he sees too much potential in the Cardinals to consider leaving. Louisville went 24-10 this season and finished second in the Big East before falling to Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

While Pitino acknowledged leaving Kentucky following the 1997 season was a "mistake," he joked that at age 54 he's "too old to leave" Louisville, but understands why there's so much speculation about his interest in the job.

"It's a great job. I had eight years of Camelot, I've said that," he said. "It's the Roman Empire of college basketball."

Florida coach Billy Donovan, who played for Pitino at Providence and spent several years as a Kentucky assistant under Pitino, could be among the candidates to replace Smith. Pitino declined to speculate on whether Donovan is considering leaving Florida.[...]

"Billy is like a son to me and I stopped telling Billy what to do and what not to do in 1987," Pitino said. "He's got a great opportunity right now. He's not thinking of anything else."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Roy Williams post-game in 2003

Here's the video on YouTube of then-Kansas Head Coach Roy Williams' post-game interview with then-CBS sideline reporter Bonnie Bernstein when she asked about whether or not he would take a job at North Carolina. Matt Doherty had been fired just days earlier.

Williams: "The guy in your ear that told you that you had to ask that question ... as a journalist, that's fine ... but as a human being, that's not very nice ... and I've got to think that in tough times that people should be more sensitive. I don’t give a shit about Carolina right now. I've got 13 kids in that locker room that I love."

Basketball dominates, politics takes a back seat

What can I say? This is the state of Kentucky. Sure I am a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan but my first love has been and will always be the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

Basketball is a way of life in the Commonwealth. The first question you get asked anywhere, no matter what the circumstance: UK or U of L. You have to pick one no matter what, even if you did go to one of the other colleges in the state.

Florida's current head coach, Billy Donovan, would take the job here in an instant. Here's why: The University of Florida is a Football-first school and there is no way that they would give Donovan a higher salary than Urban Meyer. Donovan can be the big guy on campus here (We love ya, Coach Brooks, but you get the equal love in the summer and fall). I've checked some Florida sites and they have headlines dealing with spring practice when their own basketball team is one game away from the Final Four!

I'd say that when Florida loses, whether it be during the elite eight or the next weekend, he will be introduced as the next coach. We saw this when Roy Williams left Kansas for UNC. Williams lost on April 7, 2003. Doherty resigned on April 1st. The theory was that they forced him out in order to get Williams there sooner. Williams was announced as coach seven days later on the 14th.

Initially, I wanted Rick Pitino back and you saw me post that the other day while I was still adjusting to the news following the initial period of shock and depression. I've always liked Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan. Had Donovan had more experience as a head coach by the time Pitino left, he would have been here years ago!

I really hope this is true.

This is Kentucky. The job opening is one that doesn't come very often and when it does, it's because someone is forced to retire because of their age or they resign for a different job. This program is one of the premier programs in the nation due to the tradition associated with it.

Adolph Rupp. The Baron of the Bluegrass himself. Joe B. Hall. Rick Pitino. Tubby Smith. All have won a national championship while they were a coach at UK. Rupp won four of them. Pitino came close too a second one in 1997.

There's the legendary status that comes with the job. Don't believe me? Read on.

The Fabulous Five. In 1948, UK won the championship and the core of the team would win the Olympic gold medal.

The 1954-55 Undefeated Team. This team went 25-0 but because some players graduated early, Coach Rupp would not let them play in the tournament. As such, UK is robbed of a national championship.

The Fiddlin' Five. The 1958 team would fiddle for a little bit but they won the national championship.

Rupp's Runts. This 1966 team, which Pat Riley and Larry Conley were members of, did not have a single starter who was taller than 6'5". They finished the season 27-2 with the final loss coming in the title game.

The Season Without Celebration. The seniors in 1977-78 were freshman during the loss to UCLA in 1975.

Kentucky's shame. This doesn't deserve bolding at all. You can blame Eddie Sutton, who resigned on March 19, 1989. The NCAA placed us on probation two months later.

The Unforgettables. Mainly the 1992 seniors consisting of Richie Farmer, Deron Feldhaus, John Pelphrey, and Sean Woods. This team suffered a heartbreaker in the 1992 East Regional finals in Philadelphia fifteen years ago today. That's a date that will live in infamy for many of us Wildcats. We all know where we were that day. I was at home watching the game. UK had been in white the whole tournament. How was I to know that they weren't the team in white jerseys? I was told during halftime I was rooting for the wrong team and I corrected myself appropriately. That was the last time I ever rooted for the wrong team. There's a certain player that all UK fans will hate for the rest of our lives. It was only appropriate that he was in the building when Virginia Commonwealth won a few weeks ago.

The Untouchables. Kentucky ran the conference. It was the first time in 40 years that anyone ran the conference. Nine of the guys on the team would be back the next year and later play in the NBA: Derek Anderson, Tony Delk, Walter McCarty, Ron Mercer, Nazr Mohammed, Mark Pope, Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner, and Antoine Walker.

The Unbelievables. For a second year in a row, the Wildcats would make it to the national championship game. Due to injuries and players leaving, the fans ruled out a deep run early on.

The Comeback Cats. UK was down by the half against Duke in the elite 8, Stanford in the national semifinals, and Utah in the championship game. Cameron Mills came up big in the 1998 rematch against Duke. Down by double-digits in all these games, Kentucky found a way to win and they gave Tubby Smith his first and only national championship while at Kentucky.

The coaches:
Edwin Sweetland (1909-10, 1912)
Harold J. Iddings (1910-11)
John J. Tigert (1913, 1916-17)
Alpha Brumage (1913-15)
Stanley A. Boles (1918)
Andrew Gill (1919)
George Buchheit (1920-24)
Clarence Applegran (1925)
Ray Eklund (1926)
Basil Hayden (1927)
John Mauer (1927-29)
Adolph Rupp (1930-72)
Joe B. Hall (1972-85)
Eddie Sutton (1985-89)
Rick Pitino (1989-1997)
Orlando "Tubby" Smith (1997-2007)
TBA (2007-)

The modern era of Kentucky basketball started in 1930 when Coach Rupp came to UK. Only two coaches are beloved in this state in the history of Kentucky basketball: Adolph Rupp and Rick Pitino. Pitino restored the glory years to Kentucky following the disgrace that Eddie Sutton brought upon us.

Read this article from Florida paper of all things.
Is there is a better program with better tradition, history, aura, passionate fans? If Kentucky isn't the best, then it's definitely in the final four (pun intended).

Go, Billy.

Go to Kentucky.

Let me tell you a little story about Billy Donovan and his first SEC Tournament as the Florida Gators basketball coach. This was 11 years ago, and a huge contingent of Kentucky fans waited for him to emerge from the Georgia Dome tunnel.

Florida wasn't even playing Kentucky that day. Didn't matter. Billy D, or Billy the Kid, as he was still called then, was a former Kentucky assistant coach. Spent five years at UK. Helped Rick Pitino win a national championship.

You know what that means, don't you? It means that no matter where Billy had been, where he was going or even where he was at, Kentucky was always home. His blood would always be blue.

Kentucky blue.

That's why, when Billy emerged from the tunnel that day, the head coach of a truly pedestrian Gator basketball team, a roar erupted. Fans stood, clapped, cheered.

Guess what?

It was the Kentucky fans.

Now think of the cheer that Billy would hear if, after winning back-to-back national championships at Florida, he announced he's headed to bluer pastures.

Go, Billy.

Go to Kentucky.

Don't think it'll happen? Don't be so smug. A lot of Gator fans are acting that way today. Smug. They think that Florida is actually a better place to coach college basketball than Kentucky.

It isn't.

Goodness, have you been to the O'Connell Center lately? It feels like the old Florida Gym -- i.e. Alligator Alley -- did back in the '70s. In other words, ancient.

Kentucky's Rupp Arena is almost twice the size. And, of course, almost twice as loud.

It's also named the Rupp Arena because Kentucky has something Florida doesn't. It has tradition, history. Rupp Arena is named after legendary coach Adolph Rupp. The O'Connell Center is named after, um, a former UF president.

But it isn't just the arena that's bigger. It's the fan base. Basketball is king in Kentucky. The state has no professional sports and no college football to speak of. Oh, Louisville every so often will put together a solid season with the pigskin. But you know what I'm talking about. When you think of Kentucky, you think of horses and hoops, though not necessarily in that order.
Come home, Billy. Come back to the Kentucky blue in Lexington, Kentucky, and coach at Rupp Arena. You won't reget it at all.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Not a fun weekend

My alma mater, Ballard, was just knocked off by the Scott County Cardinals with a score of 56-60 to lose the high school state championship in boys' basketball.

Add this on to the departures of Tubby Smith and Randolph Morris.

NCAA Elite 8: Saturday and Sunday

March 24
Road to the Final Four, 3:00 PM
Ohio State 92, Memphis 76

UCLA 68, Kansas 55

March 25
Road to the Final Four, 2:00 PM
Florida 85, Oregon 77

Georgetown 96, North Carolina 84 (OT)

CBS Sports Broadcast Teams
San Jose (WEST): Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas
San Antonio (SOUTH): Verne Lundquist and Bil Raftery
St. Louis (MIDWEST): James Brown and Len Elmore
East Rutherford (EAST): Jim Nantz and Billy Packer

Take State 2007!

Go Bruins! Take state!

As a 2003 graduate, I'll be showing my Ballard Bruins (32-2) pride tomorrow as the 7th Region champion Bruins tip off their first game of the state tournament at noon against the 3rd Region champion Owensboro Red Devils (24-8).

ETA: The Bruins lead 30-24 at the half.

ETA: The Ballard Bruins defeat the Owensboro Red Devils with a final score of 80-60. The Bruins (33-2) will next play the winner of the game between George Rogers Clark (25-7) and Christian County (28-4).

ETA: In the seacond round of play, Ballard takes on George R. Clark (26-7) with the game tipping around 6:30 PM.

ETA: The Ballard Bruins (34-2) defeated the Clark County Cardinals with a final score of 71-48. They have advanced to Saturday's 11:30 AM semi-final where they will play the winner of the Friday night game between Elliott County (25-6) and Warren Central (29-4).

ETA: The Ballard Bruins (35-2) defeated the Warren Central Dragons with a score of 61-55. The Bruins advance to the state championship game against the Scott County Cardinals (33-2). Ballard last played them in December and lost 88-67.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thank you, Randolph Morris

Thank you, Randolph Morris, for at least 2.5 years of great basketball. While I am sorry to see you go pro, I wish you the best of luck in your career and expect to pick you up on my fantasy basketball team really soon.
The New York Knicks signed Kentucky center Randolph Morris to a two-year, $1.6 million contract Friday, an NBA source told ESPN Insider Chad Ford.

Morris declared for the 2005 NBA draft as a freshman and went undrafted. The NCAA allowed him to return to school after serving a suspension, but NBA rules prohibit Morris from re-entering the draft, which made him an unrestricted free agent.

Morris averaged 16.1 points and 7.8 rebounds a game this season for the Wildcats.

The Prospective coaches...

Folks, expect a while for political news to resume. That's the first thing I'll say right now. It will likely be Monday but who knows. We'll see. Give me some time to get over Tubby Smith being run out of town, and you know that he was run out of town.

Anyway, Matt Jones, over at Kentucky Sports Radio, has this piece of news posted today dealing with the head coaching search.
I am going to continue to give updates on what I hear about the coaching search as we go through the next couple of days. At times of coaching searches, the rumor mill is at its highest and churns out the craziest stories that you have ever heard. But part of the point of this blog is to relate those stories as we hear them. Yesterday, I was given a list of names by someone relatively close to the situation and they were given to me in groups. I have now spoken with someone who I think is much closer to the situation and whose list is likely more accurate. The individual told me that the “group” at this point looks like this:

Billy Donovan
Tom Crean
Tom Izzo
Mark Few
Billy Gillispie
Jay Wright
Aside from Rick Pitino being considered, and you know that he likely will. There were some reports that said he was in Lexington this morning but I don't know whether those where confirmed or unconfirmed reports.

Anyway, the best names on those list for the style of play that fans love to see in Kentucky would be Billy Donovan, Billy Gillispie, and Jay Wright. They have a proven record. However, my preferred choice would be Billy Donovan on the list of those three since he's been through the Pitino system of play and worked at Kentucky.

Billy Donovan can't even get a sell out crowd at Florida and they only have like 12,000 seats, which is two thousand more than the new arena that is being built at Northern Kentucky University. You know that he wants to be here more than anything. I have long said that he would be the successor to the position whenever Tubby Smith retired.

The job at Kentucky is one of the best jobs in college basketball. It's one of the most storied programs along with Kansas, UCLA, UNC, and Duke.

I just hope that Mitch Barnhardt makes this decision very carefully and not rush through things. As for me, I just want to reiterate that Crean and Few must not be considered. I like Tom Izzo but I don't know how well his style of play will play here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Come home Rick...

The vacant position for the University of Kentucky men's basketball coaching position is Rick Pitino's for the taking.

I miss the Pitino style of play at Kentucky and he needs to come home and restore Camelot once again.

I was saddened when he went to Louisville to coach but enough time has passed and I have since regained all my respect for Coach Pitino.

Rick, I am not asking you to get your old job back. I'm begging you.

NCAA Sweet 16: Thursday and Friday

Thursday, March 22
Kansas 61, Southern Illinois 58
UCLA 64, Pittsburgh 55

Memphis 65, Texas A&M 64
Ohio State 85, Tennessee 84

Friday, March 23
Florida 65, Butler 57
Oregon 76, UNLV 72

Georgetown 66, Vanderbilt 65
North Carolina 74, US 64

CBS Sports Broadcast Teams
San Jose (WEST): Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas
San Antonio (SOUTH): Verne Lundquist and Bil Raftery
St. Louis (MIDWEST): James Brown and Len Elmore
East Rutherford (EAST): Jim Nantz and Billy Packer

Tubby Smith resigns at UK

A sad day in the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Tubby Smith was run out of this state by the naysayer fans of the program.
Tubby Smith has resigned as basketball coach at the University of Kentucky and will accept the same position at the University of Minnesota, according to sources close to Smith and to the university.

Smith, whose record is 263-83 in 10 seasons at UK, will take over a program that played most of this season with an interim coach, Jim Molinari, at the helm. The Gophers’ head coach, Dan Monson, resigned last November at the start of the season.

Smith reportedly told the UK players today that his contract in Minnesota is $2.5 million a year.

Smith had been under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after back-to-back second-round losses in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats lost seven of their last 11 games and lost a combined 25 games the past two seasons – the most ever in a two-year window at UK that was not affected by NCAA probation.

UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart could not be reached for comment.
So now, I ask the question: Which of these 4 would coach the program: Pat Riley, Billy Donovan, John Pelphrey, or Travis Ford? The only coaches I would trust are those that have been affiliated with the University of Kentucky in the past. As such, that includes Rick Pitino.

UPDATED at 7:17 PM:
By now, you've probably heard the news that Tubby Smith has moved on to Minnesota.

As a University of Kentucky fan, I am saddened by the news of Coach Smith's depature but I can't say that I am not surprised. Some of the boosters/donors have been on his back the past few years, especially the last two. While it was said that a decision would be made after meeting with Mitch Barnhardt, no decision had been made before Tubby decided to submit his resignation and move to coach the Minnesota Gators.

We've lost out on Patrick Patterson coming next season and you can see video of his reaction here.

Here's what ESPN reported with regards to the next head coach:
According to sources, Marquette coach Tom Crean, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Memphis coach John Calipari, Gonzaga's Mark Few, Notre Dame's Mike Brey, Texas' Rick Barnes, Texas A & M's Billy Gillispie and Villanova's Jay Wright are expected to be candidates for what is one of the few premier jobs in men's college basketball.
Billy Donovan and Rick Pitino, in my opinion, will likely be asked, as well as Pat Riley. I can warm up to the idea of Jay Wright coaching the Kentucky Wildcats, mainly because he replied to my email for an autographed photo request.

CBS Sportsline's Gary Parrish reported the following earlier:
Meanwhile, a slew of other coaches will have people working for them in the next 48 hours, trying to figure who is and who is not a legitimate candidate. Among the names certain to surface are Marquette's Tom Crean, Ohio State's Thad Matta, Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie, Memphis' John Calipari, Villanova's Jay Wright, Texas' Rick Barnes, Gonzaga's Mark Few and Michigan State's Tom Izzo. Also, don't be surprised if the interest of Louisville's Rick Pitino is gauged. He preceded Smith at Kentucky before leaving for the NBA and is held in high regard by most UK fans.
On TV, Seth Davis said that he only called Mitch 30 minutes ago. Seth said that Tom Crean and Travis Ford will be on the short list.

There's a chance that UK could return to it's old school roots of pressing and running the perimeter game.

I guess I might as well come clean with my short list in order: Pat Riley, Billy Donovan, John Pelphrey, Travis Ford, Jay Wright, Tom Izzo

As a Kentucky fan, I'd prefer someone that came through the system or worked for the system. Pat Riley is familiar with the Rupp style of play (note that Rupp was a player under Phog Allen). The next three were all players under Pitino while at Providence or Kentucky. Jay Wright, the Villanova coach, rebuilt to Hoftsra program from 1994-2001 before moving to Villanova. At Villanova, he led them to 3 NIT's and 3 NCAA appearances. Izzo is a coach at Michigan State and I doubt that he would leave but he's taken MSU to at least 4 final fours.

But among UK outsiders, as I like to call them, Jay Wright seems like a preferable choice.

Future Wildcat?

Scott County guard Matt Walls has said that walking on at the University of Kentucky is an option.

Walls is one of the top talents in the state to not sign with a school yet.
“I’m still wide open and am going to try and take my time to see what’s best for me,” Walls said today at Rupp Arena after scoring nine points in Scott County’s 5947 first-round victory over Oldham County.

Walls, who averages 20.3 points a game for the state’s top-ranked Cardinals, has made an unofficial visit to Eastern Kentucky University.

He said the Colonels, Morehead State, Xavier and Wake Forest were schools in the running. Wake Forest came to see him in the 11th Region final and Xavier coach Sean Miller was in attendance today.

Also watching him against Oldham County was University of Kentucky coach Tubby Smith. Walls said UK wants him to walk-on and he’s pondering the idea.

“I grew up in Kentucky,” Walls said. “Being only 20 minutes away and it being Kentucky, there’s a bunch of positives to that.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Top Ten Signs You've Been Watching Too Much College Basketball

Courtesy of Late Show with David Letterman
10. To get in the mood, you ask your wife to dress like Billy Packer
9. Human resources asks you to stop handchecking co-workers
8. When announcer says Butler guard A.J. Graves averages 2.4 rebounds per game, you mutter, "It's 2.3, moron"
7. Recently hired a guy to mop up your sweat
6. Your kids are seeded according to how much you love them
5. In honor of Texas A&M, you name your triplets "A," "M," and "Ampersand"
4. Checked into rehab to kick $500-a-day "nacho cheese" habit
3. In a pinch, you ask, "What would UNLV assistant coach Greg Grensing do?"
2. The nagging voice in your head saying, "Cheney and I should really be focusing on Iraq"
1. Difficult to tell where your ass ends and the couch begins

Patrick Patterson

As far as I know, the rumors that Fox Sports Radio is spreading are untrue. The last I heard, Patrick Patterson wouldn't be making a decision until April.

Patterson would make a great power forward on the University of Kentucky Wildcats should he decide to sign with the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

The key thing is: Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson's decisions to sign a letter of intent to play college basketball at UK are all pending the decision of the athletic department. Should Tubby be canned, there goes any chance of signing either. But should he stay, it increases their chances of signing.

I'll say it again. The university would be crazy to buy out Tubby Smith's contract. As coach, Smith has had more NCAA wins than Duke, Kansas, UCLA, and UNC in the NCAA Tournament in the past nine years. We have made it to the Elite Eight sveeral times but for many, it just is not good enough and they want him out. If Derek Anderson joins the staff, as the rumors are saying, we could start landing some top notch recruits out there.

I think I've said my 2 cents.

ETA: The Patrick Patterson rumors are confirmed to be false.

Other news...

Louisiana has a new gubernatorial candidate in Walter Williams.

Jonathan Miller would have a top-to-bottom review of KERA if elected as governor.

Dr. Dick Robinson has a facebook group in support of his campaign. He also has a group on MySpace as well. It's amazing what social networking websites have done for political campaigns.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in France as more than 7,000 Jews are hoping to move to the United States for political asylum.

Sequel update

It is in the best interest of those working on A Not So Lazy Tuesday that production be delayed til next week. Expect a release by mid-April at the latest.

I'm speechless


Monday, March 19, 2007

What a long weekend...

The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament is over. March Madness has seen the tournament go from 64 teams to 16 teams remaining.

Since I only posted score reports over the weekend, let's get back to business. Sound good, okay?

It's unfortunate that name recognition and money is everything when it comes to the presidential race.

What was there before there was Jon Stewart?

Ed Rendell wants an earlier primary for the presidential elections in Pennsylvania.

The state house has agreed to the changes made by the Senate with regards to the minimum wage bill.

Democratic candidates for governor discussed what they would do with cigarette taxes.

They somehow found a way to tie in the NCAA Tournament with Congress.
Of the 64 teams that will compete in the basketball tournament, Georgetown has more graduates (19) in Congress than any other school. And George Washington University (GW) ranks third, with 13 members of the 535-member Congress who took a degree from that institution.

This is evidence that many members of Congress were influenced by their education in the shadow of the Capitol — and may have gotten the political bug to run for Congress while in attendance there.

The Georgetown graduates in Congress include Michigan Democrat John D. Dingell, the House’s longest-serving member, who took a Georgetown undergraduate degree in 1949 and a law degree in 1952 — at a time when his namesake father was serving in the House.

Among the GW graduates in Congress is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who took a law degree there in 1964 and who worked in Washington during that time as a Capitol police officer. Reid entered politics in Nevada but returned to Washington in 1982 after his election to the House. Reid delivered the 2005 commencement address to the GW law school.

The University of Virginia, which is about 100 miles from Washington in Charlottesville, has 14 graduates in Congress — most of them having taken a juris doctor degree from the law school. Many members of Congress have law degrees.

Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh lived in Washington for much of his youth because his father, Birch Bayh, was elected to the first of three terms in the Senate in 1962, when the younger Bayh was seven years old. Evan Bayh took a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1981, the year after his father was defeated for re-election to the Senate.

After those D.C.-area schools, Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., from which 12 members of Congress took a degree, has the next-highest amount of congressional representation among teams in the basketball tournament. This grouping includes Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus.

Two large schools that are expected to seriously contend for the championship each have nine graduates in the current 110th Congress — the University of Florida and Ohio State University. The University of Texas in Austin and the University of Wisconsin in Madison each have eight graduates in Congress.
The Hillbilly Report has this up dealing with the Ireland Army Hospital. There's a follow-up here.

Dr. Dick Robinson's campaign has released this press release.

The Cincy Post has this up dealing with the governor's race.

Jonathan Miller will bring fresh ideas to the governor's mansion.

Richard Blumenthal is finally ready to run for Governor in Connecticut in the next 3 years.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

UK Appreciation Thread

They may have not won the game but they played a tough schedule this year. I say thank you to seniors Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas, and Lucasz Obrzut.

I support Tubby Smith as the basketball coach of the program.

Kentucky vs. Kansas

I think that if Kentucky shows up in all 40 minutes of the game, they can advance to San Jose by beating the Kansas Jayhawks.

Look at the omens alone. Duke lost in the first round--this has not happened since 1996. Villanova has lost to the national champions two seasons in a row. Let's make it a third season in a row!

If you thought the past seasons were down years, things will change next season when Kentucky welcomes Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson to the roster assuming that they make a committment soon.

Let's go out there and get a win tonight!

The Wildcats lead the series all-time: 19-5.

Starting Lineups:
Kentucky (22-11)
G Derrick Jasper
G Ramel Bradley
G Joe Crawford
C Randolph Morris
F Bobby Perry

Kansas (31-4)
G Mario Chalmers
G Russell Robinson
G Brandon Rush
C Sasha Kaun
F Julian Wright

NCAA Second Round: Sunday Edition

Sunday, March 18
USC 87, Texas 68

Tennessee 77, Virginia 74
Memphis 78, Nevada 62

UNLV 74, Wisconsin 68
Oregon 75, Winthrop 61
Florida 74, Purdue 67

Southern Illinois 63, Virginia Tech 48
Kansas 88, Kentucky 76

Saturday, March 17, 2007

NCAA Second Round: Saturday Edition

Saturday, March 17
Georgetown 62, Boston College 55
North Carolina 81, Michigan State 67
Vanderbilt 78, Washington State 74 (2OT)

Ohio State 78, Xavier 71 (OT)
Texas A&M 72, Louisville 69

Butler 62, Maryland 59

Pittsburgh 84, Virginia Commonwealth 79 (OT)
UCLA 54, Indiana 49

As an FYI, during the Vanderbilt-Washington State game, CBS aired a graphic saying that the last time an NCAA Tournament game went in to double overtime was during the 2005 Regional Final between Michigan State and North Carolina. However, the game was actually Michigan State and Kentucky. I know this because I watched it and blogged it.

ETA: It was actually the Boston College-Pacific game during the 2006 tournament.

Friday, March 16, 2007

NCAA First Round: Friday Edition

How about Virginia Commonwealth knocking off Duke?!?

Florida 112, Jackson State 69
Purdue 72, Arizona 63
Winthrop 74, Notre Dame 64
Oregon 58, Miami of Ohio 56
UNLV 67, Georgia Tech 63
Wisconsin 76, Texas A&M-CC 63

Kansas 107, Niagara 67
Kentucky 67, Villanova 58
Virginia Tech 54, Illinois 52
Southern Ilinois 61, Holy Cross 51

Southern California 77, Arkansas 60
Texas 79, New Mexico State 67

Tennessee 121, Long Beach State 86
Virginia 84, Albany 57
Nevada 77, Creighton 71
Memphis 73, North Texas 58

Thursday, March 15, 2007

NCAA First Round: Thursday Edition

"Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006

Today's NCAA Tournament action:
Butler 57, Old Dominion 46
Maryland 82, Davidson 70

Virginia Commonwealth 79, Duke 77
Pittsburgh 79, Wright State 58
Indiana 70, Gonzaga 57
UCLA 70, Weber State 42

North Carolina 86, Eastern Kentucky 65
Michigan State 61, Marquette 49
Vanderbilt 77, George Washington 44
Washington State 70, Oral Roberts 54
Boston College 84, Texas Tech 75
Georgetown 80, Belmont 55

Ohio State 78, Central Connecticut State 57
Xavier 79, Brigham Young 77
Louisville 78, Stanford 58
Texas A&M 68, Pennsylvania 52

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

2007 NCAA Opening Round

Niagara 77, Florida A & M 69

The question remains: Will Kansas find a way to lose the third season in a row (Bucknell in 2005, Bradley in 2006).

All in all, this is the most wonderful time of the year.

Non-NCAA Thread...

Ryan Alessi hands it to Steve Henry.

Expect labor the play a huge role in this election.

The Los Angeles Times has been caught in a little bit of controversy.

Bayh addressed the issue of higher education yesterday. Here is additional information on Bayh.

State Treasurer, and your next Governor, Jonathan Miller, has called the lack of universal healthcare in this state a moral outrage. Miller has also proposed an initiative dealing with veterans' care.

Here is one article about last night's get together with the down-ticket candidates. A few, sadly, were no shows including my choice for Attorney General, Jack Conway. I did have the chance to chat a little bit with my choices for two other offices, Dr. Dick Robinson (Secretary of State) and Col. Mike Weaver (Treasurer). Both are great guys and deserve to be elected to office. You might remember from last year's election that I interviewed Col. Weaver. Well, I am planning to follow up on that with regards to this year's election. I am also going to interview Dr. Robinson as well.

Jim Pence has some new Miller videos up and here they are:

Due to March Madness, posting will be lighter than it usually is.

This is complete bull and you know it! If you claim to not be supporting a candidate, why in the heck would you host a fundraiser for them?!?
Jerry Lundergan says it'll be a fundraising lunch at his home. Lundergan says it will be a small gathering of about 75 people. He's hoping they'll pony up the maximum contribution allowed......$4600/person. Lundergan says he promised the Clintons he would host a fundraiser for Hillary after the Clintons raised $1.3 million for the Kentucky Democratic Party over the past two years. Lundergan says the Clintons asked for nothing in return, even paying their own airfare to the two fundraising events.
Lundergan says his hosting of a fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton is not an indication that he's supporting her presidential bid.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Local Area Games

Here are your locally televised games.

WKRC - Cincinnati Metro Area:
Louisville vs. Stanford at 12:40pm
Butler vs. Old Dominion at 2:40pm

Ohio State vs. Central Conn. St. at 7:10pm
BYU vs. Xavier at 9:30pm

Game 1- UNLV vs. Ga. Tech
Game 2 – Notre Dame vs. Winthrop
Game 3 (at 5pm) – Oregon vs. Miami (Ohio)
Game 4 – Arizona vs. Purdue
Game 5 – Kentucky vs. Villanova

WKYT (Lexington)
Louisville vs. Stanford at 12:40 pm
Texas A&M vs. Penn at 2:30 pm
Ohio State vs. Central Conn. St. at 7:10pm
North Carolina vs. Eastern Kentucky at 9:30 pm

Memphis vs. North Texas, 12:00 pm
Tennessee vs. Long Beach State, 2:30 pm
Kansas vs. Florida A&M/Niagara, 7:00 pm
Kentucky vs. Villanova, 9:30 pm

WEVV (Evansville, Indiana)
tba at 12:40 pm
Butler vs. Old Dominion at 2:40 pm
Ohio State vs. Central Conn State at 7:10 pm
Indiana vs. Gonzaga at 9:45 pm.

Game Assignments for Friday 3/16
Memphis vs. North Texas at 12:30 pm
tba at 2:45 pm
Purdue vs. Arizona at 7:20 pm
Kentucky vs. Villanova at 9:30 pm

WLKY (Louisville)
Louisville vs. Stanford at 12:40 pm
Georgetown vs. Belmont at 2:45 pm
Marquette vs. Michigan State at 7:20 pm
Indiana vs. Gonzaga at 9:45 pm

Memphis vs. North Texas at 12:30 pm
Tennessee vs. Long Beach State at 2:45 pm
Virginia Tech vs. Illinois at 7:10 pm
Kentucky vs. Villanova at 9:30 pm

2007 NCAA Tournament

Here we have the complete pairings for the first round with the times of games for both the first and second rounds of play.

UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio
Tuesday, March 13
Florida A&M vs. Niagara, 7:30 PM

First Round
Friday, March 16
New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA
No. 1 Florida (29-5) vs. No. 16 Jackson State (21-13), 9:50 PM
No. 8 Arizona (20-10) vs. No. 9 Purdue (21-11), 7:20 PM

Thursday, March 15
HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY
No. 5 Butler (27-6) vs. No. 12 Old Dominion (24-8), 2:50 PM
No. 4 Maryland (24-8) vs. No. 13 Davidson (29-4), 12:20 PM

Friday, March 16
Spokane Memorial Arena in Spokane, WA
No. 6 Notre Dame (24-7) vs. No. 11 Winthrop (28-4), 2:35 PM
No. 3 Oregon (26-7) vs. No. 14 Miami (Ohio) (18-14), 5:05 PM

United Center Chicago, IL
No. 7 UNLV (28-6) vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech (20-11), 12:25 PM
No. 2 Wisconsin (29-5) vs. No. 15. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (26-6), 2:55 PM

Second Round
Saturday, March 17
HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY
Maryland-Davidson winner vs. Butler-Old Dominion winner, 3:20 p.m.

Sunday, March 18
New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA
Florida-Jackson State winner vs. Arizona-Purdue winner, 4:45 p.m.

Spokane Memorial Arena in Spokane, WA
Oregon-Miami (Ohio) winner vs. Notre Dame-Winthrop winner, 2:50 p.m.

United Center Chicago, IL
Wisconsin-Texas A&M-CC winner vs. UNLV-Ga. Tech winner, 2:36 p.m.

Friday, March 23
Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO

Sunday, March 25
Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO
Semifinal winners

WEST (San Jose)
Friday, March 16
United Center Chicago, IL
No. 1 Kansas (30-4) vs. No. 16 Florida A&M-Niagara winner, 7:10 PM
No. 8 Kentucky (21-11) vs. No. 9 Villanova (22-10), 9:40 PM

Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
No. 5 Virginia Tech (21-11) vs. No. 12 Illinois (23-11), 7:10 PM
No. 4 Southern Illinois (27-6) vs. No. 13 Holy Cross (25-8), 9:40 PM

Thursday, March 15
HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY
No. 6 Duke (22-10) vs. No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth (27-6), 7:10 PM
No. 3 Pittsburgh (27-7) vs. No. 14 Wright State (23-9), 9:40 PM

ARCO Arena in Sacramento, CA
No. 7 Indiana (20-10) vs. No. 10 Gonzaga (23-10), 9:55 PM
No. 2 UCLA (26-5) vs. No. 15. Weber State (20-11), 7:25 PM

Second Round
Saturday, March 17
HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY
Pittsburgh-Wright State winner vs. Duke-Virginia Commonwealth winner, 5:50 p.m.

ARCO Arena in Sacramento, CA
West UCLA-Weber State winner vs. Indiana-Gonzaga winner, 8:25 p.m.

Sunday, March 18
United Center Chicago, IL
Kansas--Florida A&M-Niagara winner vs. Kentucky-Villanova winner, 5:06 p.m.

Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
Southern Illinois-Holy Cross winner vs. Virginia Tech-Illinois winner, 2:40 p.m.

Thursday, March 22
HP Pavillion in San Jose, CA

Saturday, March 24
HP Pavillion in San Jose, CA
Semifinal winners

EAST (East Rutherford)
Thursday, March 15
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC
No. 1 North Carolina (28-6) vs. No. 16 Eastern Kentucky (21-11), 9:50 PM
No. 8 Marquette (24-9) vs. No. 9 Michigan State (22-11), 7:20 PM

Friday, March 16
Spokane Memorial Arena in Spokane, WA
No. 5 USC (23-11) vs. No. 12 Arkansas (21-13), 9:55 PM
No. 4 Texas (24-9) vs. No. 13 New Mexico State (25-8), 7:25 PM

Thursday, March 15
ARCO Arena in Sacramento, CA
No. 6 Vanderbilt (20-11) vs. No. 11 George Washington (23-8), 5:10 PM
No. 3 Washington State (25-7) vs. No. 14 Oral Roberts (23-10), 2:40 PM

Thursday, March 15
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC
No. 7 Boston College (20-11) vs. No. 10 Texas State (21-12), 12:25 PM
No. 2 Georgetown (26-6) vs. No. 15 Belmont (23-9), 2:55 PM

Second Round
Saturday, March 16
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC
UNC-E. Kentucky winner vs. Marquette-Michigan St. winner, 8:20 p.m.
Georgetown-Belmont winner vs. Boston College-Texas Tech winner, 5:50 p.m.

ARCO Arena in Sacramento, CA
Washington St.-ORU winner vs. Vandy-George Wash. winner, 5:55 p.m.

Sunday March 17
Spokane Memorial Arena in Spokane, WA
Texas-N.M. State winner vs. USC-Arkansas winner, 5:20 p.m.

Friday, March 23
Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ

Sunday, March 25
Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ
Semifinal winners

SOUTH (San Antonio)
Thursday, March 15
Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
No. 1 Ohio State (30-3) vs. No. 16 Central Connecticut State (22-11), 7:10 PM
No. 8 BYU (25-8) vs. No. 9 Xavier (24-8), 9:40 PM

Friday, March 16
Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
No. 5 Tennessee (22-10) vs. No. 12 Long Beach State (24-7), 2:45 PM
No. 4 Virginia (20-10) vs. No. 13 Albany (23-9), 12:15 PM

Thursday, March 15
Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
No. 6 Louisville (23-9) vs. No. 11 Stanford (18-12), 12:40 PM
No. 3 Texas A&M (25-6) vs. No. 14 Penn (22-8), 3:10 PM

Friday, March 16
New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA
No. 7 Nevada (28-4) vs. No. 10 Creighton (22-10), 3:00 PM
No. 2 Memphis (30-3) vs. No. 15. North Texas (23-10), 12:30 PM

Second Round
Saturday, March 17
Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
Ohio St.-Central Conn. St. winner vs. BYU-Xavier winner, 1:10 p.m.
Texas A&M-Pennsylvania winner vs. Louisville-Stanford winner, 2:40 p.m.

Sunday, March 18
Virginia-Albany, N.Y. winner vs. Tennessee-Long Beach State winner, 12:10 p.m.
Memphis-North Texas winner vs. Nevada-Creighton winner, 2:15 p.m.

Thursday, March 22
The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX

Saturday, March 24
The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX
Semifinal winners

The Georgia Dome in Atlanta
National Semifinals
Saturday, March 31
Midwest champion vs. West champion
East champion vs. South champion

Monday, April 2
Semifinal winners

Commentators for first and second round games:
Buffalo: Kevin Harlan, Bob Wenzel
Winston-Salem: Dick Enberg, Jay Bilas
Lexington: Gus Johnson, Dan Bonner
Sacramento: James Brown, Len Elmore
Columbus: Tim Brando, Mike Gminski
Chicago: Jim Nantz, Billy Packer
New Orleans: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
Spokane: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel

Coach Tubby Smith to stay

ESPN reported earlier that University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhardt has stated that men's basketball coach Orlanddo "Tubby" Smith is here to stay. What this means is that we could hear committments from Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas much sooner than expected.
"Tubby's our basketball coach," athletic director Mitch Barnhart told The Associated Press on Monday. "He's done a great job of representing the platform of Kentucky basketball. We'll always look to make adjustments to the things we've got to do to get better. Tubby and I will do that collectively."

Amid weeks of speculation that Smith was on his way out, Barnhart stopped short of saying the coach would remain in charge of the Wildcats. The AD acknowledged, however, that fans had misinterpreted a statement by him as meaning a coaching change was near.

"They were reading way too much into that," Barnhart said, referring to the statement that urged fans to wait until the postseason before making judgments on the state of the team.

The Wildcats (21-11) are a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. Kentucky plays Villanova in the first round on Friday.

Barnhart pointed to Smith's credentials and said the two would sit down at the end of the season to discuss changes. He declined to say whether any assistants might be replaced.

"His winning percentage is .700-plus," Barnhart said. "Since I've been here, we've won a couple conference championships, been to two Elite Eights, we've been the number one seed twice. We've had a couple years here that have been a little un-Kentuckylike, but I don't think that's a reason to panic or put ourselves in a position where we're not making objective calls in terms of the things we need to do to be better."

NCAA Tournament Second Round Times

Saturday, March 17
Georgetown-Belmont winner vs. Boston College-Texas Tech winner, 5:50 p.m.
UNC-E. Kentucky winner vs. Marquette-Michigan St. winner, 8:20 p.m.
Washington St.-ORU winner vs. Vandy-George Wash. winner, 5:55 p.m.

Ohio St.-Central Conn. St. winner vs. BYU-Xavier winner, 1:10 p.m.
Texas A&M-Pennsylvania winner vs. Louisville-Stanford winner, 2:40 p.m.

Maryland-Davidson winner vs. Butler-Old Dominion winner, 3:20 p.m.

Pittsburgh-Wright State winner vs. Duke-Virginia Commonwealth winner, 5:50 p.m.
UCLA-Weber State winner vs. Indiana-Gonzaga winner, 8:25 p.m.

Sunday, March 18
Texas-N.M. State winner vs. USC-Arkansas winner, 5:20 p.m.

Virginia-Albany, N.Y. winner vs. Tennessee-Long Beach State winner, 12:10 p.m.
Memphis-North Texas winner vs. Nevada-Creighton winner, 2:15 p.m.

Wisconsin-Texas A&M-CC winner vs. UNLV-Ga. Tech winner, 2:36 p.m.
Oregon-Miami (Ohio) winner vs. Notre Dame-Winthrop winner, 2:50 p.m.
Florida-Jackson State winner vs. Arizona-Purdue winner, 4:45 p.m.

Southern Illinois-Holy Cross winner vs. Virginia Tech-Illinois winner, 2:40 p.m.
Kansas--Florida A&M-Niagara winner vs. Kentucky-Villanova winner, 5:06 p.m.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

2007 NCAA Tournament Times

While the times have not been fully released, here is a list of local area teams and the times that they play.

Louisville vs. Stanford, 12:40 p.m. Thursday.

Ohio State vs. Central Connecticut State, 7:10 p.m. Thursday

Xavier vs. BYU, 9:40 p.m. Thursday

Eastern Kentucky vs. North Carolina, 9:50 p.m. Thursday.

Indiana vs. Gonzaga, 9:55 p.m. Thursday.

Kentucky vs. Villanova, 9:40 p.m Friday

When the full list of times are released, the prior post will be updated.

2007 NCAA Tournament Pairings and Times

MIDWEST (St. Louis)
At New Orleans
No. 1 Florida (29-5) vs. No. 16 Jackson State (21-13), 9:50 PM
No. 8 Arizona (20-10) vs. No. 9 Purdue (21-11), 7:20 PM

At Buffalo
No. 5 Butler (27-6) vs. No. 12 Old Dominion (24-8), 2:50 PM
No. 4 Maryland (24-8) vs. No. 13 Davidson (29-4), 12:20 PM

At Spokane
No. 6 Notre Dame (24-7) vs. No. 11 Winthrop (28-4), 2:35 PM
No. 3 Oregon (26-7) vs. No. 14 Miami (Ohio) (18-14), 5:05 PM

At Chicago
No. 7 UNLV (28-6) vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech (20-11), 12:25 PM
No. 2 Wisconsin (29-5) vs. No. 15. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (26-6), 2:55 PM

WEST (San Jose)
At Chicago
No. 1 Kansas (30-4) vs. No. 16 Florida A&M-Niagara winner, 7:10 PM
No. 8 Kentucky (21-11) vs. No. 9 Villanova (22-10), 9:40 PM

At Columbus
No. 5 Virginia Tech (21-11) vs. No. 12 Illinois (23-11), 7:10 PM
No. 4 Southern Illinois (27-6) vs. No. 13 Holy Cross (25-8), 9:40 PM

At Buffalo
No. 6 Duke (22-10) vs. No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth (27-6), 7:10 PM
No. 3 Pittsburgh (27-7) vs. No. 14 Wright State (23-9), 9:40 PM

At Sacramento
No. 7 Indiana (20-10) vs. No. 10 Gonzaga (23-10), 9:55 PM
No. 2 UCLA (26-5) vs. No. 15. Weber State (20-11), 7:25 PM

EAST (East Rutherford)
At Winston-Salem
No. 1 North Carolina (28-6) vs. No. 16 Eastern Kentucky (21-11), 9:50 PM
No. 8 Marquette (24-9) vs. No. 9 Michigan State (22-11), 7:20 PM

At Spokane
No. 5 USC (23-11) vs. No. 12 Arkansas (21-13), 9:55 PM
No. 4 Texas (24-9) vs. No. 13 New Mexico State (25-8), 7:25 PM

At Sacramento
No. 6 Vanderbilt (20-11) vs. No. 11 George Washington (23-8), 5:10 PM
No. 3 Washington State (25-7) vs. No. 14 Oral Roberts (23-10), 2:40 PM

At Winston-Salem
No. 7 Boston College (20-11) vs. No. 10 Texas State (21-12), 12:25 PM
No. 2 Georgetown (26-6) vs. No. 15 Belmont (23-9), 2:55 PM

SOUTH (San Antonio)
At Lexington
No. 1 Ohio State (30-3) vs. No. 16 Central Connecticut State (22-11), 7:10 PM
No. 8 BYU (25-8) vs. No. 9 Xavier (24-8), 9:40 PM

At Columbus
No. 5 Tennessee (22-10) vs. No. 12 Long Beach State (24-7), 2:45 PM
No. 4 Virginia (20-10) vs. No. 13 Albany (23-9), 12:15 PM

At Lexington
No. 6 Louisville (23-9) vs. No. 11 Stanford (18-12), 12:40 PM
No. 3 Texas A&M (25-6) vs. No. 14 Penn (22-8), 3:10 PM

At New Orleans
No. 7 Nevada (28-4) vs. No. 10 Creighton (22-10), 3:00 PM
No. 2 Memphis (30-3) vs. No. 15. North Texas (23-10), 12:30 PM

Thursday-Saturday games: Winston-Salem, NC; Buffalo, NY; Lexington, KY; Sacramento, CA
Friday-Sunday games: Columbus, OH; Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; Spokane, WA


Once again, the University of Kentucky Wildcats are paired in the same region as the Duke University Blue Devils. The Cats are an 8 seed while Duke is a 6 seed.

Don't even count on that classic matchup happening.

Spring break is over

Spring break, or any break in general, usually means that blogging is light. That was the case this year as well.

Let's catch up on news before the NCAA Men's Tournament selection show.

The University of Kentucky Wildcats baseball team has continued it's winning streak having started off the season with 15 wins in a row.

I'd have to agree with this article and I won't lie. I'm tired of blogging about the 2008 election.

Tom Daschle is part of a new policy center.

Irv Maze recently stood in for Jonathan Miller at a gubernatorial forum.

It should be noted that Opening Day is the Sunday before the holiday but because only two teams play on Sunday, the rest start on Monday. It will be interesting to see who sits out those two games in a row due to the Pesach holiday.
The seven JMLs who return to their 2006 teams are Mets outfielder Shawn Green; Ausmus, a Golden Glove catcher for the Astros; first baseman Kevin Youkilis and lefty pitcher Craig Breslow of the Red Sox; second baseman Ian Kinsler and right-hander Scott Feldman of the Texas Rangers; and lefty reliever John Grabow of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This is, how else can I put it, EMBARRASSING!

Obama stepped it up bigtime.

Jonathan Miller favors using expanding gaming revenues to help with the rising costs of healthcare.

Jack Conway brought his campaign for the AG office down to Bowling Green.

Chris Dodd is bound for Comedy Central.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

SEC Tournament Coverage

All games except Sunday's champsionship game are televised on the Lincoln Financial Sports affiliate stations. Sunday's game is nationally televised on CBS.

First Round
[E4] Kentucky 79, [W5] Alabama 67
[W3] Arkansas 82, [E6] So. Car. 52
[E5] Georgia 80, [W4] Auburn 65
[W6] LSU 76, [E3] Tennessee 67

[W1] Miss. State 84, [E4] Kentucky 82
[W3] Arkansas 72, [E2] Vanderbilt 71
[E1] Florida 74, [E5] Georgia 57
[W2] Ole Miss 80, [W6] LSU 60

[W3] Arkansas 81, [W1] Miss. State 72
[E1] Florida 80, Ole Miss 59

[E1] Florida 77, [W3] Arkansas 56

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Interview....

Peter Schrager of interviewed me with regards to Lazy Tuesday.

FYI, I only upload videos in two places: Revver and YouTube.

KSR posted about the video again.

More on KSR, I went through their archive searching for Lazy Tuesday-related blog postings.
Without Question the FUNNIEST UK thing I have ever seen, March 1, 2006
The Saga of “Lazy Tuesday”, March 3, 2006
T.O. Diss, March 31, 2006
See Other Schools have goofy songs too, October 2, 2006
In these Hard Times, Lets Remember what is important, December 4, 2006
One Year Ago…..”Arguably the Worst Thing Ever Made.”, March 6, 2006

In the past few days...

Evan Bayh introduced a bill dealing with intellectual property.

Lieberman backers stay on the firm side and doubt that he would join the dark side.
One Democratic insider who stuck with Lieberman after his primary defeat told the Forward that, even among Lieberman’s backers, there are some pockets of discontent.

“There are people who have been unhappy with his intimating about a party switch,” the source said. When asked if he regretted his endorsement of Lieberman’s independent bid in 2006, the source hedged, saying, “I would like to have that conversation with him before I answer that.”

Other Lieberman backers were more skeptical about a party switch, and resolute in their support for him, even while acknowledging they disagreed markedly with the lawmaker’s support for President Bush’s Iraq policy.

“I’m a proud supporter of Senator Lieberman, glad that I endorsed him for re-election immediately after the Connecticut primary, and of course before the Connecticut primary, for that matter,” said California Representative Brad Sherman. “I disagree with him on the surge and about some of the other aspects of the Iraq policy, but agree with him on virtually every domestic issue.”

Michael Adler, a Miami Democrat who serves as chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, told the Forward that while he disagrees with Lieberman on the war, the issue had not dampened his support for the senator. “I don’t believe we should have litmus tests within the Democratic Party that on a single issue we have decided what is only and what is unholy,” Adler said.

Lanny Davis, 60, a prominent Democrat who served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton and has been friends with Lieberman since the pair’s student days at Yale, predicted a party switch “will never happen” since it would not be in Lieberman’s character to leave the Democratic fold over an issue of conscience like Iraq.

Stressing that he was speaking based on his own knowledge of Lieberman and not anything the senator had told him, Davis said he believed that a caucus switch could be prompted only by extreme disrespect from Democratic senators — of the kind he said was foisted on Lieberman by Lamont’s backers. Underscoring the gulf between Lieberman and even some of his staunchest supporters on the issue of Iraq, Davis said he disagrees “100%” with Lieberman’s support of the president’s surge plan. “We should do anything other than get out immediately of the civil war … and get our kids out of the crossfire,” Davis said.

But Davis said he would continue politically to back Lieberman, who is the godfather to his son, Seth, as long as he does not give the GOP control of the Senate. “That is the only place that I draw the line,” Davis said. “He’ll be my best friend for life … but I will never vote for anybody who votes for Republican leadership of Congress.”

Lieberman appeared to be attempting to diffuse the speculation last week, during a February 23 appearance at an education forum in Hartford, Conn. “I have no desire or intention to leave the Democratic Party or the Democratic caucus,” Lieberman reportedly told the crowd. “I hope and believe we’ll never get to that point, so I believe this latest flurry is much ado about nothing.”

Lieberman’s spokesman, Marshall Wittmann, told the Forward that the senator fits best within the Democratic caucus.

“Obviously, he disagrees with many people in the Democratic caucus about Iraq, however he votes with the Democrats over 90% of the time,” said Wittmann, a chameleon-like politico who has worked for both the Progressive Policy Institute and the Christian Coalition, and was hired as the senator’s spokesman following the election. “He agrees with Republicans quite a bit on national security policy, but he agrees with Democrats quite a bit on domestic policy, which essentially puts him in the tradition of John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman and Scoop Jackson.”

When asked if any circumstance could prompt Lieberman to leave the Democratic caucus, Wittmann demurred. “We’re not going to get into any hypotheticals,” he said, chuckling. “I’m sorry.”
Alan Zweibel spoke about his comedy career this past week at the Comedy Festival in Aspen.

Kentucky's senior senator prefers cash instead of having a conscience.

It looks like there is a Bunning we do not know.

Does it really have to?

AISH has come up with some hilarious headlines for Purim.

The Hillbilly Report has footage from last Friday's protest.

Joe Lieberman delivered the Democratic Radio Response this past weekend. Here it is:
Good morning. I'm Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut with a message about improving care for America's military heroes – our wounded troops who have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recent reports in the Washington Post have uncovered completely unacceptable living conditions and inadequate services that some of our wounded warriors have been forced to endure at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

While it is clear that our soldiers do receive the best state of the art battlefield and in-patient medical treatment for their injuries, that high quality care has not extended to their out-patient treatment and recovery.

For instance, soldiers with brain injuries have gone weeks without being able to get doctors appointments. There is not enough staff with the right skills to treat and care for the severely injured troops. And rooms where some soldiers lived were found to be moldy and infested with rodents.

Our nation has no greater moral and patriotic responsibility than to ensure that these brave Americans receive first class treatment -- not only immediately after their injuries, but for their entire lives, through the Veterans Administration.

The White House and Congress have an urgent obligation now to fix the neglect at Walter Reed and the longer term issues that affect our wounded veterans.

That means we must act immediately to bring the buildings there up to standard so that they are safe, clean, and comfortable. We must make sure enough of the right health care professionals are there to treat our service members.

We also must remove the bureaucratic red tape that overburdens our troops and their loved ones when they are most vulnerable. No injured soldier should have to spend a year waiting at Walter Reed to find out whether he or she will be reassigned to new duties or discharged from the Army as disabled.

It is our responsibility to take care of our service members not only when they are serving our country, but for their entire lives. It is outrageous that veterans are waiting months and months to see the doctors they need. It is unacceptable that service members and veterans suffering from mental illness are not receiving the proper care. We know what the needs of our returning troops and veterans will be and we must build a life-long treatment system that serves their needs fully.

Now, the President and Congress must hold the Pentagon and Army chain of command accountable for the neglect of our soldiers at Walter Reed; and together, we must prevent this from ever happening again.

We can all agree that taking care of our military veterans is one of America's greatest responsibilities. We are and must continue to be united as a country to ensure that our heroes – those who have served us – receive the care that they deserve. This is no less than our moral imperative.

I'm Senator Joe Lieberman. Thank you for listening.
Here's a nice article on the next Governor of Kentucky, Jonathan Miller. Speaking if Miller, he and others worked the crowd two weekends ago when Obama was in town.
We're told that Democrat Jonathan Miller was outside the Louisville Downtown Marriott hotel before Sen. Barack Obama's speech at a fundraiser on Feb. 25, greeting people as they waited in line.

But where was everyone else? Six candidates gave away opportunities to chat with 3,000 Democrats committed enough to shell out a few bucks to watch a speech.

And five nights later, no Republican gubernatorial candidates were on hand at the Seelbach Hilton when President Bush raised $2.1 million for Sen. Mitch McConnell's 2008 re-election bid at a fundraising event attended by more than 600 people.

Attorney general candidates Jack Conway and Stan Lee, however, figured out where to find votes. Conway worked the crowd at the Obama event, and Lee did the same at the Bush speech.
Obama delivered a policy address on Israel.
Obama learned Edwards’ lesson: In a speech made available to reporters before his appearance, he immediately coupled his warnings about the military option with his preference for peaceful engagement.

“While we should take no option, including military action, off the table, sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be our primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons,” he said.

Tough-minded diplomacy, he said, “includes direct engagement with Iran similar to the meetings we conducted with the Soviets at the height of the Cold War, laying out in clear terms our principles and interests.”

The Bush administration — backed strongly by AIPAC — until recently has avoided engagement with Iran, believing it merely would reward a regime that stubbornly resists transparency about its nuclear program.

But this week the White House agreed for the first time to participate in multilateral talks on Iraq that would include Iran and Syria among a host of regional players.

Obama had other messages aimed at the base whose support he needs if he’s to win the Democratic nomination. Much of the speech outlined his plan for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, something the AIPAC crowd greeted with applause. U.S. Jews overwhelmingly believe the Iraq war was a mistake, according to polls.

Obama framed his opposition to keeping troops in Iraq in terms of the danger the U.S.-led occupation poses to Israel.

“A consequence of the administration’s failed strategy in Iraq has been to strengthen Iran’s strategic position, reduce U.S. credibility and influence in the region, and place Israel and other nations friendly to the United States in greater peril,” he said. “These are not the signs of a well-paved road. It is time for profound change.”

Obama advocates a phased deployment starting in May and ending in March 2008, keeping some troops in neighboring countries.

In some areas Obama veered away from AIPAC talking points and more toward a Democratic Party that still embraces the deep involvement in Middle East peacemaking that characterized the Clinton era.

“For six years the administration has missed opportunities to increase the United States’ influence in the region, and help Israel achieve the peace she wants and the security she needs,” he said, repudiating Bush’s policy of waiting until the parties were ready for bold moves — a policy AIPAC also favors.

Obama also warned that Israel would have to make major concessions.

“Israel will have some heavy stones to carry as well,” he said. “Its history has been full of tough choices in search of peace and security.

“Yitzhak Rabin had the vision to reach out to longtime enemies. Ariel Sharon had the determination to lead Israel out of Gaza. These were difficult, painful decisions that went to the heart of Israel's identity as a nation.”

Still, woven throughout the speech were subtle signs of appreciation for Israel from someone who a little more than two years ago was a state senator from Illinois.

He began by describing an experience the pro-Israel lobby wishes on every aspirant for public office: a flight over Israel.

“The helicopter took us over the most troubled and dangerous areas and that narrow strip between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea,” he said of his first visit to Israel in January 2006. “At that height I could see the hills and the terrain that generations have walked across. I could truly see how close everything is and why peace through security is the only way for Israel.”

Obama also did not stint in expressing disappointment over the national unity deal that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the relatively moderate Fatah Party, struck last month with the ruling Hamas terrorist group.

“The reports of this agreement suggest that Hamas, Fatah and independent ministers would sit in a government together, under a Hamas prime minister, without any recognition of Israel, without a renunciation of violence and with only an ambiguous promise to 'respect’ previous agreements,” he said. “We must tell the Palestinians this is not good enough.”

Obama singled out Syria and Iran for arming Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group that launched a war against Israel last summer — but he also chided the Bush administration for allegedly not allowing Israel to pursue Syrian peace overtures.

“We should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests,” he said to applause. “No Israeli prime minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States.”

It’s the kind of message that could open up channels for Jewish support — until now a reservoir believed to have been tapped mostly by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) among the Democratic contenders.
The following should be noted as well:
One sign it’s working: Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), one of the most prominent Jewish congressmen, announced this week that he will chair Obama’s Florida campaign, citing the senator's position on Israel as a reason.

“I have spoken with Barack to discuss the dangers facing our ally Israel, and I am convinced there will be no stronger supporter of Israel than President Obama,” Wexler said in a statement.
Bayh criticized conditions at Walter Reed.

The Kentucky AFL-CIO refused to endorse Lunsford but did endorse Jack Conway, Dr. Dick Robinson, and Crit Luallen.