How cool would it be to have a school that's named after you play in the Sweet Sixteen in Rupp Arena?
Former Gov. Martha Layne Collins knows the feeling.
She was on hand to watch her namesake, Collins, fall to Owensboro in Wednesday's state tournament opener.
Collins was also at the Shelby County school Tuesday for a send-off pep rally for the team.
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"It's great, especially for a 5-year-old school to do it," Collins said of the Titans' first Sweet Sixteen appearance.
"They've done a tremendous job. We won a football championship (in 2013) and we're excellent in academics, too," she said. "It's a good school with good leadership, and I'm proud of them."
Collins has state tournament memories of her own. She was a cheerleader for Shelbyville when it played in the Sweet Sixteen at Memorial Coliseum in the 1950s.
Clem for the Cards
Clem Haskins, one of the greatest basketball players the state has ever produced, had a third-row seat in Rupp Arena on Wednesday to watch his Taylor County Cardinals in the Sweet Sixteen.
Haskins, who was the star on Taylor County's 1963 state tournament team, said "it's wonderful" to have the Cards back in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1983.
"I go to all their home games," he said. "They're a good team. Coach (Richard Gatewood) has done a good job molding them together as a unit.
"They've got about eight or nine kids who play, and they fit like a glove. But (Quentin) Goodin is the guy who stirs the drink. He takes it the length of the court, handles it with both hands, and is big, strong 6-3 powerful guard."
Hopkinsville knocked Taylor County out of the tournament, but Haskins hopes the Cards appreciate being here.
"I've been very blessed to play at all levels — high school, college and pro ball. But of all that, I think my greatest moment, the one I cherish as much as anything, was playing in the Sweet Sixteen. That was the highlight."
Taylor County lost to Lexington Dunbar 65-64 in the 1963 semifinals.
Trying to repeat
Covington Catholic came into the Sweet Sixteen seeking to become the first back-to-back winner since Fairdale in 1990 and '91.
CovCath beat Campbell County on Wednesday night to advance to Friday's quarterfinals. But it still faces a tall task. Just ask Stan Hardin, who coached Fairdale to those consecutive titles.
"CovCath has a legitimate chance," Hardin said. "But so did Mason County (in 2004), so did Warren Central (in 2005). There's been a lot of teams (to) have an opportunity and couldn't get it done
"It's been 25 years. It's time for it to happen again. It's been 45 (years) since the team (Male) before us did it."
Aside from X's and O's and talent, Hardin thinks karma comes into play.
"You can't have an injury," he said. "You can't get in foul trouble. You can't have a bad game.
"My best two players, (Maurice) Morris and (Jermaine) Brown, got two fouls on them in the first quarter. The good Lord took care of us. Because the official that had called every foul had an asthma attack, and they had to carry him out of here.
"So it takes some luck along the way, and if you don't have that luck sometimes you can have the best team and not get it done."
Holman comes up big
Owensboro's Aric Holman disappointed in his Sweet Sixteen debut last year, but he turned in a bounce-back performance in Wednesday's 55-38 victory over Collins.
The 6-9 senior started slow again but finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, four blocks, three assists and no turnovers. He was named the game's most outstanding player.
Last year, Holman was 0-for-7 from the floor and fouled out without scoring in Owensboro's first-round loss to Trinity.
Holman will spend a post-graduate year at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia next season. After that he'll go to college. He said he has scholarship offers from Louisville, Memphis, Virginia Commonwealth, Cincinnati and Xavier. "I'm still wide open," Holman said. "I'm just taking my time right now."
Scout.com ranks him as the No. 94 overall prospect in the class of 2016.