▪ The weekend’s biggest Thoroughbred mystery is what happened to Classic Empire? The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and 2-year-old champion ran an uninspired third in the Holy Bull Stakes, won by Irish War Cry. Was rust a factor? Did he expend too much energy before the race? Trainer Mark Casse isn’t sure yet where Empire will run next.
▪ Without suspended players Deng Adel and Mangok Mathiang, Louisville played a terrific first half Monday night at Virginia then let go of the rope in the second half of the 71-55 loss. But then we shouldn’t use a John Calipari term in referring to a Rick Pitino team.
▪ Silver lining in the Louisville loss: Freshman V.J. King scored a career-high 24 points.
▪ The secret to Tom Brady’s success? He goes to bed at 8:30 each night.
▪ As great as Brady was in bringing the Patriots back in the Super Bowl, New England doesn’t win the game without that circus catch by Julian Edelman.
▪ Talking to Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin on Saturday night in Gainesville, the former UK associate AD raved about Kentucky’s new football training facility.
▪ DeMarcus Cousins picked up his 16th technical of the season on Monday night, prompting an automatic one-game suspension. Heard ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz say on a recent Zach Lowe podcast that Boogie is an emotional drain on the Kings, but he’s just too talented to trade away.
▪ Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal both said Monday night on TNT that John Wall is the best point guard in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
▪ After Kansas beat Kansas State 74-71 Monday night in Manhattan, Jayhawks Coach Bill Self credited the K-State crowd, which repeatedly chanted “(Obscenity) Kansas!” during the game, for helping Kansas win.
▪ Speaking of Kansas, it was nice to see ex-UK assistant David Hobbs on the Iowa State bench when the Cyclones snapped the Jayhawks’ 51-game home winning streak Saturday. Hobbs is an assistant under ISU coach Steve Prohm, who was a manager when Hobbs was the head coach at Alabama.
▪ ESPN can pump Thursday’s North Carolina-Duke clash all it wants, but Oregon at UCLA later that night should be the much better game.
▪ Props to Morehead State, which despite having head coach Sean Woods fired in-season, is 7-3 in the OVC.
▪ Props to UK for pulling out all the stops for Brent Musburger’s departure from ESPN last week. Musburger was the play-by-play man for Kentucky-Georgia, his final assignment before leaving the Worldwide Leader for a Las Vegas startup. UK presented Brent with a framed jersey and, more important, honored him as the “Y” in the K-e-n-t-u-c-k-y cheer.
▪ Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan has 20 double-doubles in 24 games this season. No other D-I player has more than 18.
▪ Prediction: Indiana will not make the NCAA Tournament.
▪ Two weeks ago, new UK quarterback Danny Clark, a January enrollee and former Ohio State commit from Columbus, said the large Ohio State tattoo on his right arm was not a big deal. Now Clark has posted a picture on Instagram showing he had the tattoo covered up with the tattoo of a lion’s face.
▪ Mike Krzyzewski said he almost cried at the start of his first game on the Duke bench after returning from back surgery.
▪ When Oregon played Auburn in the 2011 BCS national championship game, what were the odds that six years later Chip Kelly would not have a job in either college or the NFL?