■ There just seems to be more of a confidence level with American Pharoah's chances to win the Triple Crown in 2015 than was the case with California Chrome in 2014.
■ That the list of Belmont challengers has dwindled to seven helps Pharoah's chances. Ten horses challenged Chrome last year. Eight Belmont starters to the post would be the fewest since Rags to Riches was the best of a seven-horse field in 2007.
■ Interesting that of all the possible road destinations, Kentucky football agreed to visit Southern Miss in 2017. UAB president Ray Watts won't be on Mitch Barnhart's Christmas card list. Watts' initial decision to dump football caused the UK AD to scramble for another 2016 game. He was not bargaining from a position of strength.
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If you don't count the 2011 and 2013 games in Nashville against Western Kentucky, it will be the Cats' first true road game outside of Louisville since a 2005 trip to Indiana.
■ Prediction: Warriors best Cavaliers in six games.
■ This is the Warriors' first NBA Finals since 1975 and I loved that 1975 Golden State Warriors team, which swept the Washington Bullets to win the title. He was not the most liked player in the NBA, but Rick Barry was a terrific player.
■ John Calipari doesn't think the switch from a 35-second shot clock to a 30-second shot clock will have much of an impact. Hope he's wrong.
■ Let me join Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis in my dislike for the NFL's new 15-yard extra point.
■ Fred Hoiberg, now the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, leaves a ton of talent at Iowa State. At least for next season, Ames is an A-list destination. The timing is not the best, however.
■ If it's all about timing, then the offensive-minded Hoiberg should do well succeeding the defensive-minded Tom Thibodeau.
■ Thibodeau's firing is example number infinity that if you don't get along with management, you better win and win big.
■ One thing you can always count on: Coaches to say other coaches were unfairly fired. Love Jeff Van Gundy, but according to him no coach ever deserved to get fired.
■ The dark cloud of Homer Bailey's Tommy John surgery has produced the silver lining that is rookie Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen. Kid has a future.
■ Guessing Vanity Fair set a record Monday for re-tweets by sports journalists. Congratulations, Caitlyn Jenner.
■ Prediction: The next college basketball controversy will involve reclassifications. Kansas commit LeGerald Vick is the latest to accelerate his graduation date.
■ If Louisville beats Cal State-Fullerton in the super regional to reach the College World Series for a third straight year, I'm ready to crown Dan McDonnell the state's best college coach in any sport.
■ Continuing a trend, the 2015 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City is drawing record softball viewership to ESPN. This year's edition has produced the No. 1 and No. 2 most-viewed softball bracket-round games in the network's history. Quick action. Two-hour games (for the most part). Lots of drama. Excellent recipe for television viewing.
■ A Sports Illustrated mock NBA Draft Monday had Boston trading up to the No. 6 spot to select Willie Cauley-Stein.
■ Five SEC teams have reached the NCAA Baseball Tournament's Sweet 16, aka the super regionals. Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt are two wins away from Omaha.
■ New SEC commissioner Greg Sankey began his first two days in office by tweeting out his workout schedule for Monday and Tuesday. The latter included walking lunges, running, push press, chest to bar pull-ups among other exercises.
■ To those who criticized him for not entering a horse in the Preakness, trainer Todd Pletcher told Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden: "You could make the argument that we made the race easier by not running."