Friday, March 26, 2021

29 Teams Left

Fifteen more games in the books.  One more ticket to the State Tournament, as Fort Thomas Highlands wins the 9th Region for the first time since 2001.  Twelve more tickets punched tomorrow.  Some famous old teams eliminated today, including Paducah Tilghman, Owensboro, Mason County, and Clay County.

1st Region Semi-Finals (at Murray St. Univ.):
McCracken Co. 58, Marshall Co. 29
Murray 61, Paducah Tilghman 53

3d Region Semi-Finals (at Owensboro Sportscenter):
Muhlenberg Co. 60, Owensboro 39
Owensboro Catholic 69, Ohio Co. 53

5th Region Semi-Finals (at Cent. Hardin):
(4) Elizabethtown 67, Bardstown 58
John Hardin 73, Washington Co. 58

8th Region Semi-Finals (at Henry Co.):
N. Oldham 66, Simon Kenton 64
Oldham Co. 69, Collins 43

9th Region Championship (at Cov. Holmes):
Ft. Thomas Highlands 77, Conner 67

10th Region Semi-Finals (at Mason Co.):
Campbell Co. 71, Montgomery Co. 67
George Rogers Clark 64, Mason Co. 58

13th Region Semi-Finals (at Corbin Arena):
Knox Cent. 67, Clay Co. 50
(7) N. Laurel 74, Corbin 65

15th Region Semi-Finals (at Appalachian Wireless Arena):
Johnson Cent. 72, Betsy Layne 55
Paintsville 55, Belfry 51

95 comments:

  1. Muhlenberg County is 18-1 and won at Owensboro Catholic by 14 on Feb. 26. These Mustangs' only loss this season was to Hoptown. They were scheduled to play those Tigers again on Feb. 2, but that game was canceled because of the pandemic.

    Muhlenberg went 20-12 last year and actually did complete its season, losing in the second round of the Third Region tournament to Owensboro before everything was shut down. It was the second-straight season the Mustangs' season ended at that round and to that team, so blasting the Red Devils last night--in Owensboro--must've been huge news overnight once it traveled south back to Greenville, Central City, Bremen, Powderly, Graham, Beechmont, Dunmor, Depoy, etc.

    Muhlenberg County High was formed--finally, after years and years of consolidations--in 2009. The Mustangs went to the Sweet Sixteen that first basketball season, lost in the first round of the 2010 tournament and have never returned.

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  2. For me, this is one of the best sports days of the year. We have 12 regional championships in the Boys' State tournament. We have four Sweet 16 games in the Men's College Basketball Tournament. And we have the quarter-finals of the World Match Play, which is one of my favorite golf tournaments.

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  3. Ashland Blazer takes the first regional tournament of the day. The Tomcats beat West Carter in overtime in the regional semi-finals, and today they beat Rowan County 62-58 in overtime in the finals. Good for them.

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    1. Ashland was down by 11 points in the fourth quarter and rallied to win. What a tournament.

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  4. All the folks tuning in to watch Loyola today are probably wondering what the hype was all about. The Ramblers have caught whatever UK had in their 1984 game against Georgetown. They are 6-30 from the floor and on their way out of the NCAA's. Oregon State leads 37-24 with 12:42 left, and they are on path to become only the second number-12 seed to reach the elite eight.

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  5. Oregon State's run through the tournament is one of the most mysterious I've ever seen. On March 11, they were Ken Pom's 103d best team. They were 10-10 in the Pac 12, and 14-12 overall. They trailed UCLA 32-16 with 1:57 left in the first half. It seemed like a typical Oregon State year.

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  6. Then they came back to beat UCLA 83-79 in overtime, thus saving their season. The next night they beat Oregon 75-64 in the Pac-12 Semi-Finals. Then they beat Colorado 70-68 to win the Pac-12 Tournament.

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  7. That got them a number-12 seed in the tournament. That's the usual seed for major conference teams that pull a huge upset in their conference tournament. And it's usually the end of the line. For example, Georgetown got a 12-seed for winning the Big East Tournament, and Colorado crushed them in the first round.

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  8. But Oregon State has played more like a 1- or 2-seed. They hammered Tennessee 70-56, then they rolled over Oklahoma State 80-70. Now they have a big lead over Loyola.

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  9. During this run, the Beavers have won five straight games where Ken Pom had them as the underdog, and have moved from 103 to 49 in his rankings. Today he gave them a 27 percent chance of victory. (He had Loyola winning 66-59.)

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  10. With 7:47 left, Oregon State leads 45-37.

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  11. With 2:43 left, Oregon State leads 49-44.

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  12. The Austin Country Club is one of my favorite new courses. It uses its location along the Colorado River as well as almost any classic course. And its mix of short and long holes contains all sorts of opportunities to take chances -- which is perfect for match play.

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    1. Plus, it's set in this great valley, and you can see an old-fashioned bridge crossing the river in the background. It's just a fun course to watch.

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  13. Loyola got to within 47-44 and 53-49, but Oregon State had an answer every time. The Beavers are up 56-49 with 1 minute left.

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  14. Here are the key stats for Loyola:

    2-point shooting: 11-28
    3-point shooting: 4-19
    Free throws: 17-24

    That won't get it done.

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  15. Lou. Ballard hammers Lou. Manual 83-55 to win the Seventh Region.

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  16. Next up we have (3) Baylor against (18) Villanova. For me, this is one of the few games in this round that feature two teams with a chance to win it all.

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  17. Meanwhile, here's where we are in the golf:

    Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 1 up over Billy Horschel (USA) through 16
    Victor Perez (FRA) 3 up over Sergio Garcia (ESP) through 14
    Scottie Scheffler (USA) 3 up over Jon Rahm (ESP) through 13
    Matt Kuchar (USA) 2 up over Brian Harman (USA) through 12

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  18. Victor Perez defeats Sergio Garcia 4 and 3.

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  19. Horschel and Fleetwood are tied after 18 and are going to extra holes.

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  20. Fleetwood hit a bad drive on the 19th hole, and he is eliminated by Billy Horschel.

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  21. Scott Scheffler defeats Jon Rahm 3 and 1.

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  22. Matt Kuchar defeats Brian Harman 2 and 1.

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  23. That sets up the following semi-finals for tomorrow:

    Victor Perez (FRA) v. Billy Horschel (USA)
    Matt Kuchar (USA) v. Scottie Scheffler (USA)

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  24. You never want to draw a team like Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. At the half, Nova leads Baylor 30-23. The Bears are 2-12 from three-point range, and they need to do better than that.

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  25. In the 11th Region Final, Madison Central leads Lex. Douglass 34-30 at the half.

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  26. Baylor fighting back: Villanova now leads 39-37 with 12:27 left in the half.

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  27. Villanova leads 41-39 with 11:01 left. Baylor doing what it should have done all along -- use its superior size and strength to attack the basket. It's not very subtle, but it can be very effective.

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  28. With 4:46 left in the 11th Region, Madison Central leads Lex. Douglass 63-48.

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  29. Baylor now up 47-41 with 7 minutes left. Baylor is the best three-point shooting team in the country, and normally makes 41.5 percent from three-point range. Today they have gone 2-17. But they have cranked up their defense and started attacking the basket, and now they seem to have this game under control. Very impressive work by the Bears.

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  30. After one quarter in the First Region, Murray leads McCracken County 16-10. Murray trying to go to State for the first time since 2016.

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  31. Madison Central wins the 11th Region with an 80-62 win over Lex. Douglass. The last time the Indians went to State was in 2013, when they won the whole thing.

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  32. Murray leads 25-14 with 3:19 left in the 2d quarter.

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  33. Baylor crushes Villanova 39-21 in the second half, and rolls to a 62-51 victory. Probably the most impressive performance by any team in the tournament so far.

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  34. At the half, Murray leads McCracken 25-19.

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  35. In the Sixth Region, Bullitt East leads Western 35-18 at the half.

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  36. In the 12th Region, Boyle County leads Lincoln County 25-23 at the half. Action fast and furious all over the Commonwealth right now.

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  37. In the 15th Region, the title game between rivals Paintsville and Johnson Central has tipped off.

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  38. In the 13th Region, Knox Central leads North Laurel 34-24 with 5:48 left in the second quarter.

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  39. Here's a Madisonville broadcast of the Second Region championship, and here's a Hopkinsville broadcast. After one quarter, Madisonville-North Hopkins and University Heights are tied at 14.

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  40. After one quarter in the Second Region, University Heights and Madisonville are tied at 14.

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  41. The Madisonville WFMW color commentator was one of my wife's favorite high-school teachers.

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  42. The lone Hopkinsville WHOP broadcaster is a fellow with whom I've shivered through a couple of dozen or so early season WKU baseball games.

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  43. McCracken County roars back to take a 34-30 lead after three quarters.

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  44. Knox Central leads North Laurel 43-36 at the half. They seem to play faster in the 13th Region than the 1st.

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  45. In the 10th Region, George Rogers Clark leads Campbell County 45-43 after three.

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  46. With 3:29 left in the third quarter, Lincoln County leads Boyle County 30-29. Drama all over the Commonwealth.

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  47. E-Town is going to State. The Panthers win the Fifth Region 72-63 over John Hardin.

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  48. 5:26 left in the First Region, and McCracken still leads 34-30. In the First Region, they should apply a Rule of 40, because the Rule of 60 isn't very relevant.

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  49. We're calling the 6th Region for Bullitt East, which leads Western 53-26 after three quarters.

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  50. Looking good for McCracken. The Mustangs lead Murray 38-31 with 2:47 left. Murray has scored six points so far in the second half.

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  51. Boyle County now up 45-35 on Lincoln County early in the fourth quarter.

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  52. Knox Central up 51-36 on North Laurel with 4:41 left in the third.

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  53. A thriller in the 10th: GRC leads Campbell County 57-56 with 1:41 left.

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  54. Knox Central is going to win the 13th Region for the third year in a row. They lead 60-42 with 56.2 seconds left in the third quarter.

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  55. Campbell County leads GRC 59-58 with 4.4 seconds left. GRC ball.

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  56. We're calling the First for McCracken; they lead Murray 42-35 with 32.8 seconds left.

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  57. GRC wins it at the buzzer! George Rogers Clark 60, Campbell County 59.

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  58. Oral Roberts leads Arkansas 35-28 at the half. I'm rooting for Arkansas exactly as hard as Arkansas fans would root for UK in the same situations.

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  59. McCracken wins the First Region 45-40 over Murray, the Mustangs' fourth title in the eight seasons of their existence.

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  60. Union County just won the KHSAA wrestling title for the sixth year in a row. That's really amazing.

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  61. After three quarters in Madisonville, University Heights leads Madisonville 50-45.

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  62. Oldham County beats North Oldham 62-56 to win the Eighth Region.

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  63. Boyle County wins the 12th Region, 54-48 over Lincoln County.

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  64. Bullitt East wins the Sixth Region, 69-49 over Lou. Western.

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  65. Knox Central has the 13th Region in hand, and the 3d Region final is tomorrow. So the only games left tonight are Madisonville and UHA in the Second, and Johnson Central/Paintsville in the 15th.

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  66. Knox Central eliminated Reed Sheppard and North Laurel, winning the 13th Region 78-63.

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  67. Madisonville leads by one ... UHA basketball ...

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  68. The play-by-play guy on the Madisonville radio station is a son of the daughter's old preschool principal.

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  69. 60-59 ... 52 seconds to go ... UHA inbounding out of a timeout ... also UHA has the possession arrow ...

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  70. 40 seconds ... UHA still with the ball ... UHA miss ... rebound ... THREE! ... UHA up two ...

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  71. 17.4 seconds ... Madisonville is fouled on an offensive rebound ... free throws ...

    Make! ... 62-61, UHA ...

    Timeout, UHA!

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  72. Madisonville-North Hopkins fouls on the rebound ... one-plus-one coming for UHA with 16.1 seconds ...

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  73. Free throws for University Heights: miss! UHA rebounds ... LOOSE BALL ... UHA BALL! ... 11.7 SECONDS TO GO ...

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  74. My wife's high-school science teacher and the son of my daughter's preschool principal disagree with the official's call.

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  75. More UHA free throws coming ... 10.4 ...

    Make!

    Miss!

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  76. 5 seconds ... University Heights strips Madisonville-North Hopkins on the last possession ... University Heights wins, 63-61 ...

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  77. Somebody from Madisonville and somebody from Hopkinsville get in a bit of a scuffle after the final whistle. One ends up with no shirt on. I wonder how many times after a Second Region tournament those two sentences could've been accurately written.

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  78. University Heights wins the Second Region 63-61 over Madisonville. I will never forgive the KHSAA for not letting Madisonville play in the State Tournament last year.

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  79. If more people in our leadership class knew what it was like to lose the regional tournament by two points to a team from a bigger town, this country would be in better shape.

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  80. There were no ticket sales at the doors for tonight's game. The game was sold out as of about 3 this afternoon.

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  81. The Maroons player who had the ball on the last possession is named region co-player of the year, as the University Heights fans chant "ALL THE WAY TO STATE!"

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  82. The University Heights coach is emotional on WHOP talking about his team's season--he said they noticed when no one predicted them to win the region, and he said they noticed when their players didn't get as many region postseason awards as he thought they might. Todd Hamilton suggests to the coach that they continue the conversation later because his players are waiting on him for the last snip of the net.

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  83. On a cold, blustery night in Columbia, Vanderbilt beats Missouri 3-1 in baseball to Sweep the Tigers for the first time since 2016.

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  84. Johnson Central and Paintsville are tied at 46 in OT with 1:42 left.

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  85. Paintsville scores at the buzzer to beat Johnson Central 48-46 in overtime. They won the state title in football and now they're going to State in basketball.

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