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Bill’s Blog: Cats and Hogs

Bill’s Blog: Cats and Hogs

2:06 p.m. — There’s the final, UK 79-63.  RazorVision members can see the postgame press conference streaming live in approximately 10 minutes.  Remember, tomorrow is the Pink Zone game as the Arkansas women’s basketball team hosts Ole Miss at 2 p.m.  Good afternoon from Walton Arena.

2:04 p.m. — Meeks snowbirds for a dunk and his 45th point.  Arkansas calls time out with 56 seconds left.  Meeks is now checked out of the game.

2:03 p.m. — Clark goes in for the jam, and takes a hard tumble.  Misses the first, but makes second.  77-63 with 1:03 left.

2:02 p.m. — Razorbacks keep fighting against the double-digit margin, but each time Arkansas pulls close to 10, UK gets enough offense to pull back.  75-62 with just over 1:20 left.

2:00 p.m. — Meeks gets his 43rd point, and now has all the arena scoring records.  The previous for a men’s basketball player was 39 by Al Dillard; 40 by Phylesa Whaley of Oklahoma against Arkansas for women’s basketball.

1:59 p.m. — Miller fouls out for Kentucky.

1:59 p.m. — Welsh’s running jumper is Arkansas first field goal in almost three minutes, 71-58 UK, with just over 2:00 to play.

1:57 p.m. —  Further it’s just bad luck today — Clarke misses his second free throw of the year.

1:55 p.m. — Perfect example of the breaks for Arkansas.  Clarke gets called for a perimeter foul, and Washington streaking down court hits the shot on its way down.  It was quite distant from the rim — no argument it was on its way down — and the result was a goal-tending, a foul, and the UK lead extending to 71-55.

1:51 p.m. — Block-charge goes against Washington for his fourth, and it sends us to the final media timeout.  UK 68-55.  Hogs still battling and staying in striking distance, but can’t put together more than a couple of breaks.  UK doing just enough to keep distance.

1:48 p.m. — Washington called for his third, and Arkansas’ 10th — two throws rest of the way for UK.  Miller gets first and second.  Blue may have weathered the storm, 68-53 with 4:21 left.

1:47 p.m. — Razorbacks show full court man pressure.  Harris looks long, goes to Miller, and the Cats find Meeks to break the press.

1:45 p.m. — The stalling costs UK.  First a steal and evasive coast-to-coast drive for Henry.  Arkansas follows with pressure, and Porter coughs up the player control foul.  Washington takes the miss and jams it home.  The crowd comes to life, and UK must call a turnover-saving timeout.  UK’s lead is back down to 11, 64-53, and the momentum is on the Arkansas side.

1:43 p.m. — Both sides fly after a loose ball that quickly becomes a football-like fumble pile on.  Officials peel it apart and declare jump ball for Arkansas.  Officials debate on the ensuing trip to the Arkansas end and reverse calls to give the ball back to the Razorbacks.  Welsh’s three comes up short.  UK 64-49 with just under six, and now you’d think Dean Smith was coaching the team in blue.

1:42 p.m. — Britt and Moore collide into Meeks; Britt collects his fourth personal foul.  Cats taking their time now on each possession, trying to wind out clock.

1:40 p.m. — Walton roars as we resume play.  Henry just rims out a trey, otherwise this place would have come unglued.

1:37 p.m. — Something is happening here.   Henry drains the three-pointer and the crowd rallies up.  Kentucky has gotten a little flat, and with 7:54 left, the score is 62-49.  Heading into this media time out, the crowd is getting re-energized.  Once again, Jeremy Pratchard has the band rocking the house and the crowd.

1:38 p.m. — As you consider Meeks’ impact on the game, with UK leading 61-46. Meeks is only 10 points behind Arkansas with 36.  Substitute an average outside shooter, and of course its obvious, but it’s a different game.

1:34 p.m. — Welsh gives the crowd a cheer with a quality reverse lay-in across his body to cap a defensive stand.  For all the troubles for Arkansas on the outside with Meeks — there’s a reason why he’s the nation’s No. 4 scorer — Arkansas remains tight inside.  Welsh’s bucket started with a stuff inside by Washington. Cats have managed only 16 points in the lane against Arkansas.

1:33 p.m. — Meeks picks up his 36th point — and I’m not really sure how he got that past the Razorback block attempt.  Everything he’s throwing toward the rim finds the net; it is just one of those days for the Razorbacks.

1:32 p.m. — Wildcats continue to shoot over 50% from both the floor (51.4) and the three-point line (55.6).

1:29 p.m. — The Brewers get introduced to the crowd with a nice standing ovation.  As we head into this media timeout, Harrellson fouls Washington and Arkansas will be headed to the line after the break.

1:27 p.m. — Coming out of a possession-saving timeout, Welsh drains the jumper to cut the spread back to 56-40.

1:22 p.m. —  A nice drive by Welsh, but after the timeout, the Wildcats are starting to get some space from Arkansas.  Meeks heads to the bench with UK leading 56-38.

1:18 p.m. — Pelphrey’s exchange with the official as we go to the media time out gives the crowd a snicker and about the only action in a slow period for both teams.  Wildcats only manage to move their margin to 49-36 as both sides look sluggish.

1:12 p.m. — Sanchez makes space inside for two, 44-31 UK; but Meeks sinks another three-pointer on the return trip to push the UK spread to 47-31.  Coach Pel calls a time out, which will become a full as the first called of the second half.

1:11 p.m. — Meeks beats the shot clock for the first field goal by either team of the half.  Takes him to 25 of UK’s 44 points.

1:10 p.m. — Defense dominating start of second half just like the first.  Only one point scored between the two teams in the first minute and a half of play.

1:09 p.m. — Cats still can’t buy a bucket in the lane, but a foul on Washington lets Stevenson go to the line.  For UK, Stevenson, Meeks, Porter, Miller and Harris to start the second half.

1:07 p.m. — Hogs have possession to start second half.  Washington, Clark, Henry , Sanchez and Clarke start second half for Arkansas.  Turnover ends first possession.

1:04 p.m. — Quick look at the halftime stats, while UK has a rebound advantage, that still isn’t the key factor.  Meeks leads with 22 points and 4-of-6 from three-point range — personally besting Arkansas.  The Razorbacks are only 2-of-14 from behind the line while UK finished the half with a cold spell to take the Wildcats down to 8-of-13 — missing three of their last four attempts.

12:58 p.m. — 1,000 blood donations given in the Razorback’s game for life.

12:54 p.m. — Brandon Burlsworth Scholarship presentation is today at halftime. The 10th annual class of Burlsworth scholars are being introduced here at halftime.  You can learn more about the scholarship program that honors the former walkon Razorback football player who became an all-American and NFL draft pick before a tragic automobile accident by visiting the foundation’s website.  Lucas Miller is the athletic scholar selection to cap the class.

12:52 p.m. — Tyler Vaught, former student worker here in the old women’s communications office and now with college promotions with EA Sports, is in the house today.

12:51 p.m. — Hogs hold for last shot.  Welsh peels time off the clock.  Down to eight, now a three with three seconds left is off line, and it sends us to halftime, 40-29 UK.

12:50 p.m. — Contrast that when UK is patient and works for a three pointer next trip.  Sanchez returns with a two for Arkansas.  40-29 as we hit the last minute.

12:49 p.m. — UK sloppy, sloppy, sloppy with the ball, Razorbacks cutting back to 10, and the crowd rises in a hog call.

12:45 p.m. — Henry gets the three, only the second of the game for Arkansas, 37-25, 3:15 left in first.  Henry pulls down the board on UK to start the break in the other direction.  Takes a rejection of Welsh inside for a circus layup — 5-0 Jason Henry run.

12:45 p.m. — Spotted in the Courtside Seats — Ronnie Brewer, junior and senior.

12:42 p.m. — Meeks breaks away for the long lob pass snowbird attempt, and Britt catches up in time to wrap his arms around him.  The ref calls it intentional, which is also Britt’s third.  Meeks shoots a pair, misses the first, makes second.  UK inbounds after the intentional against a match-up zone.  Cats work for the inside shot and get it with Harris, who is fouled by Clark.  Takes us to the last media timeout of half with UK leading 37-22 and one free throw to come.

12:41 p.m. — Washington jams it inside and draws the foul from Stewart — UK’s 8th — but misses the chance for the three-point play, UK 32-22.

12:40 p.m. — Cats get a short jumper from Porter, 32-20.  Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Arkansas leads the Gophers in softball, 3-0.

12:37 p.m. — Speaking of turnovers, Meeks picks the pass for a coast-to-coast jam — the first points in the paint of the entire day for UK.  Coach Pelphrey calls a quick timeout from about two steps onto the court and has a discussion with the team.

12:35 p.m. — The only stat that matters so far today:  Arkansas is 1-of-10 from the arc; UK is 7-of-9.  Those extra six points from the trey difference plus one FG — that’s the UK margin as most of the other stats are close.  UK showing a problem with turnovers, however, as Arkansas is already +3 in turnover margin.  Razorbacks need to capitalize on UK’s tendency to turn it over on drive attempts — like right now after the timeout.  So now it’s +4 TOs.

12:34 p.m. — Henry gets the tip in on a shot-clock beating three-point attempt by Clarke to send us to the third media timeout of the first half with UK leading 28-20.

12:33 p.m. — Cats try to go downtown twice, and find nothing but blocked drives and tipped passes.  Arkansas is a rock in the lane.  Unfortunately, the kick out results in the seventh three-pointer of the day of UK.

12:31 p.m. — Britt called for contact on Miller, which saves Miller the embarrassment of his shot being rejected into the Hog Wild Band by a flying Washington.  UK 25-18.

12:28 p.m. — Clarke gets Porter into the air and draws the three-point shooting foul, Clarke gets all three, 23-18; Razorbacks in full court pressure.  UK hobbles through it, and forces the ball inside.  Washington called for body contact on his block of Stevenson.  First two-shoot trip to line for UK, miss the first, make second.  UK 24-18.

12:27 p.m. — Nothing again for UK down low; Cats trapping Razorbacks in the corners. Washington sets for three, no good.

12:25 p.m. — Stewart takes UK to 6-of-7 from three-point range.

12:23 p.m. — At this second media timeout, UK’s shooting is gone up to  63.6%, and over 80% from behind the arc.  Arkansas is at 43% overall, but only 1-of-6 from three-point range.

12:21 p.m. — Clarke drains the first trey of the game for Arkansas, then the Wildcats loose Meeks, throwing a wild pass to no one to send us the second media time out.

12:20 p.m. — Back to man for Arkansas, with Welsh all over Meeks.  Welsh is denying the ball back to Meeks, and the Cats try to spring him with a screen from Harrellson, only results in the second foul of the game for the UK big man.

12:18 p.m. — Razorbacks go zone, pick up a turnover, but on the returning transition, Meeks gets free for another three.  Now Meeks comes down for a 22-foot trey, and gets fouled by Britt.  That’s a four-point play opportunity for Meeks, who now has 13 — make it 14 — of UK’s 20 points.  20-10 UK on the 7-0 run by Meeks.

12:18 p.m. — Live right now on RazorVision — Arkansas softball from the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn., courtesy of the Golden Gophers.

12:16 p.m. — Wildcats shooting 56% from the field, but all 13 points are from 12 feet and beyond as UK as zero points in the paint.  Meanwhile, Arkansas is hitting 46% from the field, with eight of its 10 in the lane, but has yet to hit a three-pointer, 0-3.

12:14 p.m. — Clarke takes a stripped ball from Porter the length of the floor, gives a hesitation near the three-point line then lowers his head like D-Mac and heads for the rack.  The three-point specialist driving catches UK off guard, and the floater is headed for the bottom of the net until a goal tend by the Wildcats.  Razorbacks down by just three, 13-10, as we go to the first media time out.

12:13 p.m. — Porter first UK player to score that isnt’ named Meeks.  Sanchez returns with a down low bucket, 10-6 UK.  Cats keep trying to go inside and find pressure and traps, go back to the outside for a Porter jumper, 13-6.

12:11 p.m. — Harrellson gets a foul inside pushing, Razorbacks inbound on the far baseline.  Washington takes the pass from Welsh at the top of the lane and drives for two, 7-4.  Heavy contact inside after a Clarke three, brings the crowd to its boooooooo.

12:10 p.m. — Meeks drains a three — he’s got all seven UK points.

12:09 p.m. — Meeks gets the first bucket for either team, UK 2-0.  Washington flies along the baseline for a slam to tie it up at 2-2.  Teams seem tight, which one would expect with the level of the game.  Meeks gets another 15-foot jumper to return the lead to UK, 4-2.

12:08 p.m. — Cats trap Washington on perimeter, he’s forced to shoot three; on return, Wildcats throw it away on the inside.  Defense holding sway early.

12:07 p.m. — Tip to UK, Razorbacks keep pressure, poor shot and rebound by Washington.

12:07 p.m. — Welsh walking around calling the crowd to its feet, they respond by taking up the roar as we wait for TV to clear for the tip.

12:06 p.m. — Horn sounds to call the teams to the floor.

12:03 p.m. — Clock to zero — UK starters as anticipated; Washington, Sanchez (with his extreme chin bandage from the Auburn stitches), Britt, Clarke, and Welsh for Arkansas — changing out Britt for Moore from the earlier post on the monitor.

12:00 p.m. — Wildcat starters on the monitor:  Harris, Porter, Stevenson, Meeks, Harrellson.

11:59 a.m. — The upper deck is packed tight; 2:15 on clock and still waiting for UK, now the Wildcats enter the arena.

11:58 a.m. — 3:45 left on the clock and into the arena for the Razorbacks.

11:53 a.m. — Stat monitor has these starters — Washington, Moore, Welsh, Clarke and Sanchez for Arkansas.

11:52 a.m. — Something new from the band today — a very TexMex rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.

11:47 a.m. — Big Red and the inflatable hog cut up with a slow-motion, Sam Peckinpah-like kung fu battle in front of the band.

11:45 a.m. — Darrell Walker is in the house.

11:41 a.m. — Clock to 20 minutes, and the crowd is getting restless.

11:35 a.m. — Both teams on the court for warm-ups, 25:00 on the game clock to intros.

11:33 a.m. — CBS gets the students up for art shots; and into the arena, these are your AAAARRRRRRKKKKKANSAAAAAS   RAAAAAAAZZOORBAAAAACKS.

11:30 a.m. — Reports of a lot of traffic outside as the crowd converges on the facility.

11:22 a.m. — Trough looks full now; both teams off the court and there’s that eerie quiet tension that can only come from a day like this on the court.

11:18 a.m. — Reunion Arena and the Michigan game in the 1994 regional final is being featured on the scoreboard today.  The steps to the 1994 National Championship have been pregame packages for each game of SEC play.  Remember, the Salute to a Championship is the Georgia game, March 1.

11:15 a.m. — Razorback band heading in to setup, and the lower bowl seats beginning to fill with season ticket holders.

11:14 a.m. — Patterson for UK may have the warm-ups on, but he isn’t moving around a lot.  Just standing under the rim and rebounding for others shooting, and now he’s not going through the stretching exercises of the rest of the players.

11:10 a.m. — Student section has giant head cut-outs of the Razorback players and Coach Pelphrey.

11:05 a.m. — Student give-away by EA sends the student members who had a special sticker on their game passes — they’re getting a copy of NCAA Basketball 09.

11:02 a.m. — EA Sports promo showing Walton Arena — new graphics and the arena shows floor and new seating arrangement.  Get ready on-line Razorback fans — we’ve got another contest as EA Sports is letting fans vote among the 15 finalists who has the Toughest Place to Play.

10:59 a.m. — Most of the early arriving students received red tee-shirts from the folks with EA Sports.  On the front “Beat Kentucky”; on the back “Toughest Places to Play” promo along with the tag line “Woo Pig . . . It’s in the Game.”

10:57 a.m. — Kentucky players stroll out to the court to begin warm-ups, and are meet by three UK fans hanging over the railing to pass out high-fives.  By the way, Patterson is one of the Wildcats warming up, which may or may not indicate he’s playing today.

10:53 a.m. — Never let it be said Arkansas fans aren’t tolerant as one misguided student wearing his Kentucky blue Wildcat nation tee-shirt sits with his buddies amid a sea of red in the Trough.

10:45 a.m. — Razorbacks start heading out to the court for informal shooting.

10:31 a.m. — Test run of the AT&T trivia question on the video board — so how many points did Corliss Williamson have in the 1994 championship game?

10:27 a.m. — CBS crew starting to mill around the broadcast position.  They’ve had their “lunch” break — craft service here in the arena for the workers — and are making final adjustments.  I believe the game will be in HD today based on the fact that CBS has two 53-foot production trucks outside in addition to the uplink — typical of the 4×3 and the HD productions.

10:24 a.m. — So to circle all the way back around, and think about this, if we can’t stream the game today, and you are not where you can see the game on CBS television, where do you think you may be able to see the game on-line?

10:23 a.m. — But wait, tomorrow’s women’s game is a live stream.  How does that work?  In the SEC guidelines, we can exempt one women’s conference game for both local TV and our own stream.  As a result, the Ole Miss game is on Cox Sports Television and streaming at RazorVision.

10:22 a.m. — An added bonus this year — softball video streams live for the first time.

10:21 a.m. — RazorVision members will get baseball live streams starting next week and all home baseball that is not restricted by SEC rules will be live.

10:20 a.m. — Of course today’s game is on CBS at noon.  Once again — our now standard reminder — SEC rules prohibit the league schools from streaming conference men’s or women’s basketball games with live video.  RazorVision members will be able to hear the audio stream from Mike Nail and Rick Schaeffer.

10:15 a.m. — There’s a special EA Sports promo today with Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena named one of the toughest places to play in college hoops.  Reps from EA are in the house today, and a campus video game tournament was held yesterday.

10:10 a.m. — It’s a busy weekend with the balance of the collegiate races for the Tyson Invitational weekend taking place throughout today. Click here to catch up on last night’s men’s and women’s team performances.

10:05 a.m. — This is the first of two big games at Walton Arena this weekend.  Remember that tomorrow the Razorback women’s basketball team hosts Ole Miss for the Pink Zone game — everyone is asked to wear pink to support breast cancer awareness.  Pink Zone tee-shirts — which include admission to the game tomorrow — are still on sale at today’s men’s game.

10:00 a.m. — Doors open for the students, and the hard core front row fans have picked up their donuts and are streaming into the Trough.  Most of the girls in the first 20 or so student have hand-made tee-shirts on with Valentine’s Day greetings for different members of the Razorbacks.

10:00 a.m. — Good morning and welcome to Bud Walton Arena’s press section.  There’s a different feel to the arena this morning.  It’s cold outside, with that scuddy overcast that just says basketball season.  Inside, pregame crews are working on setting the stage for one of those classic showdowns of college basketball.  Days like this have a special seriousness.

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