Random notes on eve of Kentucky-Michigan


INDIANAPOLIS — Some random notes on the eve of Kentucky-Michigan on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

* Kentucky is a 2.5-point favorite on Saturday Sunday, first time since the Kansas State game that the Cats have been favored in the tournament.

* If you missed it, John Calipari today said that Willie Cauley-Stein’s left foot is in a boot and is doubtful for Sunday. Later, Cal said that Cauley-Stein insists he will try to play. His teammates said that Cauley-Stein indicated to them he will play.

* Cauley-Stein was not in the Kentucky locker room during the interview period.

Ken Pomeroy has Michigan ranked 9th overall and Kentucky 10th. Michigan is the nation’s second-best team in offensive efficiency and 99th defensive efficiency. Kentucky is No. 13 on offense and No. 26 on defense.

* Jeff Sagarin’s computer ranks Michigan seventh and Kentucky eighth. Sagarin says Michigan played the nation’s toughest schedule. UK’s schedule ranks 13th.

* John Calipari is now 16-2 at Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. He has won nine straight tournament games and 13 of his last 14.

* Nate Silver’s 538 blog gives UK a 55 percent chance to win on Sunday over Michigan, a 22 percent chance of reaching the title game and a 10 percent chance of winning the national title.

* Kentucky and Michigan have not played since the 1993 Final Four when Michigan won 81-78 in overtime. That was the Fab Five Michigan team of Chris Webber, Ray Jackson, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose and Jimmy King. Weber had 27 points and 13 rebounds in that game.

* This only the second meeting between the two schools since Kentucky beat Michigan 104-93 in Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 5, 1970.

* Michigan has made 39.8 percent of its threes in this NCAA Tournament, including 32 in three games.

* Doubt it would happen, but John Calipari could get some tips from Rick Pitino on beating John Beilein. Pitino coached Louisville to an Elite Eight victory over Beilein’s West Virginia team in 2005. Pitino and Louisville beat Beilein and Michigan in the national championship game last year.

* Michigan’s Mitch McGary is dressing for games and did participate in pre-game shooting drills, prompting one question today of Beilein concerning the possibility the injured center might play Sunday. “No,” said Beilein quickly.

* Remember, if Kentucky wins then freshmen Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison will be playing the Final Four in their home state of Texas.

* Calipari was asked today if he is worried about a letdown after the emotional win over Louisville? “There’s a chance for a letdown because the last two games we played were just like slugfests,” he said. “But I don’t think it will be based on you just played Louisville, now you’re going to let your guard down. I don’t think so.”

* If Kentucky wins, it will be only the sixth No. 8 seed to make the Final Four since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979.

Photo of John Calipari and Kentucky players at today’s press conference by AP.

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