BOZICH | SEC Bypasses Kentucky; Another SEC Reminder For Strong - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | SEC Bypasses Kentucky; Another SEC Reminder For Strong

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The SEC has booked its men's basketball tournaments through 2015. The SEC has booked its men's basketball tournaments through 2015.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Notes written during the seventh-inning stretch:

*Nashville, St. Louis and Tampa have a chokehold on the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament through 2025. Coaches can start telling today’s third graders where they will play in March.

The women’s basketball tournament was played in Duluth, Ga., this season. Next season it moves to North Little Rock, Ark., and then it jumps to Jacksonville, Fla., in 2016.

The football championship game is booked for Atlanta, and the baseball tournament has a long and happy home in Hoover, Ala.

The SEC has spread its prime entertainment goodies, and the economic benefits, across its expanding turf. Tennessee, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama will benefit.

But the league appears to be doing a fly-by over several areas on its map.

I guess the good news is that the SEC honchos are convinced that Kentucky fans will always travel.

*What are national baseball observers saying about the Louisville NCAA Regional that starts Friday?

Aaron Fitt, college baseball writer for Baseball America, wrote this preview – and my take after reading it is that both Kansas (Kentucky’s opponent at 2 p.m.) and Kent State (the team Louisville plays Friday at 6 p.m.) are dangerous teams, especially with their No. 1 starters on the mound.

The word is that Fitt will be in Jim Patterson Stadium to cover the regional, another sign of the powerful growth of college baseball in this area. Louisville says that credential requests for the 2014 regional are double the total of 2013.

*Baseball America say three Top 200 prospects in next week’s MLB Free Agent Draft will be playing here this weekend – Louisville relief pitcher Nick Burdi (ranked the 27th best prospect); Kentucky pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed (No. 36) and UK outfielder Austin Cousino (183).

*I’m not sure which team will win this weekend, but I’m taking Kent State in the Alumni Game.

Kent produced Thurman Munson, the Yankees’ all-star catcher, and Steve Stone, who won a Cy Young Award as a pitcher before becoming a TV analyst in Chicago.

Not bad work for a cold-weather Mid-American Conference program.

Munson won the American League rookie of the year award in 1970 and then was named AL MVP in 1976. He played in three World Series for the Yankees before he died in a plane crash in 1979.

*Charlie Strong received another blast about what it means to be the head football coach at the University of Texas Wednesday. Kyler Murray, one of the top quarterback prospects in the Class of 2015, gave an oral commitment to Texas A&M.

ESPN ranks Murray, who plays in Allen, Texas, the top quarterback recruit in the current junior class.

Most people were not shocked. Murray’s father, Kevin, also played quarterback for the Aggies. Kyler also considered Oregon and Auburn.

But Murray’s commitment stirred more discussion about how A&M’s move to the Southeastern Conference has tilted the recruiting field in Texas, making the Aggies, not the Longhorns, the go-to school for in-state recruits. The Johnny Manziel Saga is also driving that story.

In Texas, the scoreboard never rests. Charlie Strong is learning that.

*I have not wavered from my prediction that John Calipari will coach the University of Kentucky basketball team next season.

But Rex Chapman is still not alone in mentioning Calipari with the Los Angeles Lakers’ opening. Sports Illustrated has compiled a list of candidates for the Knicks and Lakers.

Calipari did not make their list of replacement for Mike Woodson in Madison Square Garden. He did make the list for the Lakers, along with two other college guys who won’t be coaching in the Staples Center next season – Kevin Ollie of Connecticut and Roy Williams of North Carolina.

Can I get some action on this in Vegas?

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