xt7s4m91931t https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7s4m91931t/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1988 Volume 12 -- Number 27 athletic publications  English Wildcat News Company Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. The Cats' Pause UKAW University of Kentucky Men's Basketball (1987-1988) coaches Sutton, Eddie players Farmer, Richie SEC Tournament (1988) Hall, Joe B. Rupp, Adolph University of Kentucky Football (1987) Claiborne, Jerry University of Kentucky Baseball (1988) recruiting statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  March 12, 1988 text The Cats' Pause,  March 12, 1988 1988 2012 true xt7s4m91931t section xt7s4m91931t UK Wins 37th Southeastern Conference Title. . .
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. . . Ey^s Tourney Trophy As Everyone Heads To Bayou March 12, /?<96>
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1988 SEC Tournament Pairings
Thur. March 10 Fri. March 11 Sat. March 12
Sun. March 13
No. 4 LSU (10-8)
Game 3  1:00 p.m.
No. 5 VANDERBILT (10-8)
No. 1 KENTUCKY (13-5)
Game 7  1:00 p.m.*
No. 8 OLE MISS (6-12)
Game 1  8:00 p.m.
No. 9 ALABAMA (6-12)
Game 5  8:00 p.m.
Game 9 - 2:00 p.m.
SEC Tournament Champion
No. 3 FLORIDA (11-7)
Game 4  3:30 p.m.
No. 6 TENNESSEE (9-9)
No. 2 AUBURN (11-7)
Game 8  3:30 p.m.*
No. 7 GEORGIA (8-10)
Game 2  10:30 p.m.
Game 6  10:30 p.m.
All Times EST *Semifinals subject to TV change
Cats' Pause chart
Assembly Center Seating Chart
'Cats Peaking As Tournament Time Rolls Around
Thanks to a five-game winning streak, coach Eddie Sutton and his Kentucky Wildcats have primed themselves as on of the hottest teams entering postseason play this week as the Southeastern Conference tournament begins in Baton Rouge, La.
Kentucky, which has not lost since back-to-back road defeats at Tennessee and Florida, righted its ship by claiming its 37th league title last week.
The Wildcats first claimed a piece .>{ the title by holding off Georgia 80-72 on Wednesday and then left no doubt with a thrilling 78-71 victory over Ole Miss in Oxford on Saturday.
Playing its best offensive basketball of the season in Oxford, Kentucky rode the coattails of a red-hot Rex Chapman who scored a career high 29 points and left little doubt of his availability to the club for the postseason tournaments.
Kentucky's first game in the SEC tournament will come on Friday when the 'Cats play the winnei >f the Alabama-Ole Miss game in one quarterfinal game. Should Kentucky win that game, the 'Cats would meet the winner of the LSU-Vanderbilt game in one semifinal contest on Saturday afternoon.
The SEC championship contest will be played at 2 p.m. EST and will be nationally televised live over the ABC-TV network. One of the two semifinal games (yet to be decided) will be televised live nationally by NBC-TV. All other games in the tourney will be televised live over the Jefferson-Pilot Network.
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The 78-71 victory over Ole Miss did much more for the 'Cats than just give them sole possession of the regular-season title.
First of all, it assured Kentucky of moving up in the national rankings this week and will play a big role in just how high the 'Cats will be seeded in the NCAA tournament field on Sunday.
Secondly, it could provide Kentucky with the final evidence it needed to assure itself of staying in the NCAA Southeast Regional and perhaps having the opportunity to play in the first round at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum.
Sutton, following the win over Ole Miss, said he prefers to stay in the Southeast, and in particular Cincinnati, since so many Kentucky fans would have the opportunity to follow the 'Cats.
"I just don't know how much this will mean to the selection process, but I would hope we might get to say in the Southeast," said Sutton. "But our immediate goal is to get ready for the SEC tournament in Baton Rouge. It should be a great tournament."
Usually, the NCAA allows a conference's regular-season champion (when it is also the highest-rated team in the conference) to remain in its natural geographic region. If that should be the case, one of the next two conference teams would like also stay in the
No more than two SEC teams can be placed in the Southeast Region. Usually, the league's second-rated team goes outside the region and the third remains. If that be true, the other team likely to remain in the region would be either Auburn or Florida, and that might not be settled until the conclusion of the SEC tourney since both are so evenly rated.
Regardless, it would appear only natural that whichever is seated in the Southeast would go to the Atlanta first round and UK to the Cincinnati site.
All this could be wrong, however, if there should be a shocking shake-up in the final NCAA computer rankings.
As it now stands. Temple. Arizona and Purdue appear to be locks for first-round seeds. The fourth member could be most anyone. At one time or another, it could have come from the following: Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, UNLV or Michigan.
But after a rash of upsets last week, Kentucky's chances of moving up seem as good as anyone.
Pittsburgh was beaten but came back and defeated Syracuse at the Carrier Dome for the Big East title on Sunday.
North Carolina (22-5) appeared to be a lock two weeks ago, but the Tar Heels were not just beaten twice last week, but bombarded. First, it was Temple, and then this weekend Duke beat Dean Smith's club by 17.
UNLV was beaten for the second time this season by Long Beach while Michigan was thrashed by Purdue and Duke (21-6) lost twice in the last 10 days. Oklahoma (27-3) lost at Missouri, but some believe the Sooners will be the final No. 1 regional seed.
So, Kentucky will probably have to nudge out Oklahoma if it wants a top seed. If not, UK figures to have the first No. 2 seed in the regionals.
Most observers feel Temple will go to the East, Purdue (so it will finally get to stay home at nearby South Bend) to the Midwest with Arizona in the West and Oklahoma or Kentucky in the Southeast.
Should UK luck into the No. 1 seed in the Southeast, it could allow Oklahoma to remain at home in the Midwest as the No. 2 seed. If that should happen, look for even more shakeups. The easiest thing for the selection committee would probably be to leave Oklahoma as a No. 1 seed with Kentucky the first No. 2 seed, in the Southeast. Although Kentucky has been more impressive of late, Oklahoma still has a better record at 27-3 to UK's 22-5.
Here's a look at some possible entries to the NCAA field from around the country:
Atlantic Coast: Four teams appear to have locks with only Maryland on the fence. North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke and Georgia Tech should have to trouble in earning invitations.
Atlantic 10: West Virginia, 17-12 going into last weekend's action, is definitely on the fence at best. Temple and Rhode Island are automatics and those two could
taineers' bid.
Big East: Somewhat down over the past few years, but still one of the country's four best conferences. Pittsburgh a definite threat for the Final Four and national title. Syracuse is only a step behind while St. John's and Seton Hall will be in the field. Villanova may have to depend on its national title fame of three years ago to get an invitation and although the selection committee isn't suppose to consider such outside fanfare, there have been stranger criteria before.
Big Eight: Oklahoma, Kansas State and Iowa State should be in. Kansas (20-10) will also be in even if its record wouldn't merit it because the NCAA won't want All-American Danny Manning playing in the NIT. Iowa State (19-10 before the regular season finale) could be one of those 15 schools in the battle for the last five spots next Sunday. A strong showing in the Big Eight postseason tourney could prove beneficial.
Big Ten: Count Purdue. Michigan, Iowa. Indiana and Illinois in and all the others out since there is no postseason conference tourney here. Both Indiana and Illinos could be borderline in some conferences, but not here. The names alone are enough and both could be impact teams in the March madness.
Metro: Both Louisville and Southern Miss will get bids from the conference which produced zero last year. Louisville reeled off a number of wins late in the season, but most of them were at home. The Cards' disappointing loss to DePaul in Chicago on national television will probably make the Metro Conference champions face a rather tough first-round foe. Southern Miss played well in spots, but had a losing record in conference play.
Missouri Valley: Bradley and Wichita State will get nods, Bradley because is is a very good team and State because coach Eddie Fogler has the right connections to go with his record of 19-8 when the Shockers entered conference tourney competition last week.
Pac-10: No question about it, Arizona is the odds-on favorite to give the West new respectability in the NCAAs. Whether this league getsxtwo or three reps depends on just how many teams remain on the fence come Sunday. Both Stanford and Oregon State can present a case, but it will be close.
Pacific Coast Athletic: UNLV has slipped a bit in the last couple weeks but is still one of the nation's 10 best. UC-Santa Barbara, given renewed life by Jerry Pimm, will also get a bid.
Southeastern: No one knows just how many this leaue deserves. Count Kentucky, Florida, Auburn and Vanderbilt in. All but Auburn cannot be denied. The Tigers continue to flirt with disaster, but the Tigers' wins over Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Florida (twice) will be more than enough to convince the committee. On the bubble are both LSU and Tennessee. What would an NCAA be without the flambouant Dale Brown? And he has the SEC tourney in his backyard this week so
and it may take a pair of wins in the SEC tourney this week, not just to earn an NCAA bid, but also to enable Don DeVoe to keep his job in Big Orange Country.
Southwest: This is the conference which is sinking fast and there appears to be no immediate signs of revival. SMU will get one bid and either Arkansas or Baylor. It probably doesn't deserve more than three so the Baylor had better hope there are no upsets in the tourney.
Sun Belt: UNCC and Virginia Commonwealth are the class as UAJ3 experiences an off-season this winter.
Western Athletic: Brigham Young, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico and UTEP all have impressive credentials, but again, the NCAA may not be in the mood of giving this western league five bids. Utah doesn't have the magical 20 wins yet, so the Utes had better cross their fingers.
Independents: DePaul sewed up its bid with the impressive win over Louisville on Saturday to go with its 20-7 mark. Notre Dame probably doesn't deserve one at 19-7 (going into last weekend) because of a weak schedule, but since the Irish are hosting a first round, they not only be invited, but allowed to play at home.
Other leagues which will get at least one bid and the leading contender are: Association of Mid-Continent (Southwest Missouri State), Big Sky (Boise State), Colonial (Richmond), East Coast (Lafayette, Lehigh, Delaware and Drezel), ECAC Metro (Fairleigh-Dickinson), ECAC North Atlantic (Siena, Boston College), Ivy (Cornell), Metro Atlantic Athletic (LaSalle), Mid-American (Eastern Michigan), Mid-Eastern Athletic (N.C. A&T), Midwestern Collegiate (Xavier although this league probably deserves to also have Evansville invited), Ohio Valley (Murray is the favorite as it hosts the tourney this week). Southern (UT-Chattanooga won this by upseting Marshall although the Thundering Herd still hope for an at-large bid), Southland (North Texas State or NE Louisiana), SWAC (Southern), Trans America Athletic (Arkansas-Little Rock or Georgia Southern) and West Coast Athletic (Loyola Mary mount).
Some of these may have changed over the weekend since the column was first written and you can bet it'll change even more by the time the NCAA selection committee's pairings are announced on Sunday.
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HITS AND MISSES . . . Kentucky coaches are going all-out for a run at this March's NCAA championships, but it isn't keeping them from bird-dogging for the future. UK assistant James Dickey arrived at the Oxford, Miss. Holiday Inn about 10 a.m. Saturday for the showdown with Ole Miss. He flew into Memphis, Tenn., grabbed a rental car and drove to Oxford after watching Indiana junior sharpshooter Rat Graham pour home 28 points Friday night. And he was quick to note than Clay County's Richie Parmer 4
(fare/, /2, @m
Senior Sendoff
Wildcats Recover From Emotional Farewell Ceremony For Five Seniors, Turn Back Stubborn Bulldogs 70-62 To Clinch Tie For SEC Championship
By TCP Staff Writer Jim Easterwood
It was hard to discern if it was a basketball game Wednesday night at Rupp Arena or the latest episode of a noontime soap opera.
There were more tears shed before the UK-Georgia tipoff than in the last scene of Casablanca. Emotions ran higher than Ferdinand Marcos' Swiss bank account.
The obvious question: Could five young men from all walks of life find happiness in the last home game of their college careers?
Or, would too much emotion leave them drained and unable to accomplish two goals: One. a tie for the Southeastern Conference crown, Kentucky's 37th. Two. keeping a 24-year streak alive of never losing the last home game of the season.
For a while, the 'Cats remained on a nostalgic high from the pregame hoopla surrounding the five seniors.
Rob Lock. Winston Bennett, Richard Madison, Cedric Jenkins and Ed Davender looked around, listened to the lyrics of "My Old Kentucky Home" sung by Happy Chandler, and shed a tear. . .or two.
And then they turned the lights out in Georgia, 80-72. Kentucky elevated its season record to 21-5 and 12-5 in the SEC. With difficulty, however.
It was, in fact, a matter of triumph over emotion.
"I'm sure, myself, I was still thinking what had taken place. . .1 wasn't into the game when the ball was thrown up," said Bennett.
Bennett quickly covered his emotions. He had to. The Bulldogs stuck around all night like a bad dream that wouldn't end.
UK's 6-11 Center 'Locked' It Up With Final Dunk
Ironically, it was the man 'Cat fans had loved to hate who locked it up.
Lock, who couldn't hit the side of Rupp Arena with a free throw last year, sank two with 23 seconds to play. Kentucky led 78-72.
Then, with about 10 seconds remaining, Bennett got the ball in open court. He saw Rob streaking up the floor and threw him the ball.
Slam, bam, thank you fans.
After his dunk, seven seconds remained for Lock to savor how sweet it finally was.
"It was a nice way to end my career here. . .with the thing I like to do most. . .slam," said Lock, his face creased in a big grin.
The ending, he said, made up for an error in judgement a few seconds earlier when Kentucky led 76-69. He let opposing center Alec Kessler get inside for a layup and then fouled him. Kessler converted to cut the lead to 76-72.
"That was a bad play on my part," said Lock. "But I can learn from my mistakes. I won't do it again."
Kentucky coach Eddie Sutton, standing to one side in the post-game media convention, said, smiling, "Good."
All Five Wildcat Seniors Went Out In Style
It was a great night for curtain calls.
Lock finished with 19 points, hitting six of seven shots, three blocked shots and one steal.
And, of course, four turnovers just to keep his "fans" happy.
Bennett, the cool one, bowed out with a fine game for his mom. It was the first time Shirley Bennett, who suffers from severe arthritis, had seen her son play this year.
It was typical Bennett10 points, five rebounds, three assists and only one turnover.
"It meant a lot to me," said Bennett, spaking softly, "to clinch a tie for the SEC with my mom there."
Madison, the "Master Blaster" from Memphis, turned in a workmanlike 18 minutes: six points, three boards, and only one mistake.
Jenkins, playing well of late, had four points and some solid defense in 14 minutes.
And Davender, whose cage exploits were nurtured in Brooklyn and took root in Kentucky, turned in a masterful game.
He had 20 points to go with eight assists. He became the only player in UK basketball history to total 1,500 points and 400 assists.
Davender, taking control of the 'Cats as they entered the home stretch, now has 1,539 points and 405 assists.
Ed bowed out by improvising on a gimmick Red Auerbach used with the Boston Celtics. Red would light his cigar when the Celtics had a game wrapped up.
Ed, however, looked over at media row, smiled and nodded his head with 59 seconds to play and Kentucky ahead. 74-66.
It seemed his way of saying, "That's it, folks."
But Georgia succumbed slowly. Rod Cole cut the margin to 74-69 with a three-point goal 11 seconds later. But Davender sank a pair of free throws to let 'Cat fans breathe easier.
It was Davender who took charge in the final five minutes.
With Kentucky ahead 66-61, Davender scored six of UK's next eight points. He also penetrated and deftly fed Madison for a layup as the 'Cats took a 10-point lead (74-64) with 1:42 left.
Hugh Durham's 'Dogs Refused To Roll Over
But Georgia hung on like a Bulldog on a mailman's pants' leg.
"You've got to give Georgia credit." said Sutton. "They are a good basketball team. They hung in there and fought us all the way to the wire."
The return of Rex Chapman from a back injury helped the 'Cats shake their attack of "senioritis."
Chapman had 15 points, including three buckets from three-point range. He also had three assists and, more importantly, five steals.
"Kentucky's defense was the key." said Georgia coach Hugh Durham. "Chapman got 15 but hurt us just as much or more on defense.
"He's a very heady player who anticipates and reads offense well. He hurt us at critical times with a couple of steals." Sutton thought his star sophomore played well.
Chapman Played Well After 1-Game Layoff
"He looked a little sluggish but he made some big plays. . .and some big shots for us," said Sutton.
One of the biggest was a three-pointer with seven seconds to go in the first half. It gave the 'Cats a 39-33 halftime lead after a seesaw affair. The teams had exchanged the lead 12 times with seven ties.
"(Kentucky football coach Jerry) Claiborne ought to think about getting the guy who set the block over there for Chapman," said Durham.'Tf (Mark) Higgs had the guy blocking for him he might have made more yards than he did."
Chapman also had a big hand in a Kentucky spurt that gave the 'Cats the lead for good about midway of the second half.
With the score tied 50-50, Eric Manuel hit a short jumper. Chapman a three-pointer and Manuel a free throw to make it 56-50.
Georgia's Neville Austin then threw a lazy pass to Willie Anderson and Chapman stole the ball and went in for a slam to make it 58-50, Kentucky, with 10:04 to play.
"We made some good defensive plays and turned them into baskets," said Sutton of this eight-point spurt. "I thought that was important. It usually is."
Sutton acknowledged that the pregame festivities might have taken something out of the 'Cats.
Each senior broke through his own hoop and was then surrounded by family members for the traditional song by the 89-year-old former governor.
"It looked like the activities had taken something out of them emotionally," said Sutton. "They looked drained. . . tired. I know how much these guys love their families. They had to make sure Mom and Dad and relatives were there and everything was taken care of. And they did a lot of worrying."
[Continued On Page 281
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