Game Day Q&A

The longest day of the year is the day when you’re covering (or waiting to watch) the late game in the NCAA Tournament. So to pass the time, I catch up on some correspondence . . .

Jim: Will Memphis come after John Calipari for the $360,000 bonus it paid him now that their victories have been officially stripped by the NCAA.

EC: If they do, Calipari might be able to pay them back with the $375,000 bonus he would get for winning a national championship at UK. (Note: He’s already pocketed $200,000 in bonuses this postseason — $50,000 each for winning the SEC regular-season and SEC Tournament and $100 for reaching the Sweet Sixteen).

Frank: Will the Dome be a factor tonight? I know that Cornell has played in the Carrier Dome this season and UK hasn’t played in a Dome all season.

EC: For whatever reason, the Carrier Dome doesn’t seem to pose the kind of depth perception problems that other places do. I don’t think it will be a factor. Big East teams rarely complain of not being able to get their bearings on the court at Syracuse. They do a good job of framing the court here, and you have a pretty normal shooting background. The hardest places to play are places where the court is out in the middle of a slab of concrete, with a lot of space between the first row of fans and the back of the end zones. You don’t have that in Syracuse. It’s pretty well enclosed.

Mark: Why can’t you appreciate what Cornell is doing? Why did you put them down in your Wednesday column? Everybody knows UK is more talented.

EC: I don’t think I put Cornell down. I just said that, like every stereotype, the one being put out nationally right now is a bit distorted. I think most fans I talk to appreciate what Cornell has accomplished, and I think UK fans, at least when they’re not railing at every perceived slight from the media, would say they appreciate what Cornell’s players have done this season, and their brand of basketball.

Robert: What’s the biggest danger for UK against Cornell tonight?

EC: Falling behind early by a significant margin. If Cornell were to come out of the gate hot, it would be danger time. The Wildcats are a young team and this is a big game. They’ll be in a hostile environment and Cornell is not the kind of team that will come down and take bad shots and make silly turnovers. UK should have enough speed and talent to overcome any difficulty in this game, but it doesn’t want to fall behind early and give a confident, experienced and hot-shooting Cornell team any momentum.


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