SEC Tournament notes: Cats to wear ‘Kentucky Cares’ warm-ups

NEW ORLEANS — Promoting the “Kentucky Cares” campaign, the Kentucky basketball team will wear special warm-ups for Friday’s quarterfinal Southeastern Conference Tournament game to show support for those affected by last week’s tornadoes in Kentucky.

On Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, operators will be standing by to take donations for the American Red Cross. The first five callers – starting at 10 a.m. – to match John Calipari’s previous donation of $10,000 will join Coach Cal, his wife, Mitch Barnhart and his wife, Connie, for lunch and a tour of the new Wildcat Coal Lodge.

The number for the telethon will be displayed on local television coverage on Friday of the SEC Tournament.

You can show your support for the Kentucky Cares campaign throughout the week by donating to the Red Cross. There are four ways to donate:

  • Text Redcross to 90999
  • Visit and give to the Disaster Relief Fund
  • Drop a check off at any Central Bank location
  • Mail a check to 1450 Newton Pike, Lexington, KY 405011 with “Kentucky Cares” in the memo line
The “Kentucky Cares” image will be on the back of UK’s warm-ups.

Blue Orleans

UK isn't playing Thursday, but blue was the dominant color outside New Orleans Arena at the start of the SEC Tournament.

Color me unsurprised that Kentucky fans have already taken over New Orleans, or “Blue Orleans” as some are calling it.

In my visit to the French Quarter Wednesday night, blue-clad Kentucky fans lined the streets, oftentimes chanting “C-A-T-S Cats, Cats Cats!” Without a doubt, UK’s contingent outnumbered the rest of the 11 schools’ fans combined.

The Big Blue invasion has become an annual tradition for Kentucky fans at the SEC Tournament, but Wednesday night’s showing was still amazing in the fact that UK doesn’t play until Friday and New Orleans is 800 miles away from Lexington.

Locked in at No. 1

Given the Cats’ dominant regular-season run, the chairman of the NCAA selection committee told the Associated Press that Kentucky has all but locked down a No. 1 seed already, regardless of this week’s outcome at the SEC Tournament.

“I think we all agree that if the season ended today, we know who the two best teams are,” Jeff Hathaway said of UK and Syracuse. “If you’re looking at 3 and 4 on the first line and the entire second line, we have the same handful of teams in mind, but where they would be placed will be a tremendous debate.”

At 30-1, 16-0 in the SEC, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario – even a first-game upset in the SEC Tournament – where the Cats aren’t a No. 1 seed. At this point, it appears UK is playing for the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Putting things in perspective

Anthony Davis makes even Darius Miller's wingspan look small.

Kentucky media relations student Will Kindred went to an ESPN photo shoot Thursday morning with the idea of working.

He had no idea he’s actually be a part of the shoot.

To illustrate Anthony Davis’ wide-reaching wingspan, Kindred stretched his arms in front of Darius Miller and Davis. Even with the lanky Miller in the picture, you can tell Davis owns a rare reach.

Davis’ wingspan is 7-foot-4.

1-2 punch

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has moved up Chad Ford’s “Big Board” to No. 2, potentially setting up for a 1-2 punch at this spring’s NBA Draft.

Anthony Davis continues to sit atop just about every NBA Draft projection.