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Pelphrey embraces first win ‘in state’

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

John Pelphrey, one of UK’s “Unforgettables,” embraced his Arkansas team’s 71-62 victory over Seton Hall Wednesday night.

Asked if he could blockout this return to his home state, Pelphrey said, “I’d like to sit here and tell you I don’t think about it. But when you walk into the building, moments of time flash back.”

Pelphrey called the game in Freedom Hall “very humbling.”

And, he added, “the task at hand becomes even more valuable to me. I want to do well. This was the first win in state (for Pelphrey) as a head coach.”

A moment later, Pelphrey added, “It’s not about me. I had my time and my day.”

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Barnhart: One game in Louisville each season is important

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

University of Kentucky Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart said the men’s basketball program should continue the tradition of playing a game in Louisville each season.

“We want to continue to play over here,” Barnhart said before the Cats played Notre Dame. He noted the many alumni that live in the Louisville area and the potentially rich recruiting ground.

Earlier this week, the Kentucky State Fair Board said it paid between $10,000 and $12,000 to re-paint the Freedom Hall court blue. Spokesman Edward Brown said part of the reason was to try to entice UK to play more than one regular-season game in Freedom Hall each season.

“I haven’t had that conversation,” Barnhart said with a smile. ” . . . We do have an arena back in Lexington. We have to make sure we play enough games there.”

UK owed it to the students and city of Lexington play its home games in Rupp Arena, he said.

Last season, UK Coach John Calipari floated the idea of playing several games in Louisville as a recruiting tool. At the time, Barnhart said flatly that one game in Louisville each season was enough.

When asked if he still believed that, Barnhart said, “I think that’s probably accurate.”

But Barnhart seemed a bit more open to the idea of more than one game, if only because he did not want to rule out any possibility.

“I don’t want to pin ourselves in a corner,” he said.

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Kentucky-Notre Dame basketball series

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

Kentucky leads the series with Notre Dame 41-18. The Cats have a 23-9 record against the Irish at Freedom Hall. In fact, Notre Dame has lost 10 straight games in the building, including the last seven against Lousiville.

Notre Dame’s last win at Freedom Hall came on Dec. 27, 1980 when Digger Phelps’ team beat Joe B. Hall’s Cats 67-61.

Three of the last four games Notre Dame has played at Freedom Hall have gone into overtime. Last year, Mike Brey’s club lost 91-89 to Louisville in double overtime. In 2009, Louisville beat Notre Dame 87-73 in overtime. In 2006, Louisville beat the Irish 89-86 in overtime.

Here are the last 15 meetings between the Cats and the Irish:

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Razorbacks and Seton Hall

Join Phil Pierce from Freedom Hall in Louisville for the Razorbacks and Pirates
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Pelphrey Returns to Freedom Hall

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas’ basketball team will take on Seton Hall on Wednesday at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.

The game, which is part of the SEC-Big East Invitational, will tip-off at 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2. It will be the first time the Razorbacks have played in the event, which isn’t expected to be renewed for another season.

The event will be somewhat of a homecoming for Arkansas coach John Pelphrey, a Kentucky native. The fourth-year Razorbacks coach played six times at the arena as a collegian at the University of Kentucky.

“It will be good going back there,” Pelphrey said. “It’s a great place to play. It should be a great environment.”

Arkansas (5-1) enters the game on a two-game winning streak following double-digit home wins over Oklahoma and Troy. It will be the Razorbacks’ first game out of the state this season.

Seton Hall is 3-3, but the Pirates will be without leading scorer Jeremy Hazell (24.0 ppg), who suffered a wrist injury earlier this month in a win over Alabama.

“I think they’ve played well at times and obviously they’re going to get better with that as time goes by,” Pelphrey said. “It’s pretty difficult to replace 24 points a game, though.”

The game will be the first of two inside Freedom Hall on Wednesday. Kentucky and Notre Dame will follow.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Cats Play Irish in SEC/Big East Invitational

An old rivalry renews in a familiar place when Kentucky takes on Notre Dame in historic Freedom Hall as part of this year’s DirecTV SEC/Big East Invitational.
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Video: John Calipari talks Cats and Notre Dame

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

Here is the first 6:33 of UK head coach John Calipari talking to the media before Tuesday’s practice. The Cats play Notre Dame at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in Freedom Hall.

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Seton Hall next for Hogs on ESPN2

The Razorbacks take on Seton Hall in the first game of the DIRECTV SEC/Big East Invitational at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday night.
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UK did not pay for re-painting of Freedom Hall court

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

The Kentucky State Fair Board paid for the re-painting of the court in Freedom Hall, according to a public relations person with the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Edward Brown said the Fair Board paid “in the neighborhood” of $10,000 to $12,000 to switch the court from University of Louisville red with a Cardinal logo at center court to University of Kentucky blue with an interlocking “U” and “K” at center court.

“It’s been in the works for some time,” Brown said. “It didn’t just occur in the last couple weeks.”

UK will be part of a double-header in Freedom Hall Wednesday night. The Cats play Notre Dame in the nightcap. Arkansas plays Seton Hall in the first game.

The games are part of the Southeastern Conference-Big East series.

The change to UK colors had produced “quite a bit of positive interest,” Brown said. “No one said, ‘Oh, no, I can’t believe they put that in there’ or ‘Shame on them’ kind of thing.”

The court trimmed in blue contrasts with the red seats in Freedom Hall’s lower seating sections, Brown said.

But there are no plans to change the color of the seats.

“No, that won’t happen,” Brown said. “Those seats are just a couple years old. They’ll stay as is.”

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SEC: Arkansas prepping for Freedom Hall trip

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

SEC links for Tuesday:

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