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No. 4 Kentucky upset at the hands of Rick Barnes, Tennessee

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Robert Hubbs scored 25 points and Grant Williams chipped in with 13 points, six boards, six assists, four steals and three blocks as Tennessee picked off No. 4 Kentucky in Thompson-Boling Arena on Tuesday night, 82-80.

It’s the third time in the last four games that the Wildcats have lost to UT on the road.

The loss is Kentucky’s first since they fell at Louisville in late-December, and it opens the door for South Carolina to make a run at the SEC title. The Vols, who nearly beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill earlier this season, are now 4-4 in the SEC.

Here are four things to take away from this game:

1. This is why Kentucky’s perimeter shooting is a concern: The Wildcats finished the night shooting 6-for-24 from beyond the arc. Malik Monk was 3-for-13 by himself. A number of those misses were good looks from three in critical moments – off the top of my head, Derek Willis missed one late in the second half that would have put Kentucky after 67-66 – and a handful of them were bad shots forced by Monk. The Wildcats have gotten better shooting the ball from the perimeter after a slow start to the season, and to me, this was more of an off-night when a showdown against No. 2 Kansas on the horizon than anything.

But it was something of a wakeup call. I didn’t think Monk, Fox or Briscoe played particularly well, and when those three don’t play well, this team is beatable.

2. Kentucky’s interior defense got worked: The Vols scored 42 points in the paint. Admiral Schofield had 15. Grant Williams had 13 points and six assists. Robert Hubbs did much of his damage as the Vols ran inverted offense, posting up the big, physical wing against UK’s freshmen back court. Bam Adebayo was terrific offensively, good enough that Kentucky’s inability to get him the ball was a noticeable issue, but he didn’t do much to discourage Tennessee from going at the rim.

Bam wasn’t the only issue, either. Wenyen Gabriel and Derek Willis were outmuscled by Tennessee’s big men as well. All in all, it’s not going to be fun for those big men when they watch the film on this one.

3. All that said, Kentucky lost by two: This just wasn’t Kentucky’s night. They were not good. And they lost a league game on the road by two points. That probably says more about this team than anything else.

4. Good for Rick Barnes and Tennessee: Looking at their record, you might think that this Tennessee team has had a disappointing season. And they have, but it’s not so much because they’re a bad team and more an issue of struggling to close out winnable games. They lost to Oregon in overtime in Maui. They lost at North Carolina by two points. They gave Wisconsin, and Florida, and Gonzaga a fight.

And the finally have a season-defining win to show for it. Hell, they might be the only team to beat these Wildcats in the SEC this season.

So while I’m not sure that even this is enough to get Tennessee into bubble contention, it is enough to keep their season from being a total loss. And it is the kind of win that a program with some promising young talent can build off of.

Trae Jefferson to transfer out of Texas Southern

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Texas Southern guard and NCAA tournament darling Trae Jefferson announced on Saturday that he’s leaving the school.

The 5-foot-7 Jefferson was sensational at times during his sophomore season with the Tigers as he put up 23.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, helping lead Texas Southern to a victory in the 2018 NCAA Tournament’s First Four in Dayton over North Carolina Central. One of the most entertaining talents in college basketball, Jefferson is leaving Texas Southern in-part because former head coach Mike Davis took the job at Detroit this offseason.

While Detroit is going to be the favorite to land Jefferson, because of his connection to Davis, it’ll be interesting to see what his transfer market looks like. Jefferson also made it clear on his Twitter page that he would like to be closer to his hometown of Milwaukee so that he can be closer to his ailing grandfather.

Given NCAA transfer rules, Jefferson would likely have to sit out next season before getting two more years of eligibility. But he could be applying for a waiver if he’s trying to be closer to home to deal with his family situation.

Nevada’s Josh Hall transfers to Missouri State

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Nevada lost a talented player from last season’s team as rising junior Josh Hall opted to transfer to Missouri State on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 Hall is a former top-150 recruit who played a key part in the Wolf Pack’s postseason run as he elevated his play to average 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Hall also made the game-winning bucket to lift Nevada past No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round.

Although Hall picked up his play late in the year, he was coming off the bench most of his sophomore campaign as he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.

Since Nevada took in some talented transfers, while players like Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins opted not to turn pro, it left head coach Eric Musselman with too many scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. It looks like some of those issues are now going away as Hall is leaving for Missouri State and graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin opted to decommit from the school.

Nevada is expected to be a preseason top-10 team next season with all of the talent they have returning to the roster, along with the addition of some new pieces like McDonald’s All-American big man Jordan Brown.

Hall will likely have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules as he still has two years of eligibility remaining.

Chris Webber accepts Jim Harbaugh’s invitation to be honorary Michigan football captain

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The frosty relationship between Chris Webber and the University of Michigan could be thawing — thanks to an invitation from football head coach Jim Harbaugh.

On Friday, Harbaugh called in to WTKA’s “The M Zone” as show host Jamie Morris had Webber on the show. Harbaugh offered Webber the opportunity to be an honorary captain for the Michigan football team next season, to which Webber replied that he would love the opportunity.

Webber, a former member of the “Fab Five” who helped the Wolverines to two consecutive NCAA tournament title-game appearances in 1992 and 1993, has not associated directly with the school, or with other members of the Fab Five, for many years.

The NCAA mandated that Webber and Michigan not associate with one another for 10 years after the Ed Martin booster scandal. Webber has always been reluctant to participate in anything Michigan or Fab Five related. When the famous Fab Five documentary was made a few years ago, Webber was the only member of the quintet not to participate in the making of the film. Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson all have a solid relationship with the University of Michigan at this point.

Webber later criticized the film during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, as King and Rose fired back with responses to reignite the feud. In the past, Rose has also been vocal in his belief that Webber should apologize for what happened at Michigan, as the group is hoping to move forward.

Although Webber still isn’t mending fences with the other Fab Five members, or the basketball program, returning to Michigan in some kind of official capacity is a big deal considering his past with the school.

Harbaugh and Webber haven’t decided on a game for next season yet as that will be something to watch for over the next several months.

Akoy Agau returning to Louisville as graduate transfer

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Louisville received a boost to its frontcourt rotation on Friday as former big man Akoy Agau will return to the Cardinals as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau originally committed and enrolled at Louisville for a season and a half to begin his college hoops career before transferring to Georgetown. After leaving the Hoyas to play at SMU last season, Agau received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA after battling injury for much of his career.

Agau gives Louisville an experienced forward who should earn some solid minutes next season. With the Mustangs during the 2017-18 season, Agau averaged 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 16.1 minutes per contest.

While this isn’t the biggest splash for the Cardinals, they have plenty of scholarships to use for next season as new head coach Chris Mack tries to find a stable rotation. Getting a graduate transfer like Agau, who should be familiar with the school and the conference at the very least, is a nice step for a one-year placeholder.

NCAA President Mark Emmert got a $500,000 raise in 2016

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NCAA president Mark Emmert, the man in charge of a non-profit association that doesn’t have enough money to pay its laborers, received a $500,000 raise for the 2016 calendar year, bringing his total income to more than $2.4 million, according to an NCAA tax return that was obtained by USA Today.

That number actually pales in comparison to the salaries that are received by the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences.

But there’s not enough money to pay the players.

Nope.

Everyone is broke.

Carry on with your day, and pray for the well-being of NCAA administrators like Mark Emmert, whose salary is in no way whatsoever inflated by amateurism, which allows the schools and the NCAA to bank all of the advertising revenue that college basketball and football brings in and bars the players themselves from accessing that money.