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Russ Smith's dunk shocks Kentucky

Louisville guard ended momentum by the rival Wildcats
Russ Smith's dunk shocks Kentucky

Russ Smith played the role of rally killer early against Kentucky with a ridiculous dunk over Wildcats star freshman Julius Randle.

Louisville pulled away early before Kentucky went on an 11-3 run. Smith halted any momentum for the Wildcats with a wild dunk, splitting Wildcats defenders to re-open a seven-point lead.

Take a look:

Martinsville: Danica Patrick's opportunity to show progress

Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch at Martinsville Speedway
Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, NASCAR’s officiating errors, the return of the Truck Series, Danica’s progress, Hendrick’s dominance and Matt Kenseth’s Martinsville improvement highlight the major topics leading us into Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, NASCAR’s officiating errors, the return of the Truck Series, Danica’s progress, Hendrick’s dominance and Matt Kenseth’s Martinsville improvement highlight the major topics leading us into Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Notre Dame Football 2014 Schedule Analysis

Everett Golson returns to South Bend to face a nasty 2014 football schedule.
Notre Dame Football 2014 Schedule Analysis

Brian Kelly is entering his fifth season as the Notre Dame head coach after winning 21 games over the last two years.

His fifth season will be a fascinating tour de force for a variety of reasons. First, he had to rebuild his staff after both coordinators left to take head coaching jobs. Mike Denbrock takes over as offensive coordinator after Chuck Martin left for Miami (Ohio) and Brian VanGorder is calling the shots on defense as Bob Diaco accepted the UConn head coaching gig.

Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Michigan State Spartans

ACC, Big Ten tournament champs vie for chance at Elite Eight
Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Michigan State Spartans

For Michigan State, reaching the Final Four is almost a birthright.

For Virginia, reaching the Final Four has been a long time coming.

Of course, neither can seal a trip in Friday’s Sweet 16 game, but that’s just an illustration of the different pressures for the two teams meeting in New York City.

Adreian Payne and Keith Appling don’t want to be the first seniors to play every year for Tom Izzo and miss the Final Four. Meanwhile, Virginia, once a Tournament regular, hasn’t been to the national semifinals since 1984.

Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Rivals will meet in the NCAA Tournament for second time in three years
Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Take note, college football, this is what you were missing from your postseason before the playoff took over.

The state of Kentucky is a state of Alabama of sorts for college basketball. Just as Alabama and Auburn accounted for every national title from 2009-12, Louisville and Kentucky have enjoyed a similar, but shorter, streak with the Bluegrass State claiming the last two national championships.

Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Iowa State Cyclones vs. UConn Huskies

Coaches Hoiberg, Ollie have shared history
Sweet 16 Preview and Picks: Iowa State Cyclones vs. UConn Huskies

The careers of Fred Hoiberg and Kevin Ollie have been connected nearly from the start.

On Friday, they’ll meet in the Sweet 16, the first trip to the regional semifinal for both coaches.

The pair met in high school when they took a visit to Arizona. Then-coach Lute Olson offered a one scholarship to the first of the pair who would take it. Neither did. Hoiberg went to Iowa State while Ollie went to Connecticut. After their careers, they carved out niches in the NBA as bench players, playing on the same Chicago Bulls team in 2001-02.

Arizona Overcomes Slow Start to Reach Elite Eight

Wildcats a game away from Sean Miller's first Final Four
Arizona Overcomes Slow Start to Reach Elite Eight

All year, it seems Arizona has been waiting for one thing or another to catch up to the Wildcats to prevent them from making a deep run in the postseason.

First, the injury to veteran forward Brandon Ashley was supposed to hamper Arizona. Then, the Wildcats’ poor free throw shooting was going to be the liability.

If Thursday’s 70-64 win over San Diego State proved anything, Arizona can continue to win under less than perfect conditions all the way to the Elite Eight.

Wisconsin Bucking History with Offensive Showcase in Sweet 16

Badgers demolish Baylor to reach first Elite Eight since 2005
Wisconsin Bucking History with Offensive Showcase in Sweet 16

The best way for Wisconsin to prove this Badgers team is different was the kind of game that encouraged viewers to tune out.

Wisconsin has struggled to advance in the NCAA Tournament in the past thanks in part to a methodical offense that hit a snag in the second round or Sweet 16.

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