Will Trinity-Ballard Winner Win Another Title?

Photo by DAMON ATHERTON | Contributing Photographer

Photo by DAMON ATHERTON | Contributing Photographer

Hang on tightly because we are moving fast today!

If you want to know which team will wear the crown next week when the boys’ state champion will be crowned, you have come to the right place.

The next state king will be the winner of Saturday’s game in the final of the Seventh Regional at 2 p.m. at Valley High School. I predict a Ballard-Trinity battle.

Who will win? Ballard is due to nip the Shasmrocks, the defending state champions, but the Rocks seem to have Ballard’s number. The Sixth Region could produce the state champion: Bullitt East.

If there is a fluke and some other team should emerge and win the state, it will be Madison Central,  a Madison County school just outside Richmond.

Which girls’ team will wear the crown that Manual won last year? This answer is even easier than the boys. It will be undefeated Marion County, which is highly ranked nationally in USA Today.

Is UK dead? UofL?

Defending champion Kentucky has a good shot at being invited to the big dance. Unless Rick Pitino’s Cardinals do an el-foldo they are one of about five or six teams good enough to go all the way.

But Indiana is head and shoulders ahead of every other team because Mr. Everything Victor Oladipo is the finest player in the college ranks. He is our nation’s best and no one else is close. Missouri’s Phil Pressey also can dominate a game, but not like Oladipo.

If you have trouble with the IU star’s name, just say “Ola” and then “depot” like a train depot.

Oladipo is one of those rare players who can take over a game and won’t let his team lose.

Pitino’s Cardinals are off and on, but more of the Cards are standing up when they are most needed. I predict that they will go a long way, maybe even to another Final Four. And don’t be surprised if they go all the way. When they are all clicking they can beat anyone. But I must tell you that Georgetown looks almost unbeatable.

What happened to Notre Dame after the Cardinals took them to five overtimes?  Maybe that wore out the Fighting Irish.

Bow for Travis

Travis Ford should get some votes for Coach of the Year. His Oklahoma State team can beat most teams.

Let’s see how good you are in UK hoops history. What other Wildcat guard once coached Oklahoma State?

If you said “Guy Strong” you can go to the head of the class. Ralph Beard always insisted that Strong was the best set shot he ever saw. And Ralph would then say, “He held the ball up close to his nose like this and didn’t miss many.”

Strong once hit seven set shots against St. Johns in the old Madison Square Garden and was knocked out of the game by a football block by Dick McGuire (Al’s younger brother).