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SHANE SHACKLEFORD: March Madness & Other Thoughts


Welcome to March Madness! My name is Coach Shack and I am here to lead you down a rosy path where unicorns shower us with Skittles and fifty dollar bills.


Now that I have your attention, I should tell you there won’t be Skittles and fifties. But we will visit some hot button basketball news around the region, college and high school.

Let’s begin shall we?

Our first stop will be the St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls Sweet 16. I made my first trip to this tournament last week to watch the Harlan County Lady Bears make their debut. The Lady Bears competed well but unfortunately fell short to George Rogers Clark. However, I was very impressed with how professional the tournament was set up and the arena it was held in (Northern Kentucky University’s BB&T Arena.) Kudos to all involved.

The next stop takes us to Lexington for the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 set to begin Wednesday, March 14. “The Greatest Show In Hoops” is truly great for many reasons. A big one is the fact that it’s the last tournament in the nation to crown a single boys champion. Hopefully, this never changes. Every hoops fan should experience this atmosphere, the level of play, and, most of all, the ice cream at Rupp Arena.

The final stop is still in Lexington, the University of Kentucky. After winning the SEC tournament Sunday, the Cats were “awarded” with a No. 5 seed in the South Region of the NCAA tournament and will face 12th seeded Davidson. Should the Cats win, a match up with 4th seeded Arizona and probable Player of the Year Deandre Ayton. Win that one and a possible game with the overall No. 1 seed Virginia awaits. A tough draw no matter how you look at it.

And according to my fearless bracketology, I figure the Cats get to the Sweet 16 itself, falling to Virginia. My final four are Virginia, Purdue, Xavier, and Duke. Don’t hate me…

Enjoy the madness!!

Shane Shackleford is a regional sports writer for several media outlets. You can reach Shane via email at coachshack50@yahoo.com, Facebook, or Twitter @shack_daddy_1.


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