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Tennessee Baseball Gives Disrespectful Comments, UK Uses It as Motivation to Win Series Opener

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UT Sports

It is fair to say that Kentucky baseball has struggled this season. The Wildcats are tied for the worst overall record (24-2) and worst conference record (7-14) in the SEC.

While Kentucky has all but been eliminated from the NCAA tournament, with their only hope being the automatic bid from the SEC Tournament, the Wildcats still have the chance to win a big rivalry series against the No. 1 team in the country, the Tennessee Volunteers.

The Volunteers have been dominant this season, and could arguably be one of the best teams in modern baseball history, but could Nick Mingione and the Wildcats put up a fight?

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The Vols players and coaches didn’t believe so.

Ahead of the game, Sophomore outfielder Kyle Booker was asked about what he knew about Kentucky, to which he snarkily answered, “I don’t know anything, nor do I care”.

Volunteers’ head coach, Tony Vitello, was asked about the challenges Kentucky could provide, to which he threw a subtle jab and said, “their starters throw strikes,” an answer reminiscent of Steve Spurrier when he said, “Kentucky has a heck of a punter”.

These comments gave the Wildcats no shortage of motivation and on Thursday night they used it to their advantage winning in walk-off fashion after 13 innings, 3-2.

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The most impressive part of the performance is that the UK pitchers held the nation’s top offense to just one hit over its final 42 plate appearances and five total. This is less than half of Tennessee’s average hits per game (10.5).

Kentucky can clinch the series against the No. 1 team in the nation with a win on Friday or Saturday.

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Football

Topps to Launch Kentucky and Other School’s Trading Cards

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For good or bad, NIL has changed the landscape of college athletics and has created the ability for some cool things to happen, one of which was announced on Thursday morning.

Fanatics, who acquired leading trading card company Topps, earlier this year for $500 million, has announced that they will be launching a line of trading cards this fall that will feature collegiate athletes with their school logos for the first time ever. Whereas previously, school logos had to be airbrushed out.

The program will include more than 150 schools featuring both current and former athletes, including over 200 deals with current student-athletes at those schools. Fortunately, Kentucky is one of them.

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“We are excited that Kentucky student-athletes are a part of this exclusive new program with Topps and Fanatics which allows fans to collect official trading cards of their favorite current UK Wildcat athletes for the first time,” Jason Schlafer, University of Kentucky’s executive associate athletic director, told CNBC.

As for further details about the terms of the deals with the schools, they were not disclosed but most of the athletes at those schools will not get money. However, individual student-athletes with their own deals will be paid, with compensation varying based on their position, their public profile, and draft projections.

With the reignited interest in trading cards, I would expect these to be difficult to buy when they are released, so be prepared.

Are you guys ready to get your Oscar Tshiebwe and Will Levis cards?

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Men's Basketball

Jack Harlow Releases Kentucky vs. Louisville Themed Shoes

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Instagram/Jack Harlow

Jack Harlow is one of the hottest names in music right now. By the chance that you haven’t heard from him, he is a platinum-selling rap artist from Louisville, Kentucky.

Harlow represents the state of Kentucky well and is proud to display his home state in his performances, interviews, and apparel.

While admittedly a Louisville fan himself (unfortunate), Harlow has said that most of his close friends are Kentucky fans. In collaboration with New Balance, who Harlow has an endorsement deal with, a “friends and family” New Balance 550 was released celebrating the release of his new album Come Home The Kids Miss You, which showcases a Kentucky vs. Louisville theme.

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Each pair displays the colors of their respective schools and also features unique identifiers. The Kentucky pair features a checkerboard insole, as well as “Team Kentucky” on the tongue. While there are no pictures showing the details of the Louisville pair outside of the colorway, one could assume there are similar Louisville-related details.

Despite the fact that Harlow is a Louisville fan, it is definitely cool and good for the rivalry to feature one of the biggest artists in music right now. It also doesn’t hurt that Harlow’s close friend, Drake, is a Kentucky and Calipari fan.

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Other Sports

Tennessee Baseball Player Flips Off Georgia Tech During Game

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There are three certainties in life – death, taxes, and the classlessness of the Tennessee Volunteers.

On Sunday, Tennessee took on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in an NCAA regional game. Following a ninth inning rally, the Volunteers went on to win 9-6 to clinch their second straight super regional berth.

However, the win didn’t come without controversy as Voluteers’ right fielder Jordan Beck pulled a Rick Pitino and flipped off Georgia Tech as he hit an RBI double.

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Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first Tennesse athlete to do this. In 2017, Tennessee football player Rashaan Gaulden flipped off Alabama fans in a loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and received no disciplinary action.

With that precedent given, I would not expect anything more to come off this situation either, but once again, the Volunteers display their inability to show any class.

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