Play It Forward: Nov. 28-Dec. 4: UCLA’s first trip to Kentucky could be a wild one

isaiah-briscoe-kentucky-v-ucla-iiwwukctxcjlOur best recollection is that UCLA invited Kentucky to Pauley Pavilion right about this time last season — a first for the Wildcats program. Ranked No. 1 in the country, John Calipari’s team with future NBA first-round picks Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere were then rudely handed a 87-77 loss by the Bruins before 12,202, many of whom streamed onto the court. It felt like some kind of Bruin payback for that 83-44 embarrassment the year before, which wasn’t even that close (UCLA had seven first-half points, remember). Plus, UCLA hadn’t defeated a No. 1 team prior to that since 2003. Thomas Welsh (21 points, 11 rebounds) was the surprising box-score leader, with Bryce Alford adding 15. In the end, that was the highlight of a UCLA season as the team lost eight of its last 10, fell below .500, and watched the Wildcats finish 27-9 before losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
This season, the 6-0 Wildcats are back at No. 1 and the 7-0 Bruins have moved up into the Top 10 after winning the Wooden Legacy and make their first trip to Lexington, Ky. (Saturday, 9:30 a.m., Channel 2, with Brad Nessler and Bill Raftery). Kentucky must first detour through the Bahamas to face Arizona State (Monday, 7 p.m., ESPN2) before taking on UCLA, which has six players averaging in double figures and hasn’t been able to display freshmen T.J. Leaf or Lonzo Ball on the national stage yet. Kentucky’s annual roster turnover sees redshirt freshman guard Malik Monk (18.7 ppg) leading the team in scoring, with freshman Isaiah Briscoe (18.0) battling some back issues.
The rest of the sports week at this link …

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Sunday media: Keeping it 100 with Chick, Vin, Bob and all of L.A.’s iconic broadcasters

wallThere’s a look at part of the wall of fame we have in our home office. The centerpiece: A signed photo of Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and Bob Miller, taken by the staff at Prime Ticket back in 2000 after the three did a sit-down interview together with Bill Macdonald.
Hearn’s 100th birthday celebration lands today. Earlier this week, David J. Halberstam took the opportunity at AwfulAnnouncing.com to compare the careers of Hearn and Scully — their approaches to broadcasting, their styles, their legacies.
From Hearn, L.A. got Miller to call games for the Kings, since Hearn was in charge of broadcasting hiring for Jack Kent Cooke’s Forum Sports organization.
How do we frame the careers of these three, plus Dick Enberg, Tom Kelly and Ralph Lawler? We asked Miller that he was thankful for this Thanksgiving Day weekend, as well as Dodgers play-by-play man Joe Davis, who takes over fulltime for Scully, and John Ireland, one of the successors to Hearn with the Lakers.
It’s all at this link ….

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Weekly media notes version 11.23.16: Thanks for giving us more Vin Scully memories

What we are thankful to post pre-Thanksgiving:

== Vin Scully has birthday No. 89 on his pocket schedule this coming Tuesday.
His presence is enough of a present for the rest of us at this point.
So much humility and emotion watching people like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks and Diana Ross enjoy seeing Scully (as presumably the only “clear Republican in the group”  honored among a room full of Democratic supporters) receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.
ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio  caught up with Scully in the White House escape route afterward.
Scully was told a day earlier that he is a finalist for the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award.

He was likely informed as well this week that his presence is requested at Dodger Stadium on May 3 during the 2017 season. The team’s new promotional schedule has targeted that Dodgers-Giants game as the one where they’ll honor him with a pre-game ceremony, most likely to add him to that perilous ledge of retired numbers along the left field line.
And how about the creators of “The Simpsons” giving Scully a shoutout (above) during Season 28, Episode 8 (overall episode No. 604 called “Dad Behavior”) last Sunday night, just before another Harry Shearer Scully-inspired call of a baseball game on TV that the three generations of Simpsons men watched.
Again, how cool is all that? Still. …
Maybe about as cool as this:

== The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir admits he’s been preparing a Vin Scully obit for years. It’s kind of what newspapers do, if they’ve got any sort of resources dedicated to such an important task. Now, Sandomir will move forward to the Dead Poet’s Society part of the organization.

== St. John Bosco’s CIF-SS Division I semifinal contest against last year’s state runner-up Centennial of Corona at Cerritos College is the Fox Sports West high school football game of the week with Sam Farber, John Jackson and Chris Rix (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)
The other semifinal — No. 1 seed Mater Dei against Rancho Cucamonga at Orange Coast College (Fred Salas and Ralph Brown) — leads the PrepZone/Fox Sports Go games at 7 p.m. Friday, with the title game set for Dec. 3.
PrepZone also has the Division II semfinals: Valencia vs. San Clemente (Paul Westphal and Chris Hale) and Murrieta Valley vs. La Habra (David Caldwell and Tony Moskal), as well as the Division III semifinal of Edison vs. Rancho Verde (Dennis Ackerman and Lorenzo Booker)

== On the topic of video streaming, the Wall Street Journal says that Amazon has been exploring that with its Prime members as far as all the major pro sports leagues go.

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NFL Week 12 in the L.A. TV market: We are among the 9 percenters who see Rams go indoors to get stuffing knocked out of them

52ae5156daa23-imageFox has only one game Sunday — and it’s the Rams, again. Going to nine percent of the country.
(When you have to spell out a number rather than give its two-digit preferred presentation, there’s something less large about it).
Also, it’s the guys you heard try to mush through things a week ago. So they have some context to the Team Goff saga.
Go ahead, pinch yourself. Or stay in the greater adjacent Stockton area an extra day to avoid that holiday rush back to L.A. to see it bright and early.
CBS is granted doubleheader status Sunday and has a work-around for its afternoon offering, allowed to have in place something up against the Rams (you guessed it, the Chargers, so it’s not real gem). At least there’s the Raiders to watch on the TV monitors at Target during that vital day of shopping til you drop (and bring your extra bags with you — no one needs the indignity of paying an extra 10 cents a pop).
Everyone plays, and NFL Network doesn’t get any games, yet CBS ends up with three, and two each Fox and NBC. Pass the stuffing.

The altered weekend schedule:
Thursday Thanksgiving Day games:
= Minnesota at Detroit, 9:30 a.m., Channel 2 (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms)
= Washington at Dallas, 1:30 p.m., Channel 11 (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman)
= Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth)
Sunday:
= Rams at New Orleans, 10 a.m., Channel 11 (Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale). Which means no sniff of Arizona-Atlanta, N.Y. Giants-Cleveland or San Francisco-Miami in the early window or Seattle-Tampa Bay (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston) in the afternoon window. Which is probably OK.
= San Diego at Houston, 10 a.m., Channel 2 (Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon) Instead of Tennessee-Chicago, Jacksonville-Buffalo or Cincinnati-Baltimore.
= Carolina at Oakland, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2 (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms), brisky skipping over New England at N.Y. Jets (Greg Gumbel, Trent Green) in this afternoon window.
= Kansas City at Denver, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, as Al Michaels continues to have the week off)
Monday:
= Green Bay at Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)
No bye weeks

And because you asked nicely, we’ll supply the channels for the DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket for those who can’t already figure it out:
Cincinnati-Baltimore: 705
Jacksonville-Buffalo: 706
Tennessee-Chicago: 707
San Diego-Houston: 708
Arizona-Atlanta: 709
N.Y. Giants-Cleveland: 710
San Francisco-Miami: 711
Seattle-Tampa Bay: 713
New England-N.Y. Jets: 714
Carolina-Oakland: 715

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