Double feature could be a thriller

November 17, 2009

One game will be a rematch of one of the greatest NCAA championship games in history, a chance to relive Mario's Miracle. And the first game could be even more intriguing.

Top-ranked Kansas will face Memphis on Tuesday night in St. Louis, bringing back memories of their 2008 showdown for the title and Mario Chalmers' last-second shot in regulation for the Jayhawks. The early game pits Arkansas and No. 20 Louisville, with coach John Pelphrey going up against mentor Rick Pitino with just six scholarship players.

"To have a doubleheader of this magnitude in front of a sold-out house will definitely kick off the college basketball season right," Kansas coach Bill Self said.

It opens with Pelphrey vs. Pitino.

Pelphrey was a forward at Kentucky in the early 1990s after Pitino took over the probation-strapped program. They helped bring Kentucky back to prominence in three years together, culminating with a memorable loss to Christian Laettner and Duke in the 1992 NCAA tournament.

Now he's facing a bind of his own. Just before the start of his third season in Fayetteville, Pelphrey suspended five players indefinitely, including three who were identified but not charged in a rape investigation. The decision has left Arkansas with eight eligible players, only six on scholarship.

•Kentucky freshman John Wall scored 19 points - including the winning jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining - to lift the fourth-ranked Wildcats to a 72-70 victory over Miami of Ohio in Lexington, Ky. Miami's Kenny Hayes had hit a 3-pointer to tie the score with six seconds left.


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