Daily Buzz: Julius Randle’s mom has a lot to smile about

Kentucky star Julius Randle recorded his fourth double-double in as many NCAA tournament games during Sunday’s Elite Eight win over Michigan — a performance that would surely make any mother proud. Unfortunately for the freshman Randle, his mom, Carolyn Kyles, actually had to miss most of the action down the stretch as Randle and the Wildcats held on to punch their ticket to the Final Four.

During Randle’s postgame press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium, it was revealed that Kyles had to leave the stadium during the second half with the Wildcats down by four. (It wasn’t specified exactly when she left, but the only time Kentucky trailed by four points was when Jon Horford’s dunk gave Michigan a 55-51 lead with 11:31 left in the game.)

Kyles didn’t want to go — she told the Louisville Courier-Journal she had never left during one of her son’s games — and she reportedly did so in tears. But she had to be back at work outside Dallas on Monday morning, and the final flight out of Indy took off too early for her to stay until the final buzzer.

Fortunately for Kyles, her son played just fine without her, scoring four points during a 9-0 run to give Kentucky a 60-55 lead that they never relinquished. The Wildcats went on to win on Aaron Harrison’s 3-pointer with three seconds left to play, and now they’ll get a chance on Saturday to play for a spot in the national championship game in Randle’s hometown of Dallas — where his mom will be able to stay for the whole game without fear of missing work.

“I’m coming home to my mom,” Randle said Sunday after the win. “We get to play in the Final Four in my hometown. … We just gotta take it one game at a time, and I’m just happy and proud of all my teammates. It will be a great experience for us.”

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Randle and Kyles appear to have a truly special relationship. Kyles raised Randle by herself, and at 6-foot-2, the former college basketball player Kyles provided some of Randle’s toughest competition on the court growing up.

“I would push him around. He’d fall down and hop up all mad. I’d throw hook shots on him, and it would just kill him,” Kyles told the Courier-Journal last week. “I couldn’t feel guilty, because this was the position I was in. I had to be both mother and father. I couldn’t be weak. I had to be strong. I couldn’t baby him. I had to make sure my kids were strong, show them how to get out there and fight for what they wanted. That’s what they saw in me every day.”

These days, one has to assume the 6-foot-9, 250-pound Randle could handle his mom on the hardwood, but you never get too big or too tough for some motherly motivation. So it’s nice that Randle — who wears No. 30 in honor of his mother — will get at least one more one more chance to play in front of his mom before he leaves Lexington for the NBA.

And if Randle turns out to be the top-five draft pick that most expect — and earns the money that comes with it — Sunday’s game may turn out to be the last one Kyles ever has to miss.

Now, for some links:

• Jose Reyes’ hamstring is already acting up — and after one at-bat, he is already on the DL. SURPRISE!

• Kentucky coaches and administrators made $330K in bonuses because the Wildcats reached the Final Four.

• How much does it cost to propose at a Major League stadium?

• Here’s a Padres ballgirl with an early catch-of-the-year candidate:

• The Cubs made the first regular-season replay challenge in MLB history, and lost:

• The Jets have stayed out of the DeSean Jackson sweepstakes. Could it be because they’re going to try to woo Chris Johnson, instead?

• Texas Tech senior receiver and Mets minor leaguer Bradley Marquez will forgo baseball this summer to focus on football.

• Kevin Ollie went to great lengths to make sure he was not dreaming after UConn punched its ticket to the Final Four:

• Andre Drummond also helped UConn celebrate its accomplishment:

• Kevin Love doesn’t sound too impressed with the Brooklyn Nets’ turnaround after a rough start to the season.

• Gordie Howe turned 86 years old on Monday.

• This guy is better bowling backward than you’ll ever be bowling forward:

• This is about as lovely a soccer game-winner as you’re bound to see:

• Tom Crean wasn’t a big fan of brother in-law John Harbaugh’s Michigan State hat at the Spartans’ Elite Eight game.

• Jim Kelly was scheduled to start chemotherapy on Monday.

• Dennis Rodman, everyone:

• Hey, now:

• FOX Sports Detroit set up this lifesize Max Scherzer bobblehead outside the Tigers’ opener:

• Michael Carter-Williams has a poster in the locker room meant to help him learn the names of all the NBA referees.

• Goose Island beers will be abundantly available at Cubs games this season.

• Warriors big man Jermaine O’Neal said firing coach Mark Jackson would be ridiculous.

• Elvis Andrus’ beard, though:

• Well played, kid:

• A venomous snake interrupted a rugby match in Australia: