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Instant Classic


Kentucky: 26, Rest Of The SEC: 25

The phrase is being thrown around all willy nilly like, but it would be hard to argue that today’s game was anything but an Instant Classic. The Cats looked sluggish early, and didn’t have the same pop they had yesterday.  But as Cal has said time and time again they simply refuse to lose, and that is exactly what they did today.  Here are some notes from the game.

-As you know, today was Patrick Patterson’s birthday.  While he remained too far away from the ball towards the end of the game (something that hopefully will be fixed over the next couple weeks,) Pat finished with 15 points, 6 boards, 2 blocks, 2 assists, and 1 steal. He also received a birthday song from an arena full of Big Blue Faithful in the second half.  It was a special day for Pat, and for all he has meant to Kentucky, it was great that he finally got to carry an SEC trophy to the locker room.

-As big as Pat was, though, the story with Kentucky has started and ended with the Freshmen this year.  In the final two Kentucky scoring plays of regulation, each of the Fresh-Three  contributed in huge ways.  Wall created a turnover and laid the ball in, while Bledsoe hit the first end of a one and one, and Boogie beat the clock to send it to overtime. Not to mention Wall’s huge off balance three at the end.  The Freshmen Three finished with 45 points, 19 boards, and 11 assists.

-Daniel Orton showed flashes of who he will  be over the next two or three years.  When Boogie got in early foul trouble, D.Orton came in and remembered to bring his offensive game for the first time this year.  He flushed a dunk and hit a sick turn around fall away jumper, before becoming his usual freshman self.  Orton at times is brilliant, and at times has huge brain farts.  In other words, Daniel is a freshman that plays like a freshman. But for this team, he is exactly what he needs to be.

-Kentucky lost the battle of the boards, 38-34. Varnado had a huge game, for sure, but there is almost no reason that the front line of Patterson, Cousins, and Orton should get out rebounded.  However, in every close game they play, that is the statistic that sticks out.  As long as the Cats win that statistic, I like their chances.  If they don’t, it becomes a bit more dicey.  Fortunately, they are capable of winning it against any team in the nation.

-Three pointers continue to be an Achilles heel, as Kentucky shot an abysmal 25% from beyond the arc.  But the cats made them when they needed them, and they have shown they are capable of getting hot.  Hopefully the threat of that will keep defense honest, but if not, Bledsoe seems to have found his stroke again so at least there’s that. Oh yeah, free throws have got to get better, too.

-Both teams were visibly tired by the end of the game, and you could tell by the way Kentucky’s shots fell off the front of the rim and the defense MSU was playing in OT.  Fortunately UK won’t have to play three games in three days again, but the intensity won’t be letting down, so let’s take this as a lesson.

-Funniest moment of the game is still up for grabs, and early favorites include John Calipari claiming he ‘only brought two suits,’ because he expected the team to lose early, John Wall tackling Rick Stansbury, John Wall tackling Demarcus Cousins (thinking they had won,) and Jimmy Dykes saying shooting at Cousins is like ‘trying to get a shot off over shrek.’  I’m sure shooting against cartoon characters may be tough for the color commentator, but I think even I could do that.

Matt should be by at some point with post game quotables.  After that, it’s everyone’s favorite show of the year (this year,) Selection Sunday!  See you there.

Go Cats!

Article written by Will Lentz

40 responses to “Instant Classic”

  1. fatcat

    all tourney team?

  2. actually

    all tourney was wall, bledsoe, cousins i believe for UK…stewart and varnardo for MSU

  3. Assassin Number 2

    Wall Cousins Bledsoe
    Varando and the other Mississippi State player.

  4. Stan

    Video of the Wall take down.

  5. TheBigBooyah

    For everyone doubting the Calipari no foul in the 2008 National Title game, ask Rick Stanbury where it got him. In ya face.

  6. ladylove

    john wall takedown #1, with honorable mention to the UK fans (and the wakeup call coach cal got about UK fans and the SEC conference trophy) for showing coach cal.. this is not the memphis fans he has seen in the past.. way to step up BBN!!

  7. Wa11 Street

    5- I am still a proponent of the foul. Make free throw + miss free throw + rebound + made shot is much harder to do than hitting a three. IMO

  8. ladylove

    if nashville was the BBN mist.. indy will be the BBN hurricane!!

  9. Jimmy Dykes

    Mississippi State didn’t want it very badly, and they didn’t need it very badly. I’m just bummed because I won’t get to use any more of my witty catch phrases ten times a game until next October!

  10. melvingroins

    this was one tough miss st team…kudos to rick…he brought his team to play but in the end the wildcats were a step ahead when they needed to be…

  11. well

    Lenz must not have kids. Shrek is a great comparison for Cousins- huge, intimidating, slightly goofy.

  12. davetro23

    come on Ohio State blow Minnesota out…Miss. State deserves a chance in the tournament

  13. Jimmy Dykes

    “How bad do you want it? How bad do you need it?”

  14. Boogie Fever & John Wall Dance

    Varnardo said he wasn’t getting on that stupid lookin plane of Jimmy Dykes with Shrek.

  15. ukaltheway

    Will – I thought all the points you made were good ones. I am thrilled that UK won the game and the title but if they have a day like today against a team in the second round or in the Sweet 16 they wll be gone. They’ve just got to fix the lethargy that seems to be more the norm than the exception these days. And there is no excuse for getting outrebounded by anybody. Still, a great win, a lot of guts.

  16. for shizzle

    Another ridiculous moment from Nessler: with those long strides it should be “Leggins”

  17. God is great

    I still don’t know why Cousins was allowed to receive the inbounds pass at the end of the game. Had he missed his 2nd free throw (which could have easily happened) then the 3 by Miss State would have sent it to 2 OT. I think Cal has to be smarter going forward.

  18. UKIreland

    I really though Cal made a huge coaching mistake not switching from man to zone on the big basket by Vernardo out of the MSU TO with about 2 minutes left. When UK continues to play zone the entire game it makes it easier for teams to prepare for us & also makes it easier for teams coming out of TO’s. I fully think UK should play man most of the time, but if we were to switch every once in a while it’ll make UK that much more difficult to prepare for, especially when teams take 10 seconds coming out of a TO to get a huge basket. I’m just glad it didn’t cost us.

  19. God is great

    Oh yeah by the way,

    Now who is the “REAL DESERVING” SEC Coach of the Year???

  20. Jimmy Dykes

    Did you know UK is one of the youngest teams in America ? But NOBODY has more talent !

  21. Cawood2Cal

    * Nazr

  22. actually

    I did know that.

  23. UKIreland

    17, I was thinking about that as well, I think he was the safe. He’s a big body, and I believe Cal has a lot of confidence in him. Plus it’s a confidence builder for him. Think about it, boogie makes that FT and now his FT shooting confidence is high. If he does miss, the worst that happens is that MSU ties it up, even if we lose it’s not the end of the world, we still get a 1 seed. I like the thought, it’ll help us going forward.

  24. OwensboroCatFan

    To Bruce Pearl: You like to boast that “The road to SEC Championship goes through Knoxville.” Guess what Bruce, there was a temporary detour through Knoxville while UK got its coaching situation settled. And now, for many years to come, Lexington is where the road ENDS for the SEC Title. All is normal again. GO CATS!!

  25. LIve Blog

    Is there a live blog for selection sunday?

  26. VilleCat

    How do we all feel about a possible 2nd round matchup with Matt “BEAST” Pilgrim or the birdies??

  27. I Abhor Jimmy Dykes

    I would rather listen to Dick Vitale do color commentary on John Goodman’s trip to the bathroom after getting into some two-week old chicken salad than ever have to listen to Jimmy Dykes call another game.

  28. martin

    25- probably not if matts computer crashed during the last liveblog.

  29. I Abhor Jimmy Dykes


  30. I Abhor Jimmy Dykes


  31. LIve Blog

    well— i hope they put up the live chats at worst

  32. davetro23

    Joe Lunardi is pretty annoying.

  33. CalsKitchen

    I don’t mind Dykes – he was a former UK assistant coach.

  34. BigBlue1976

    For me this was the best buzzer beater since Jeff Brassow in Maui for pure joy and elation.

  35. BPsycho


    Best shot I’ve seen since Beisner over Jones.

    Boom Roasted

  36. Crazy Talk

    we ve come a long way from that ball room with the mexican buffet behind the bleachers……goodness that seems like 4 years ago.

  37. ukaltheway

    I know we’re not talking about this….but I’ve got to say I cannot stand either Doug Gottlieb or Seth Davis. Those guys are so friggin pompous, so full of hot air — but they’re IDIOTS! The smug smile from Davis, the throwing out of mindless statistics from Gottlieb, trashing the SEC at every opportunity — it makes me sick. I vented and still don’t feel better….gotta go get a beer and enjoy the selection show.

  38. matt

    anybody know where i can get a replay of miss st/ uk game other than espn 360?

  39. CHris Smith

    I spent three days handing out flyers asking ppl to sing happy birthday to P Patt. He’s a very important person to a friend of mine and I want to thank everyone for following through on singing to our #54 at the 16 minutes mark!!!