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Aaron Harrison gives Kentucky the shot for number nine

For the second game in a row, Aaron Harrison hit the game winner.

For the third game in a row, he kept the Cats alive with a clutch three.

For the fourth game in a row, Kentucky has been part of an instant classic.

For the fifth game in a row, they’ve moved one step closer to the National Championship.

For the sixth game, they will play for number nine.

I’m not sure anyone will ever be able to properly describe what has happened with this Kentucky team the past month. There is no way to do it justice. With their fourth unbelievable win, Kentucky has entered into destiny mode, storming to the National Championship game without fear. The one with the least fear? Aaron Harrison.

When Aaron Harrison’s three sunk into the net with six seconds left, it had to be fate, right? For a freshman to hit that shot two games in a row, and this team to make this turnaround, it had to be destiny. After the second straight joyous dog pile, the team raved about Aaron in the locker room, crowing gleefully about his balls more than any man ever should in any other context. Cal called him “Aaron the Assassin,” and when he was asked about it, Aaron simply said, “I like winning.” Well, thank god for that.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Let’s not forget Alex

“But I’m telling you, he is a terrific player, and if we’re to do something special this weekend, you all will be talking about him this weekend.”

John Calipari said those words on Friday about Alex Poythress, and man, was he right. For the second game in a row, Alex roared the Cats back into the game, scoring four crucial points and grabbing two huge rebounds in the final five minutes. He also had a key offensive rebound and putback that was part of 15-0 run by the Cats early in the second half. With Willie out, Alex needed to have a big game, and he did.

Cal said that he thinks Marcus Lee’s big game against Michigan “woke [Alex] up” and gave him the confidence he needed to have a breakout game. Like he said about Marcus last weekend, Cal said he knew it was going to be a big day for Alex Poythress:

“I texted him before because I had a bunch of my friends say he’s going to have a big game. I texted him, This is what they’re saying, man, I love you. He said, I love you, coach, let’s go have some fun.”

Afterwards, Alex got stuck at the bottom of the dog pile and limped off the court, but insisted in the postgame presser that he was okay: “I’m fine.” You better be.

© Matthew Emmons | Getty

© Matthew Emmons | Getty

Wisconsin hit everything, but Kentucky still didn’t back down

For a moment there, it looked like it was going to be a sad night in Dallas. After Kentucky’s big run, Wisconsin responded with one of their own, and just. couldn’t. miss. from the outside. However, whereas Kentucky used to shrink from these moments, they now seize them. All those losses UK suffered during the regular season have transformed from the burden they shouldered to the foundation they stand on. Right, Cal?

“Late in the game, they have an unbelievable will to win, and part of that has come from how they have been treated all season. They have been ridiculed, criticized.”

When I heard this quote played over the speakers in the press box, I literally started crying.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

One more

This was an unbelievable moment, but it will in no way compare to what happens on Monday if when the Cats win. And while no one can wipe the smile off their face tonight, Julius Randle says there’s no satisfaction for him yet: “I’m definitely not satisfied, We’ve got one more game to go.”

Hampered by cramps/tweaked ankle (conflicting reports), Randle wasn’t able to turn in his usual double-double, finishing with 16 points and five rebounds. However, he did hit some of the biggest shots of the game, and continues to be Kentucky’s most reliable threat down low. Dakari Johnson did his part, too, scoring ten points and pulling down seven rebounds in 18 minutes. All that worrying we did about Frank Kaminsky? Kentucky shut him down, holding him to only eight points and five rebounds.

As the lights go off around me, it’s good to know they’re still on for the Cats.

One more.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

110 responses to “Aaron Harrison gives Kentucky the shot for number nine”

  1. yargamel

    I can’t believe the confidence all of the players are playing with right now. Even Hawkins drove to the basket like it was nothing and got his tonight. I’m loving this.

  2. Ben B.

    Did you see Randle turn to Coach Cal during the post game conference to ask him the definition of ‘attainment’ in the context of the journalists question. It was truly a beautiful educational moment, these kids are getting the education that they need to do what they are planning to do as professional basketball players. They are learning to be professionals in their field of talent and choice. That includes learning to answer questions in interviews in appropriate ways – communications, financial management, behavioral management, marketing, pr etc. To degrade that as a non-educational experience is short sighted and unenlightened

    1. Jughead

      I poop too much. Then, I get tired.

    2. Jughead

      Correct punctuation will make your snarkiness last longer.

  3. Harvey T. Gene

    Fatt Mones, god you’re so funny. Mike was right, Cal is gone.

    1. Judge Irene Sawyer

      As for your Mr. Gene – you have assaulted my bailiff and made a mockery of my courtroom. However, given the extreme emotional pressure you were under, I hereby sentence you to lengthy community service.

    2. Is that is?

      Pathetic troll is pathetic

    3. Knoxville Cat Fan

      Hey buddy! We ARE Kentucky! Doesn’t make any difference who leads the team. Kentucky is the model where other teams measure their success.

  4. 2mites

    A terrific win for the Cats no doubt. I do not understand how a walk was not called on Jackson when he faked the 3 then lunged into Andrew. It was right in front of the official and no one is talking about it. Aaron hits the 3 to win it but the Cats should have been shooting free throws for the win and putting the game on ice. I wonder if the head of officials will look at that?

    1. Jughead

      Officials blow calls all of the time, just part of the game. No grand jury investigation needed.

    2. beavis

      The shooters have been initiating contact all year and the foul always get called on the defense. Hell, I have seen them jump 45 degrees left or right into the D and get the call. Nothing new there but that needs to be addressed in the off season with a rule change . However, how do you not call a travel ? Was not even a tough call. Just make it and don’t swallow the whistle.

  5. Catcounsel

    So proud of these Kentucky Wildcats, they have turned this entire season around after 5 games in the NCAA Tournament! I have seen all the talk about an appropriate nickname for this team after they beat Florida in the Finals on Monday. The only thing I can say about this question is what appears to me to be the perfect nickname for these Cats. How about “TEAM TWEAK”??!!! For any other members of the Big Blue Nation that have an idea about my proposal for a name for these Cats, please feel free to give us your input by just replying to my post, and all of the information will be right there in one place! Thanks Big Blue Nation, thanks Coach Cal and others, and thanks for Team Tweak taking Kentucky to National Title #9! Go Kentucky!

    1. Nick

      The will be playing and (hopefully) beating UCONN, not Florida.

    2. Jughead

      Er…the lack of response does not bode well for you. And, exactly what time is that UK-Florida game on Monday?

  6. Hendo Blue

    All you bandwagon fans who have criticized these kids all year long and called for Cal’s job….how you idiots feel now? Do you feel like morons? I hope so. Then again, maybe you’re the reason why they’ve done what they’ve done in the tournament. So from that perspective I suppose you can feel pretty good about yourselves. I just hope Cal has been ignoring you. I hope he stays a while longer. He should be coach of the year for what he’s done with these kids. But if he’s been paying attention to you, couldn’t really blame him for wanting to get the hell out.

    1. Paducah Cat

      This post x1000. It’s funny how all the negative fans that were constantly complaining after ever single game have now become mute and crawled back under their troll bridge.

    2. TheRealHambone

      KMA: Hendo and Paducah Cat

    3. Paducah Cat

      TheRealHambone: I’m just sorry you can’t go on another one of your rants like you did in this thread

      By the way, how does that big bucket of Kentucky Fried Crow taste right about now?

    4. Downtown

      You guys are going to have to get a grip. The South Carolina loss was inexcusable. The two Arkansas losses were inexcusable. Why do you intentionally ignore that to slam the fans who had every right to question the direction the team was headed? I think whats laughable are the ppl that criticize the majority of the fans who had issues with the team when THEY THEMSELVES had issues with them and are trying to jump on the “I never had doubts about them” bandwagon. Who’s the bigger liar? Even Matt Jones was having issues with this team. I guess he falls under the header too?

    5. Jerb

      Morons never feel like morons.

      That’s part of their problem.

    6. Axe Cop

      Old School is the absolute worst.

    7. Jughead

      There were not many supporters during that period. Talk about holier-than-thou, I told you so dimwits. Where were you, Elvis?

    8. Downtown

      @ Jerb. Hope you’re not calling Matt Jones a moron.

    9. Jerb

      I’m not calling anyone in particular a moron, just pointing out that one of the core attributes of being a moron is never recognizing that you are one. So saying something like, “I hope those morons realize they’re morons!” is kind of silly. Same thing goes with hypocrites, liars, or anything else that might harm one’s self-image.

    10. Downtown

      @ Jerb. Thanks for clarifying. Appreciate it.

    11. Bruce maynard

      The Calipari era is something we have never experienced in college basketball. The continual immature team. With new teams every year cat fans must be more patient. It’s fine to question losses and to even be frustrated to the point of dejection. But it’s not cool to berate these kids or the coach as they are going through the process. And it is a process. Each team is going to have a different learning curve. As a fan, a true fan of the greatest college basketball program in the universe what you can’t do ,is give up. I’m happy to say I never gave up. You damn whiners are rediculous. Go cats !!!!!!!!!!!!

    12. now what

      Where has MASHBURNFAN1&BLEDSOE’S BICEPS been? Those two great couch coaches with all the answers.

    13. Daniel

      the Worst part was people actually thought the Twins were bad at basketball….. that is just ridiculous

    14. Tony

      If ANYONE liked, enjoyed or thought this team was good, fun or played hard before this run …. YOU were And, Are An IDIOT ! This team didn’t deserve anything but the negative comments !!!

    15. L1C6

      Tony – this team DID NOT deserve negative comments. What makes you the judge that gets to decide what people deserve? I say they deserved support to keep working hard and fix the problems they were having. They got that from some of us, now you bandwagoners jump back on the wagon and want to talk crap to us fans that don’t bash our players?? Fans like you are the worst.

    16. TD

      Hendo, good comments. I’m glad I followed the progress of this group throughout the season. There were some good wins, but typical of young, inexperienced players plenty of ups & downs too. Similar to the 2011 Cats in many ways.
      Lots of people apparently are naive/gullible enough to think that a group of young guys right out of high school are going to come to college and start kicking ass will believe anything the media tells them. Those who anointed this group the best ever, etc were certainly on to something, but given the number of good talented players & experienced teams in college basketball this season it was way off base to have “the Tweakables” pre season #1. If every Div 1 team in the nation was starting all freshmen the lofty #1 ranking would have certainly been deserved and correct. In the real world, somewhere in the top ten would have been more like it.
      Tony/Mr.hyper-critical, these are young kids…not NBA superstars, not yet anyway.

  7. Concerned Cat Fan

    What are we going to do if Calipari leaves? I hate that Michael Wilbon could be right.

    1. BigBlue92

      I love UK, but if Cal wants to go back to the NBA and try again I support him. If we get #9 monday, then that man can coach in France for all I care. He has made us relevant again and added to our tradition. People need to let him chase his dreams the same way that he lets the players chase theirs.

    2. Downtown

      Brad Calipari will be a Senior. Cal isn’t going to move and mess that up. So, look at 2015, after Brad graduates.

    3. beavis

      Coach Cal wants to break that record UCLA has for the most championships. He has already tried the NBA and his coaching style did not work there. So, he wants more championships here, he knows he can’t coach those overpaid primadonnas in the NBA ( just ask Pitino) and Michael Wilbon has never been right about anything. Cal stays here.

  8. Andy

    Does anyone know where i can watch a replay?

    1. SKat
    2. mashburnfan1

      cbssports network channel is showing replay at 2am. On my TWC it’s channel 1322 not sure in your area or dish/directv what channel it would be.

  9. bmt22033

    If I still lived in Lexington, I’d spend all day tomorrow boarding my house up and getting the hell out of town in advance of what may happen Monday night… 😉

    1. Downtown

      You’re a little late. It started all the way back to Wichita State.

  10. DD

    So proud of my CATS! This has been one of the best years ever to watch!!!

  11. CATLANTA Cory

    Great post about an amazing night! Seriously got teary eyed. I cried like a baby when we won that game! Wow.

  12. Bill

    We’ve already had the Unforgettables. But in my mind, from this day forward, I will think of these kids as the Phoenix Phive.

    1. clancyhat

      I like the Phoenix theme

  13. BigBlue92

    Also, this UofL troll posting under multiple names about Cal leaving is hilarious. We beat you two games ago, little brother. Go cry yourself to sleep.

  14. UK fan up in arms

    What is UK going to do with Cal on the way out?

  15. Vindatuk

    I’m calling it: Willis Cauley-Reed! Come on, big fella!

    1. duckeastwood

      i like what you did there, but i don’t think so.

  16. Harvey T. Gene

    It’s times like these I enjoy knowing this run will X’ed.

    1. clancyhat

      oh, go to church

    2. Ben Matlock

      You get out of here! You can go in your dress or your underwear, but you get out of here – NOW!

  17. W.W.B.B.N.D?


  18. Vacaville State Prison

    That you Charlie Manson? See you still got that X on your forehead. Doh!

  19. will1976

    the streaming replay will be available here tomorrow

  20. Tom Leach Call Of Aaron Harrison Shot

    Listen to, and watch Aaron Harrison’s shot with Tom Leach on the call…

    Deja Blue: Kentucky Cuts The Cheese; Now Looks To Cut The Nets

  21. Silent Assassin

    Time for BBN to carry Calipari the way Cal has carried BBN for the past 5 years. What he and the players have done here has been incredible.

  22. blake

    Wow!!!!! I remember towards the end of the season all of the analyst were sayin for UK to make any kind of noise willie is gonna have to play huge….well obviously we have found other ways to win…not to discount willie is still as much a part of this run as Harrisons Randle young poythress lee johnson just the same as polson hood dom malone lantner long coaches…when they say team effort this is truly what they’re taking about. ….unbelievable and I love…..GO BIG BLUE!!!!!!

  23. slidemank

    The Cat Burglars stole another one! Number 9 coming up!!!

  24. KD

    This has to be the lamest set of comments ever on any post in the history of KSR. We just won a Final Four …..National semi-final Game! The good news is, when we make it this far, we don’t lose often. We’re CATS, we close out. Go BIG BLUE!

  25. Harvey T. Gene

    I roll my turds into little balls and eat crayons.

    1. FlySoup

      now you’re starting to make some sense!!

  26. FlySoup

    Strange coincidence… UCONN lost to louisville three times this year but beat florida twice… kentucky has beaten louisville twice this year, but lost to florida thrice

    1. Luther

      Good post. Match-ups can lead to strange results in basketball…

    2. Downtown

      Here’s another one: The 2012 champs are playing the 2011 champs, and we beat the 2013 champs twice…..

    3. catsrus

      Matchups it is. UCONN is a guard oriented team but we got the twins.

    4. Nick

      UCONN is a guard oriented team. I say we get a good deal of points in the paint and stick Hawkins on Napier for most of the game. I think Napier is too fast for either of the twins.

  27. Darren Ricketts

    2014 the year of the Classic Cats!

  28. rocco

    Full replay of tonights game starting on cbs sports ch Yessss!!!!!

  29. damond

    Hells yeah, I am going to watch it again. Was there ever a radio show tonight after the game?

  30. Ridge Runner

    Can’t describe my pride of this team. The comebacks remind me “some” of the ’98 team but the rest of what this team has done cannot be compared. I have followed UK since the left handed Kevin Grevey was putting up jump shots and I have never seen one player hit three 3’s in late game situations such as this. Aaron has ice water literally thru his veins. I couldn’t lay down to sleep if my life depended on it I’m so jacked.

    Also, nice article Ms T yet again!

    1. Luther

      Right on! Aaron bails out his brother – again…

      Go Cats!!

    2. Guy with the tatoo (9)

      ridge, I’m right with you sir.

  31. roco

    yea it was Epic!

  32. Bunny

    Nine will be fine!!!!!!!!!

  33. Etrain355

    Go ahead and retire Aaron’s jersey never seen nothing like this in my life thirty years of watching college basketball and never seen nothing like it go ban

  34. Blue Gray

    Aaron’s got balls the size of a Texas grapefruit. ..

  35. True Story

    The name for this group? The Miracles.

  36. Crofton Cat

    If it is time for team names yet then I am going with “Clutch Cats” Go Big Blue

    1. True Story

      I like it Crofton! 😉

  37. Mc

    How awesome! Stayed positive all season. Now how about those middle fingers to all the haters? Boom.

  38. Andy

    Somewhat off topic (plus it’s the middle of the night so who is ever gonna read this, right) but I would like to compliment Tyler on the article. A great read on a great night!

  39. Derp

    Floyd Money Mayweather just lost 8 million bucks… And UK won

  40. Unreal

    The Phoenix Felines strike again! Awesome game. Can’t wait for Monday!!!

  41. David Waits

    Nickname for this team has to be “THE UNBELIEVABLES” ! ! !

  42. David Waits

    Nickname for this team has to be “THE UNBELIEVABLES”

    1. Downtown

      That one works

  43. Blue Elvis

    To all the moronic and ridiculous “fans” who bashed on these kids and Cal, how does it feel now? Some of the irrational BS being said about the twins and Randle needs to be called out and shoved down your collective throats. This is undoubtedly the most epic run to a possible championship that any UK team has ever made. This is what being a fan is all about. To all the bandwagon haters, burn your UK gear, get a cardinal tattoo and move to Louisville. Suck on a huge dose of GTFO from the rest of the BBN. You don’t deserve this team or our coach.

    1. Jerb

      Can you not enjoy your team playing for a national championship without attacking other fans? That’s just as bad as the people who were bitching about the team a month ago. Be happy, celebrate the win, stop being negative.

    2. Downtown

      It’s easier to jump on the “I never doubted” bandwagon rather than admit “This team surprised me.”

    3. Bizzaro World

      Great comment Downtown- I dont believe any reasonable fan didn’t have strong doubts about this team accomplishing this amazing feat. However, theres a big difference in having doubts & being an outright douche about some of their their past performances. Back when they were losing to Arkansas LSU & USC I had strong doubts but still called out a bunch of so-called fans for just ridiculously idiotic comments. Told quite a few to turn in their BBN Cards. Even though I believe in the “I can say that because they’re my team but you’d better not” rule, that line was clearly crossed by some fans (I’m sure also by many UofL trolls pretending to be UK fans). For those fans i don’t think they’ll ever get it but I hope they might understand now how much things can change in the last 4 weeks of the season. 2011 should’ve taught them that lesson but if this run doesn’t do it, nothing ever will.

  44. ShowKiller

    Helpful hint. The next time you thank God in an article – the least you could do is capitalize the word God.
    That is all…
    Go Cats!

    1. Dr. Steve Brule

      but maybe she’s thanking Morhammed and not Jangus, did you ever think about that, dingus?

    2. Axe Cop

      There’s more than one religion in the world, numb nuts. In fact, some of them are even older than Christianity!

    3. el hombre juan

      This isn’t the world, numb nuts. Most people here are Christian just like in the middle east most people are Muslim. When we say God we mean God of the Bible when they say Allah they mean Allah of the Quran. Don’t think anybody over there would question it, but of course there’s always some smartass around here that just has to get their snide remark in. Well, very clever. The internets applaud you, jackass.

      Oh, and that religion that’s older than Christianity, it’s called Judaism. Which just happens to be the religion that CHRIST (get it?) practiced.

    4. el hombre juan

      And another thing, I don’t effect feel the need to go out of my way to mock an atheist, Muslim, Hindi, whatever….yet why does every smartass with a keyboard feel the need to make some stupid ass comment about how dumb Christians are, huh? Guess it makes you look really cool. Haha, you’re so funny. You must be really popular…jackasses.

    5. Really Popular Jackass

      Who goes on a religious rant on a sports blog? Same kind of person that brings up politics in every damn post on KSR now, I guess.

      Keeps your politics and your religion to yourself – no one else cares what you think – we’re here to talk about SPORTS.

    6. Do whut?

      Not too sure throwing around angry “jackasses” to other commenters really puts Christianity in the best light.

  45. hawkinsdidit

    How can you write a recap without mentioning Hawkins. His defense was critical to this win. He came in and shut down that three point threat when needed. But you have have more than just a passing fancy for this sport to have seen that. Then you need to have journalism know how to write.about it. Go cats. Win nine.

    1. MacGruber

      Well aren’t you just a ray of sunshine.

    2. Bang Brother

      Amazing how some people can still find a way to be negative after a Final Four win, isn’t it?

  46. harry

    cats by 7. Huskies back court is really good though.

  47. harry

    Hawkins will see more action Monday night, what a ride.

  48. Chris

    Everything’s bigger in Texas, including Aaron’s nuts

  49. jlm8699

    I try to be honest….
    OK, i am one of those fair weather fans, and i ran for the hills in Feb….

    Got hooked on KY BB late as adult, but I cannot beleive what I am seeing…
    If “IT” happens, may go down in Top Ten Sports Miracle lores of all time…

    Miracle on Ice Olympics Hockey
    Mike Tyson losing against Buster Douglas
    Joe Namath guaranteeing win in Super Bowl.
    Steelers Imaculate reception
    Runback Touchdown against Alabama

    Are we all smokng something?

    Awesome Man!!!
    Forgive me all, I know not what i do…
    This One and Done model May ? have the script of a long grueling year of dissappointment, then lights out for March….very hard to get used to….

    1. Jughead

      Get back on your Xanax, please.

  50. steve

    Here’s a sample of the unbiased media in this country:

    Would like to see replay of Andrew Harrison drive that set up shot. I’m sitting right on baseline, did he step out?

    – Pat Forde (@YahooForde

    What a LOSER!!!!!!

    1. CATandMONKEY

      I would never advocate violence against an ignorant member of the media…except in this case.

    2. Do whut?

      Might want to read his other tweets particularly postgame. He wrote some pretty nice stuff. I think collectively BBN sometimes goes out of its way to be offended.

    3. Bizzaro World

      Read the articles that Forde has offered on college basketball (not just UK related articles) & see just how many if them he somehow finds a way to jab at Cal, UK, or our fans. I agree that people, myself included, can be oversensitive to media biases real or imagined. However, Pat Forde isn’t one of those who ever deserves the benefit of the doubt given his proven history of trollery.

  51. Angie

    I like Procrastinate Cats! We always wait til the last second and make it happen!