Keldon Johnson did not play his best against Seton Hall, but he still brought it when it mattered most.
After 39:58.9 of action, Johnson saved his best for last. He took one dribble and let the ball fly from just beyond half-court.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) December 8, 2018
Johnson’s prayer forced overtime, and he wasn’t finished. The freshman phenom hit one more big three to give UK a late lead. Unfortunately, each shot was soured by Myles Cale. The Seton Hall corner three with less than ten seconds remaining handed Kentucky a loss.
Johnson’s shot is not the first, nor will it be the last, clutch Kentucky shot in a loss. The forgotten big plays were great at the moment, just not meant to last.
2005: Sparks Rolls Around the Rim
It was the best moment of my UK fandom as a child, even though Kentucky eventually lost the Elite Eight game to Michigan State in three overtimes. The ball touched every part of the rim, before it rolled in and sent Sparks into a frenzy, screaming in Billy Packer’s direction at the scorer’s tackle.
1997: Epps Forces OT
A mismatch put UK down three with 18 seconds to play. Anthony Epps remained calm, cool and collected. A head-fake got the Arizona defender int the air, leaving him enough room to bury the three-pointer from the wing. A shot in the National Championship that would have lived in UK lore forever, it’s often forgotten because the Cats eventually lost 84-79 in overtime.
1992: Sean Woods Cleans the Glass
The shot before “The Shot,” Sean Woods hit a beautiful contested bank shot to give Kentucky a one-point lead with 2.2 seconds remaining. If only this was the shot that played in every NCAA Tournament montage.
Honorable Mention: James Young’s Dunk
This play is not in the same stratosphere as the previous clutch moments, however, many in the Big Blue Nation believed at the time it would be the moment that sparked another second half comeback. Instead, James Young’s dunk on three UConn defenders is just an asterisk in Aaron Harrison’s great story.