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Cats Fend Of Feisty Fightin Rebels, Get A Win They’ve Needed

Congratulations to the boys in blue for finally putting together a game they have needed for a while, winning the revenge game by beating the Ole Miss Rebels 66-75.  There were loads of positive signs to take from the game today (and yes, a few negative ones too,) but if you could script a young teams first tournament game, I don’t know that you could have asked for more.

The Good:

—The psychological effect this will have on the team is great.  In their first win-or-go-home game, they got out to a strong lead, which was great.  They gave it up, which was not.  But in the end they fought off a team they lost a close game to earlier this year, and they did it away from Rupp Arena.  They now know just how hard these teams will fight to win – there is no rolling over in the post season – and they know they can take those punches and keep swinging.  Huge win for the Cats in my opinion, and not because of the opponent but because of the style. Now just don’t do it again, please.

—Darius Miller, despite picking up two fouls before I could get home from school to watch the game and sitting most of the first half, had a great game today.  Even with the foul trouble following him into the second half, where he played with four during a lot of crucial minutes, Miller was the leader for the team and along with Brandon Knight made sure Kentucky wouldn’t relinquish their lead.

—Brandon also played a man’s game today, despite shooting poorly the majority of it.  When it got to crunch time, Knight went anti-heat and made clutch shot after clutch shot.  There were plenty of times when it looked like Ole Miss was about to take the lead back and potentially steal one from Kentucky, and plenty of times when a young team might fold to the demons that plagued them in Oxford, but Brandon wouldn’t let it happen, and between those two, we may now have our end of game players.

—Lamb and Harrellson also deserve to be in this category as they lead the team offensively for long stretches.  With Brandon shooting poorly to start and Miller on the side, the points had to come from somewhere, and they came from Lamb and Jorts.

Deandre Liggins played a great game on Chris Warren – unfortunately Warren still managed to get 20 points.  Still, Deandre frustrated him a lot in the first half, and while he scored a team high, it came on 5-20 shooting, so big ups to ‘dre.

The Bad:

—We always knew that foul trouble could spell the end for the Kentucky team, and thankfully today it did not.  The officials called a tight game, and it put a lot of our players on the bench for longer than Calipari would have liked.  Still, it allowed for Hood and Vargas to get some time and while neither played great, both had moments that had to make you smile.  Still, the team will have to play smarter in the next rounds, because you simply can’t win if you aren’t on the court.

—This team is still missing the killer instinct – and it may be too late to get it.  It doesn’t mean that they can’t do great things, it just means that most games will be like today – get up a little, let the other team creep back in, lather, rinse, repeat. Consequently, I swear to God this was the longest basketball game I have ever watched.  I spent the entire second half just praying for those Big East refs to come in and tell everyone to go home.

The Ugly:

–Terrence Jones picked up an injury.  It doesn’t look to be too hampering (I mean, he played 24 minutes on it,) but you could tell it was affecting him at times.  He never really became a factor in today’s game, and if Kentucky is to win this thing, they need him to be a factor.

—After the game there were apparently some heated words between Deandre Liggins and Reginald Buckner – and it nearly came to blows. So far the incident hasn’t fully made it out, but most reports have Liggins jawing a bit at Bucker and telling him that they were going home, and Bucker tried to rush Liggins.  Both teams got in between the two, and nothing else really came of it.  Now, Liggins has a history with talking – but in reality he was pretty good most of the day.  But if you remember late in the second half, after Warren got called for a walk, Liggins attempted to take the ball away from him after the whistle, and apparently Old Reginald didn’t like that.  From then on the trash talking ramped up.  Some believe Liggins was just frustrated that Ole Miss seemed to be slowing the game down by delaying it after every turn over, some think he was just trying to get into his head, either way I don’t really see anything wrong with it, it’s part of the game.  And in the end, no harm, no foul.  But the SEC’s decision to have both teams leave through the same tunnel after the game was over is ridiculous. In my opinion, it is what really caused the issue to come to the forefront.  I’m told that UT and Florida entered through different tunnels, so let’s hope they learned their lesson.  But of course, if more breaks on the Liggins story, we will let you know as soon as we do.

Up Next:

—Alabama and the Starchy Goodness of Anthony Grant at 1:00 PM.  Kentucky will need to shoot better if they want to make it to the finals, but all the other pieces seemed to be in place, and with one road rival down, it’s time to avenge another loss.

Let’s. Go. Wild. Cats.

Article written by Will Lentz

96 Comments for Cats Fend Of Feisty Fightin Rebels, Get A Win They’ve Needed

  1. AustraliaCatFan
    8:34 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    First! A great day to hit the beach. 90 degrees in New South Wales

  2. Wildfan
    8:38 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    What time will they play tomorrow?

  3. EuropeCatFan
    8:38 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    what happened with deandre liggins?

  4. EuropeCatFan
    8:40 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink


  5. blazer85
    8:41 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Great to see Knight knock down big shots after struggling and Miller is starting to become a major match up issue for opponents – his ability to take people into the lane and score over them is exactly the other offensive option this team needs at crunch time.

  6. bung
    8:44 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    5 yep…Miller in the lane is the only thing we get in our 1/2 court……tj and bk 16 for 56 last 2 games….but we do look good when we run

  7. blueblue
    8:44 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Game time tommorrow is 1:00pm.

  8. Cat fan in atlanta
    8:46 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    It was Warren that Liggins tried take the ball from after he walked.

  9. cracka
    8:48 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    yup, that’s what i was gonna say … that was warren

  10. Cat fan in atlanta
    8:48 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins is the type of guy you HATE on an opposing team. Plays great defense, hustles his balls off, and tells you about it too, but I’m sure glad he’s on our team.

  11. Will Lentz
    8:49 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks 7, I just added it. And 8, I thought it was too, but reports were telling me differently. I’ll fix it.

  12. Big Blue 66
    8:56 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins is our Ron Artest and I mean that in a very positive way. I think Liggins is great

  13. WildCobbSalad
    9:00 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins…I love ya man, seriously I’m a huge fan, so don’t get it twisted BUT I do think it’s kind of a dick move when you try and take the ball from an opposing player after the whistle has been blown.

  14. Big Blue 66
    9:01 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    14, the other team needs to give up the f ing ball……snatch that thing away from em and tell em its ours

  15. tim
    9:01 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    I’m watching UT play. Mr. Smallballs needs a new first name! I give you “Blinky Smallballs.” That boy can Blink!

  16. Big Blue 66
    9:07 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    i hate boeheim and his pansy as* zone bs, other than carmelo has he ever turned out a good pro player?

  17. Alamo_CatFan
    9:08 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    wow, uconn blowing it

  18. Blueburg
    9:11 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Being a young team at tourney time we need a psychological edge coming in against our opponents. Cousins provided that “we ain’t takin no $h!t” attitude for us last yr and it payed off greatly. This yr Liggins is willing to step up and be the lightning rod and I love it. For the majority of the season we’ve been looked at as inexperienced, green and soft and rightfully so. Now we are fightin for every 50\50 ball, talkin trash and grinding out tough wins. So let um say what they will about us and our coach, the ‘Cats are comin to play and the other teams better be ready for a sluggfest. This team is comin as close as it can to havin some kind of swagger, which will continue to be much needed.

  19. Big Blue 66
    9:12 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Deandre is coming…….and hells coming with him!

  20. jim
    9:13 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    No. 13 +1

  21. Big Blue 66
    9:18 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    sycacuses junk zone is like watching an over 40 yr old church league team…..pitiful.

  22. Lex07
    9:25 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Why is Liggins even trying to snatch the ball quickly out of an opponent’s hands? It is not like we run any fast-breaks off opponent’s made field goals. That was LAST year with EB and JW.

  23. Mike
    9:27 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    TJ seems to be playing in a lot of games lately where he is not being much of a factor.

  24. Bluecalizone
    9:33 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    I know it’s probably been talked about in previous threads, but who was the scuff between in the tunnel?

  25. Ryan Murphy
    9:42 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Deandre talking about post-game altercation.

  26. Richard Smith
    9:45 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Knight was the worst player on the court tonight. That’s a fact. He did not deserve a “good” or whatever stupid thing you came up with. Get over it, tonight we won DESPITE him, not becuase of him.

    BAD GAME. Period.

  27. Some Guy in Kentucky
    9:54 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Knight hits some BIG shots, and also hit his free throws at the end of the game, when UK needed them.

  28. lexslamman
    9:54 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Is there any scenario where this team could climb to a 2-seed?

  29. AdamB
    9:54 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    27, I think you might have knight and jones mixed up. Just sayin….

  30. blueblue
    9:56 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Two of Lunardi’s projected #3 seeds lost today with Syracuse losing to UConn, and Purdue not only losing, but losing bad by 18 to Michigan St. San Diego St. plays UNLV at 11:30(Go Running Rebels!!). Florida is the other projected #3. We may get our shot at them on Sunday. Looks like things may be lining up well for that possible #3 seed.

  31. benny17
    9:56 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Here is a stat. We are 21-0 when we hold the other team below 70 points. We are 1-8 when the other team has 70 or more points.

  32. KYWineman
    10:01 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    #27 Are you on another planet? Knight didn’t have his best game but he came through in the clutch and we probably wouldn’t have won it if he hadn’t. BAD POST. Period.

  33. blitzedanddazed
    10:01 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Scotty SmallBalls came up on the losing ends again tonight. I am so glad this guy to UT.

  34. Some Guy in Kentucky
    10:01 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Maybe, Coach Cal needs to make a highlight tape to show Jones what plays he should try to make, because, he seems confused on what plays are his strenghts.

  35. Burlington_UK_fan
    10:04 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    We need these potential #3 seeds to keep on losing, but more importantly, we need UK to keep on winning. No way Knight and Jones have 2 bad games in a row.

  36. WildCobbSalad
    10:25 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    33. Agree 27 is dead wrong. Knight had a rough first half but he still made up for it in the second. Bad post.

  37. CatlantaBlue
    10:29 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    UK fans want late night notes.

  38. blueblue
    10:32 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    I heard Matt say on the WHAS post game that he couldn’t see UK getting a #3 ahead of Florida because they were the regular season champs. I have to disagree as I do see a possibility of UK with a #3 ahead of Florida. I realize they finished three games ahead of us, but if we beat them in the SEC finals, we’ll be 2-1 head-to-head with them. And that one loss was a 2 point loss on their home court.

  39. blueblue
    10:33 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink


  40. blueblue
    10:34 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink


  41. blueblue
    10:41 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Dirty Cards down 14 to Notre Dame at halftime!!! LMAO!!

  42. Robukpt
    10:41 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Sean McDonough: they are mopping up a wet spot in the corner.
    Me: someone please tell pitino this isn’t porcinis and to stay of the court!

  43. SteveNash
    10:46 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    If we win out, no doubt we will be a 3 seed. Selection committee will also be looking at our 6? game winning streak. Possibly 4? of those against ranked teams. Gotta win out though!!! Go UK!!!!!

  44. Computer Blue
    10:51 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Holy crap, Wisconsin only has 30 pts with a minute left. That should be an automatic disqualification.

  45. Burlington_UK_fan
    10:57 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Wisconsin and Cuse lose. UK wins the SEC = 3 seed!!!!

  46. Burlington_UK_fan
    10:59 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    36-33 Penn St. over Wisconsin……Gotta love Big 10 basketball.

  47. catinhat
    11:04 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    what is the sec’s record versus the big east this year?

  48. Alan Cutler's Fart
    11:05 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Just watched the video on LEX18, and I was supremely surprised by how much taller Doron Lamb is than Brandon Knight. I’d wage Lamb is a full 2-3 inches taller than Knight.

  49. you missed it
    11:05 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Cobb was also named 7th best player in the SEC in 2010-2011 by Chris Low on the SEC blog today. Show the football team a little love yall.

  50. dragonkff
    11:08 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    i love how the guys on the sec network cant seem to talk enough about how fl is the hottest team in the sec. keep ky on the down low and let us sneak up on you

  51. dragonkff
    11:11 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    by the way deandre tried to take the ball from both warren and buckner on 2 different plays

  52. CatlantaBlue
    11:13 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Does anyone know what the lowest seed to win it all was? Can’t seem to find it.

  53. md
    11:24 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    @53 Villanova an 8 seed beat Patrick Ewing and Georgetown in 85

  54. CatlantaBlue
    11:25 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    The Georgia Dome appears empty. How much $$$ does UK bring to the tourney anyway?

  55. Mister Miyagi
    11:25 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Show me way to Jones’ ankle…….I fix just like Daniel-san…..SLAP/RUBBBBBBBBB

  56. CatlantaBlue
    11:27 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    If this posted already… sorry, but the Ga Dome looks empty for all practical purposes…. how much $$$ do the CATS bring to the city? I say LOTS!

  57. Ryan Murphy
    11:30 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Do Rick Stansbury’s sons have some sort of hormone deficiency? I swear those little punks have been sitting on the end of the bench for 10yrs and haven’t aged past 8yrs old.

  58. CatlantaBlue
    11:31 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    54- Thanks… there’s always hope. I wood never have guessed an 8th seed. I did my home work by looking it up and it’s correct.

  59. CatlantaBlue
    11:39 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink


  60. bigbill992001
    11:45 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Looks like Disappearius has disappeared. Welcome to the team Darius Miller.

  61. radio podcast
    11:48 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    Where am I ?!?!?!

  62. hatred
    11:50 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    ben h. hate is an understatement.

  63. Sheeeeiiiit!
    11:57 pm March 11, 2011 Permalink

    27-that’s just a ridiculous comment. Total fail.

    I love that Miller is becoming a clutch player. He is a very good player when he posts up. We can almost guarantee he will score when he posts a smaller guy. Smart by Cal to call a play for him every time he gets a mismatch.

    I want to like him but I have a hard time with TJ. He comes across as a baby sometimes. There is something about him that bothers me. Anyone else feel that way? I hope he starts playing better. He’s much more likable when he has a double double.

    We need to win out here and get the three seed. It there for the taking and would be a friggin awesome ending to a frustrating season. Avenge two bad losses and take the tourney making us the best team in the SEC, IMO.

  64. CHOKE
    12:10 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Says ND. That was the most boring display of a top 5 team I have ever saw. Handsburger is the most overrated player ever. Besides siva

  65. RondosDribblingHand
    12:13 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Just seen J.T. on wave 3 news. Heeeeyyyy, Cat-tastic.

  66. RondosDribblingHand
    12:27 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    27=Douche. 64-I feel the same way about TJ. And yes, we will b the best team in the SEC if we win out.

  67. NotTheSlickistRick
    12:50 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    The only thing worse than being in bar with a bunch of filthy Tardinal fans is have those Cawds win.

  68. CatManBlue
    12:59 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Freaking Cards are going to get a higher seed than us.

  69. TheWalkerShake
    1:19 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Would Cal try to develop guys like Kuric and Knowles for the Tards? I bet they would ride the pine for us.

  70. got 8?
    1:20 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    @68…totally agree…and now two of the most hated teams in college bball playing for a title….FML

  71. RondosDribblingHand
    1:31 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Seemed to me the Tards got a lot of help from the refs in the ND game. Not that thats anything new.

  72. Hey Hey
    2:01 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Hey dudes and dudettes, What are yall doing here? The last ten minutes of “Don’t tell mom the bsbysitter is dead” is on!! Turn it on!!! Clown dog RULEZ MY LIFE!!!

  73. Jonathan S.
    3:19 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    uhhh what about Harrellson? He played a very good game.

  74. Culver
    5:31 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Liggins needs to grow up! He’s an instigator that is going to cost the team with a huge “T” at a critical time coming up. He needs to leave the ghetto ball in the streets of Chicago!

  75. Ukclassof93
    6:15 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Where is the freaking podcast from yesterday?

  76. I can't see the comments
    6:25 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Wisconsin lost ! That’s good. Louisville won, that’s not.

    We have to win this thing to get a 3-seed, and that would help if Florida or Texas lost the next one.

  77. bigbluecats350
    6:38 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    i know i hate UL winning as much as the next and wish there was some way for both teams to lose today but with ND, UL, and even UConn, its a win win for UKs RPI. Of course i hate all three but who cares if UL gets a higher seed. Remember Dec 31st? Unless ur a 1 or 2 seed, the road is going to be a little difficult for most of the other teams. How many fans really thought we would be better than a 5 seed when these losses started rolling in? hell, most were praying for next year to get here. it doesnt matter what seed you are. if u want to be the best. u have to beat the best

  78. Ukclassof93
    6:55 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Where’s the freaking podcasts????

  79. Enquiring Minds
    7:47 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Will take Darius Miller over Jones anyday!!!!!!!

  80. I can't see the comments
    8:10 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

  81. Mr. Economy
    8:10 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Krs staff equals late nite equals hangover equals No new posts!

  82. Mattcat68
    8:20 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    When guys like Liggins play for other teams they are labeled punks/thugs. When they play for UK, we call them “enforcers.” UK fans are hilarious!

  83. barn
    8:45 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    i think buckner might be the thug. he’s the one who tried to swing at liggins after the game, and had to be held back by a player and a coach. most players jaw back and forth in all games. i guess it’s just part of the game today.

  84. Smack Talker
    8:46 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    76- STFU with that “ghetto ball” talk. Would you rather he play “cracker ball” like J. Hood? Liggins has instigated nothing and if he does…well he’s our instigator and that’s all right with me.

  85. Smack Talker
    8:49 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    84- What has Liggins ever done that was thuggish/punkish? Also, enforcers are in hockey not basketball so I highly doubt anyone is calling him an enforcer. The kid lays it on the line every game all the time. He plays the game with passion and yes he makes mistakes. But thug/punk? I think not

  86. Eugene
    9:11 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    I thought your minute by minute was lousy. Too much internal discussion about personal things that no one is interested in. Not enough discussion and analysis about the game.

    Also your scoreboard and time clock are very slow. I turned to which were up to the second in reporting.

    I guess you’re a work in progress. How about progress!

  87. keepinitreal
    9:13 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    84 What’s your point?? 🙂

  88. Al's IndiCats
    9:16 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Bray of ND might as well just walked off the court in the lasst 4 minutes of the game. His coaching was horrible at best in late game situations especially when it comes to Pateener and his band of thugs. He just gave Lousyville the Big (L)east crown.

    I like the way Liggins gets in folks heads during the game, takes them out of their norm and has the opposing players think of him instead on concentrating on game plan. They just try to macho their way to get the best of him, 9 out of 10 times it winds up in our favor….

    I am concerned about how confident Bama is going against us. We need to start extremely fast and not let them back into the game. I also hope they worked on Terrence ankle last night. He had a terrible game, but we’re not going to win without him at least with his presence on the court……..GO CATS!!!!!!!!!

  89. Mike
    9:28 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Jones seems to have too much Demarcus Cousins in him without taking it to extremes like DC did. TJ seems to forget about team and wants to continue to do his thing. Has there been anybody else with that height and athleticism that has had as many shots blocked going to the rim than him? The disappointing thing is that Cal and supporting staff don’t seem to be coaching him up at all. He seems to be a likeable guy that is lazy at times and underachieves a lot as well.

  90. bung
    9:55 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    Hoods good…rebound, steal, good D, lead the break, hustles. I guess I like cracker ball #86.I would give him some of TJ’s minutes since tj is going 6 for 26 last 2 game (Knight is 10 for 30 last 2 games). Knight needs to pass to Miller more.

  91. NBA league pass
    10:57 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    92) you would give Hood TJ’s minutes? seriously. good lord.

  92. Blueburg
    11:28 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    91 Your undercutting comparison of Jones to Cousins is pathetic. I don’t guess you made it to Rupp last yr or saw Cousins play in person. I mean, you could see his passion on the screen, but you could really see in person how he played his heart out the whole game. TJ is more of an entitlement player ala Rod Roades/Randy Moss. Cousins committed to UK without even a visit and we all know the circus that transpired in Jones’ recruitment. TJ over-adjusts his shot inside overcompensating for possible contact. Whereas Demarcus was very aggressive and consistent around the basket, even amazing at times. It blows my mind how folks can be so critical of a FRESHMAN 1st team All-American like Big Cous. Yeah he was fiery but no one wanted to win more than he did. My biggest problem with Jones is his lack of self awareness which leads to his poor shot selection in critical points in the game. Cousins had a high basketball IQ and didn’t have ball nearly as much as the perimeter-loitering Jones. Remember Cous hit the putback that led to us winning the SEC tourney last yr. Cousins made our team a force last yr. Jones brings versatility but very little grit. This comparison is completely baseless and inconsistent.

  93. tom9698
    11:33 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    27 AND 84…Has anybody told ya’ll how big of a dipshit you guys are lately? Oh yeah,don’t want to leave out 92 !

  94. Sheeeeiiit
    11:53 am March 12, 2011 Permalink

    70- Cal develops all his players. You will eat your words when guys like Hood and Poole are great role players when they are juniors and seniors.
    The only reason Rick is playing those guys anyway is because Cal recruits the better players out from under him. Rick admitted that, its quoted in the SI article on Cal last week.
    But if you are so impressed with Rick and his team why don’t you pull for them and save us your negativity about Cal.

  95. Blueburg
    12:35 pm March 12, 2011 Permalink

    92 “Knight needs to pass to Miller more” -understatement of the year, so true.