In one of the most emotionally charged games I’ve ever witnessed, Kentucky was able to ride the three-headed monster of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe to a 29-point beatdown of the Vols. Tennessee tried the old “use the coach’s son to start a fight with the other team’s star player” trick and the “punch the guy in the nuts” move (we call that the Trimble County special) on DeMarcus Cousins, but it wasn’t enough to keep Kentucky’s freshman big man from getting 19 points and 15 rebounds and punking out about 15 orange-clad snitches to the tune of 74-45. The Cats now move on to play the winner of the Mississippi State-Vanderbilt game tomorrow afternoon for their first SEC tourney title since 2004.
Stay tuned for more shortly. And cover your junk if you’re hitting the town in Nashville. The snitches are out and they’re extra low down and extra dirty.
– First and foremost, you have to give the Cats major props for their defensive effort today. The Cats held Bruce Pearl’s band of merry muggers to 45 points, which is their lowest output since November of 2006. Matt said that the players all recognized their lack of focus against Alabama and would be ready for the game against Tennessee. Turns out, the lawyer was right.
– The only negative today was the free throw shooting of Kentucky, who made only 16-30 shots. They’ve been a little too streaky from the line this year and it’s not often that you’ll win a game against a good team, let alone blow them out, when you’re shooting like that.
– Speaking of the gimme shots, DeMarcus Cousins airballed a free throw. I’d like to see how he gets joked on tonight.
– He didn’t play an absolutely lights out game, but an 8-0 run by Darnell Dodson in the second was huge for the Cats. A pair of threes and catching an oop pushed UK’s lead from 9 to 17 with about six minutes left, efffectively sucking the life out of Tennessee. It should be noted that this was all sparked after smacking a ref on the butt.
– An interesting note: Tennessee shot the three as Bruce Pearl apparently thinks Kentucky does, making 2 of 15. Kentucky meanwhile, made 8-22. Not sure how Bruce explained that one afterward.
– In the greatest quote of the year, Bobby Maze said UK fans travel like the Million Man March. You can’t fit that many people in a Ferrari.
– A lot of jawing on the court all day but a surprising exchange on the Kentucky sideline drew some attention in the first half. Daniel Orton, who did a little jawing with Wayne Chism later in the game, had a difference of opinions with Calipari that lead to the freshman heading to the locker room while the game was still being played. A few minutes later, he returned and got a fist pound from Cal. Maybe he was just pooping.
– The second strangest exchange of the game came late in the second half and led to the ejection of Tennessee’s Melvin Goins after an elbow to DeMarcus Cousins’ junk. So, if you’re keeping track at home, a guy named Goins hit a guy in the groin. And then Cousins held his junk on national television. In HD.
– And, in case you had any doubts, seeing DeMarcus Cousins ball up his fist and yell “I’m going to f— you up” is absolutely terrifying. Melvin Goins is sleeping with an night light tonight.
– He did see some clock, but Jon Hood was wearing a knee brace. Has anyone heard if he’ll be available going forward or what his status is?
– I never thought anyone would show the passion on the bench that Dwight Perry did, but Josh Harrellson is a bench superstar. He’s mastered the art of holding back his teammates, he did some dancing and the move where you put your fist over your open mouth, lean back and point with your other hand. He even ran on the court and helped John Wall up after he took a spill. Jorts, you’re a sight for sore eyes.
– Before the game, Wayne Chism was introduced as a Kentucky player during the player introductions. At least ESPN knows who is who.