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We’re not dead yet.


Photo by @ukphotog

It’s gonna take a while to wind down from that one. The best way to cap off an exciting day in Rupp Arena? The most exciting game of the season. In front of one of the best crowds in Rupp Arena history, the Cats outlasted Missouri in a thrilling overtime win, 90-83. Before my adrenaline succumbs to exhaustion, let’s run through the win that may have saved Kentucky’s postseason:

Your Werther’s Original Player of the Game: Julius Mays. Mays earned the best BenGay massage of his life tonight. Before this season started, would you have believed that a transfer from Wright State would be this team’s saving grace? We always knew that his veteran presence would help this young squad, but Mays has taken ownership of the team, putting them on his weary back and dragging them to the finish. Uncle Julius had a UK career-high 24 points tonight off 6-12 shooting, including 4-8 from the behind the arc. Eight of those points came during overtime when the Cats needed it the most. Mays is stepping up in more ways than one, and told reporters after the game that he stopped Cal from correcting Ryan Harrow at one point tonight because he knew it would throw off Ryan’s confidence. Goodwin said this of Mays after the game: “He’s a great leader and he’s a great big brother to me. He’s like my best friend.” His off-the-court leadership was matched by on-the-court performance, and once again, Julius saved the day, playing all but one minute of the game and going so hard that he hobbled off the court with cramps. Julius, please go put your feet up and enjoy another rerun of “Matlock.”

— We’ve been hesitant to use the term “breakout game” this season because of the team’s inconsistency, but it’s hard not to use it for Alex Poythress’ performance tonight. Poythress was a beast, scoring 21 points off 8-10 shooting and grabbing 7 rebounds. With Nerlens out, the Cats needed someone else to step up and help Willie Cauley-Stein in the post, and Poythress rose to the challenge. Poythress showed us some of that NBA potential, fighting through double teams and finishing shots with ease. After the game, Calipari said it was the best Alex had played all season and that the difference between his play before and now is that they can run plays for him. In short, he was a G.A.M. (Grown A** Man). Even better? He knows it. “I felt comfortable today. I felt like I could step up if they needed me. I felt like I could make a play if I had to.”

— On Wednesday, we saw what a difference both Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin playing well can have on this team. Tonight, double that. As Cal put it, “when our guards play well, we will win.” Harrow was particularly impressive, posting 16 points, 8 rebounds, and six assists. Harrow came out of the gate at a sprint, scoring three of the Cats’ first four buckets and slashing through the lane. Missouri’s Phil Pressey is good. Real good. But instead of shrinking into the shadows, Harrow refused to back down and went right at Pressey. Many of us had given up on Harrow a few games ago, but tonight, Harrow showed us he’s not ready to give up. How important is Harrow to this team? UK is 10-0 this season when he has at least four assists. Even more, Kentucky’s guards combined for a whopping 58 points tonight.

— Can’t wipe that grin off your face? Neither can Archie Goodwin. Goodwin had an erratic game, at times brilliant and at times typical “Arghchie,” but his energy fed the team (and the crowd) throughout the game. Afterwards, Archie said that tonight was the most fun he’s had all season. Are there any sweeter words in the world right now to a Kentucky fan?

— Maybe these:

— Willie Cauley-Stein made his presence known in the post, grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds and blocking a career-high seven shots. Going in to this game, we knew rebounding would be key. Missouri butters their bread with it. After being outrebounded 27-18 in the first half, the Cats won the boards 23-12 in the second half and overtime. All in all, Kentucky won the rebounding battle, 41-39.

— Raise your hand if your heart dropped into your stomach when Julius didn’t pass the ball to Archie Goodwin at the end of regulation. Me too. Cal three: “How many of you wanted to throw up when Julius didn’t throw it ahead in regulation?” We’ll forgive you, Uncle.

— Don’t lie, at some point tonight you fantasized about what it might be like to have Alex Oriakhi on this team. It’s okay. One of the most satisfying things about tonight’s win is that it came against a really good team. This isn’t Vanderbilt–Missouri is good and if this win doesn’t get you excited about this squad, then you need to have your heart checked.

— Speaking of heart, the Cats showed it in spades this evening. Cal said that the loss to Tennessee took away the Cats’ heart and soul and smashed it. The difference between the team that lost to Tennessee and the team that beat Missouri in overtime? Perseverance: “What I told them after, what I’ve been trying to tell them all year, guys, if you miss a shot or turn it over or break down defensively, forget about it and just keep battling. They did a lot of that today.”

— Cal said the Cats also held each other accountable for their mistakes, which has not only spurred their play on the court, but brought them closer together: “They’re starting to be empowered where they’re holding each other accountable. …It’s better coming from a teammate than me. It is. They take it better.”

— Finally, major props to the Rupp Arena crowd tonight. They did this arena and program justice. The fans got here early, were loud from the tip, and stayed til the very end. Cal noticed: “This was as good a crowd and as impactful a crowd as I’ve ever coached in a building. This team needs that. Like the next game, they need to come back and do that again.” #bluehairdocare

It’s been an overwhelming day, from the GameDay festivities to an overtime win that may take us to the Big Dance. Relish it. We’ll see you in the morning.

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.

70 Comments for We’re not dead yet.



  1. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    12:56 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Amen NN!



  2. Greg Doyle JR.
    1:04 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Matt just said the game called by Bob Knight was gonna be a Tom and Mike special…….
    PREACH CHURCH TABERNACLE



  3. The Truth
    1:07 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Too bad this team dosen’t have Noel, cause without him uk is going to the big dance and prolly will be drubbed by uf again. Sad sad days that I never thought would happen under cal.



  4. What
    1:07 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Ok I googled G.A.M. and got golf assoc of Michigan, a woman’s leg, and a social meeting. Which is he?



  5. What
    1:09 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Interesting fact: Gam Is also a group of whales



  6. Cotton Nash
    1:09 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Mrs. Tyler for President!!!!!!! You are right on the money, Mrs. Tyler. Which is always the case. Go Big Blue!!!



  7. Hicks
    1:10 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Alex had ZERO turnovers and 21 points. WOW



  8. Kevin C.
    1:10 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    OK, I Googled “G.A.M.”…and “GAM”…and “gam”…and I still have no f_cking clue what you’re talking about, Mrs.T.T.



  9. Truu!
    1:14 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Awesome game! The crowd was unbelievable tonight! This team fed off the energy of the crowd!



  10. Roland65
    1:14 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Arizona St. losing tonight.



  11. rockatao
    1:15 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    one of the problems all year is that the twin towers (Noel and Cauley) playing together really inhibits the game of slashers like Goodwin and Poythress. No defense is going to follow Noel or Cauley when they move away from the basket so there are always two defenders waiting on anyone who drives the lane. Now there is a lot more room to maneuver on drives, so Goodwin and Poythress can have a much bigger impact.



  12. Cha Cha
    1:16 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    G.A.M. = Gay Asian Man?



  13. Me
    1:19 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I think G.A.M. is a typo and is intended to be H.A.M. or Hard As a MothaFer. That is exactly what AP did tonight.



  14. Jarweed
    1:21 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    The 1990 LSU game. My ears rang the whole next day. Loudest ever.



  15. Bob
    1:22 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I’ve corrected you on this before, Tyler, but Julius’ career high came last year when he scored 33 points against UIC.



  16. Bob
    1:29 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    According to UrbanDictionary:
    G – Greasy, A – Ass, M – Monkey. A person suggestive of grease in slickness or slipperiness. Seen mostly on human hair or skin. A person with G.A.M usually struggles to be included but is often avoided by fellow peers.



  17. theSkinny81
    1:30 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    17 – In other words, Mike?



  18. cat_crazy!!
    1:31 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    WOW!!what a game so proud of our CATS..this was a team tonight that we can be proud to cheer for the way they fought through the whole game and came out with an impressive win..maybe all those hard times we had this year are finally starting to turn things around for us..we have been in some battles this year and all thOse closo games are only going to help us down the stretch teaching us how to close a tight game out..this team might end up coming together after all and it couldnt come at a better time…if we play the rest of the season with the heart and passion we played with tonight we will be a hard team for anyone to beat..and #3 stop being a debby downer you dont know whats going to happen come tourney time…just enjoy the win…C-A-T-S…CATS CATS CATS……



  19. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    1:33 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #15–could not agree more. Worst seats I have ever had at Rupp. Sat two rows from the top after deciding to go to game 10 minutes before tip. It was even more loud with sound bouncing off of the wall just behind my head and Rupp was rockin as the Jackson/Shaq tiggers went home with a loss.



  20. CB
    1:36 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Game is being re-played on the U in a bit, if anyone else can’t sleep. Great win for us, and for the second game in a row I was flying off the couch fist pumping like Sharapova with double match points.

    At least four of Pressey’s lay-ups could have been wiped off with a charge, if a few guys would just slide one step over and take it. I hope they work some more on that. Why are they “getting it” all of a sudden? I think because Cal finally realized that screaming his head off at them was doing more harm than good. He’s stopped, and they’ve responded positively. That and dodgeball.



  21. MyBoyRoger
    1:39 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    You know Cal wanted to say something, but you gotta fear having him think about that one moment the entire OT. He had to tell him,”good shot. You almost had it. Good effort.” But what if he just looked him with a smile and said,”tryin to get that free State Farm insurance son?”



  22. BeauKnows
    1:41 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Great game execution by the team to contain Mizzou and put points on the board. We need to give Coach Cal some credit for having a winning game plan against a team that we did not match up well with. Pressey got his and Udacki but we out-rebounded them and didn’t let the rest of the team beat us.
    GO CATS!



  23. Bob
    1:52 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks Tyler!



  24. Bobby
    1:59 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Looking ahead to Miss St. they only played 8 guys in a 30 point blowout and only have 9 guys listed on the roster. Is this due to transfers, people leaving the team or what?



  25. Bobby
    2:00 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Oh never mind I looked it up and 2-3 guys had season ending injuries earlier this year.



  26. Hoosier Nation
    2:01 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #20 – Sad that you were able to get tickets 10 minutes before the game. Guess UK needs a better following for their team.



  27. Jarweed
    2:03 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Another thing, a tip of the hat to Pressey. Dude’s a terrific player.



  28. Heisenberg
    2:05 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    It could just be me, but the Uncle Julius old man jokes never get old. (No pun intended) Amazing game, and GO CATS!!! #BBN



  29. Mj7juice
    2:16 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Great game…Poythress = BEAST…RUPP was pumpin tonight…Go CATS!



  30. ILCatsFan
    2:19 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I work at a juvenile detention center. A few of the kids and I were watching the game tonight on tv. When Mays hit the three in the corner to put us up 9, the crowd was so loud it actually got the attention of the kids who were playing cards. Not an easy thing to do! Go Big Blue!!!



  31. Invisible Obama
    2:21 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #BlueHairDoCare…I love you Tyler.

    #TeamNF



  32. Jarweed
    2:29 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    And another thing, lost in all the HOOPLA .. Dickie V, once again, mentioned talking with Matt Jones during the broadcast. Congrats to Matt – I know what such a shout out means to him. Funny to think this would be happening from the humble beginnings of this place when I first visited in 2005.



  33. dick face
    2:52 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Stop calling him Uncle Julius. I love UK basketball and all of their players and also I partially enjoy this site (before you tell me to back off b/c its free and i dont have to visit it if I dont want to, S*CK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) OMG Julius Mays is older than the rest of the team, lets have Matt Jones coin a nickname that every single terribly uncreative writer on this site emulates day and night. Good god, Uncle is a racist term i dont care if the team calls him that or not, it is like a dictatorship on this site. Any opinion that Matt has is deepthroated by Drew and Tyler and the rest of the garbage crew. You all have become super lame. Anyway , Go Cats!!! Great win!!!!!



  34. BobD
    3:04 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone snap a pic of Archie throwing the 3-goggs after his second three. This team is finally having fun. The tourny better watch out.



  35. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    3:15 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #27–We were on probation with Hanson at center measuring 6’7″. The only seats left 10 min before the game were 2 rows from the rafters. Think about that numb nuts. 24k fans for a team on probation going against a top 5 team in the nation with Shaquille and Chris Jackson.

    You know the best part of the night? It was when we knocked them off and rushed the court. We celebrated the next year by placing it on the cover of our phone book. Oh, wait a minute. That didn’t happen because we expected to win against all the odds and acted like we had been there before.

    Anything else?



  36. Jpo
    3:21 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Where oldschool at oh wait we won



  37. Rupp Arena Crowd Tonight
    4:21 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I’m sorry, I know the game was exciting, but I was not “one of the best crowds in Rupp Arena history.” This is a little sensationalist–I’ve probably been to 30 games in my young career of going to games, and I can think of two already that were better than tonight’s. Keep in mind we’ve knocked off Number 1’s in this place–and our Little Brother.



  38. Ukbradstith
    4:34 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #38… You’re wrong, this was easily one of the best crowds in history. Sold out, on their feet 90% of the time, nobody left, and deafening. I really don’t know how the crowd could be better.



  39. WeWin
    4:44 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #20 It’s called 24000 plus. Something Hoosiers can only dream about.



  40. Ridge Runner
    5:17 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Just an unbelievable day and one that every Cat fan should be proud of. Good write up, Ms T as it summarized things very well. Go Big Blue!



  41. Ridge Runner
    5:21 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Also… 3 days left to vote!!

    Infinity Coaches Challenge, South Region current leaderboard has F. Haith with 28% and Coach Calipari with 25%. C’mon BBN lets get to voting and make that ground up! You can vote once per day.

    http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/infiniti/2013/vote2



  42. Newt
    5:35 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    BenGay? Matlock? Yeah…Julius is still younger than almost all of you, & probably never seen either of those two things. You’re supposed to be that old when you graduate college; be nice to have a couple more of ’em. More importantly, great win guys. When you get punched, punch back–all we can really ask for of a team this young. There’s an animal in you, Alex Poythress–gotta let him out of the cage more like you did tonight.



  43. Jimmy Dykes Is The Best
    6:00 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    I did a rim run to Starbucks this morning but hurried home to guard my yard!



  44. Jimmy Dykes Is The Best
    6:13 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Did you know that it is impossible to drop a dime while guarding your yard?



  45. Blueinfinity
    6:41 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    God, you are so full of yourself. How old do you think Julius is? Go watch another episode of Matlock? How clueless are you? Jesus! Sometimes I just want to poison everyone!



  46. RealCatsFan
    6:55 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    34, if ever there was an appropriate user name, you picked it. “Uncle” is a racist term, huh? If you weren’t so ignorant you would know that the nickname came from the Pepsi commercial with Kyrie Irving dressed up as grey-bearded old “Uncle Drew” playing pickup games on the playgrounds and dominating the “young bloods”. But never mind, I have just wasted 70+ words on a worthless internet troll…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DnKOc6FISU



  47. RealCatsFan
    6:58 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    42, 45, that applies to you as well. SMH…



  48. S. E. Sea
    8:09 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    “I felt comfortable today. I felt like I could step up if they needed me. I felt like I could make a play if I had to.”

    WTF!

    Poythress, son…..bring that daily dog; what R U waiting on?



  49. CatGrad02
    8:37 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Going into the season, who thought this would be such a big game? I mean, uofl beat missouri by 23 and they did not have Dieng.



  50. UKBlue
    8:38 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    To the sit down shut up crowd: YOU’RE FIRED Get Out, We don’t give No F’s what you think. If you’re old, tired, or just don’t want to stand up & scream, then keep your old a$& at home. There is no reason why the crowds shouldn’t always be that crazy in Rupp or Commonwealth.



  51. Never a doubt
    8:42 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    HELLO, What a ridiculous headline: We’re not dead yet?. HELLO, this is Kentucky basketball. Never a doubt. Man I hope the NCAA selection committee does not read this site.



  52. BigPerm
    8:53 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Nice win for sure. But lets not get carried away. Like the guy above said, uofl beat missouri badly and without one of their starters. Plus, Missouri is 1-7 on the road. What we can’t do is lose to Georgia on the road. Season over if that happens.



  53. kelkat66
    8:54 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    The most amazing stat of the night…. Alex didn’t step out of bounds with the ball !!!



  54. Reality Check
    8:54 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    You understand that 99% or more of the readers find humor in most of these ridicoulous comments. Anything beyond congratulating or supporting the team is a waste of time.



  55. TheBigToe
    8:57 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    #34–Go suck an egg, you silly troll. Warrant had a song called Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a book also named Uncle Tom’s Cabin. My niece calls me Uncle. Are the all racist? Shut up you ass hat.



  56. Mike
    8:58 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Seems like no one after the game wanted to hold Wusstjer accountable for his lack of play but that is probably best and hopefully just a 1 game aberration. He must have given up 8-10 pts. at the rim where it looked like he gave very little effort. Also, can’t wait until the next game to see if we will really be able to count on AP from here on out. Hard to believe that it took this long for him to try and “buy in” and other than hitting the pause button the last 8-10 mins. he was the beast we all knew he could be.



  57. Ricardo P
    9:06 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    It’s easy to beat a horrible Missouri team when you got eight players on the floor! Cal musta paid dem damn refs off yo. BS call after BS call.



  58. Hawkeyetim
    9:07 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Dear UK Basketball Team:

    I’m sorry I doubted you. I didn’t have faith you could beat Missouri and make the NCAA tournament. I was wrong. Nice work and good luck.

    From UK Fan Base



  59. GYERO
    9:20 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Ripping me off without giving credit.

    Shocked. Absolutely shocked…



  60. Gumby
    9:28 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Most exciting game of the year but disparity in foul shots is a little embararasing



  61. joe
    9:29 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Really happy for ryan. He played his butt off. I bet all the jp>harrow fans are pissed.they will still find a way to criticize the kid. Ive been saying it all year poy and harrow just need to have confidence. Glad they stepped up tonight



  62. Rupp Arena Crowd
    9:36 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    We want the players to give it their all while we usually arrive late, leave early, sit on our jello a$$e$ and only yell when we want someone to sit down. Today was an exception. We gave our tickets away.



  63. bung
    9:44 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Rupp is the best…good team effort…

    POINTS OFF TURNOVERS 1 2 3 – Tot
    Missouri……………. 8 9 0 – 17
    Kentucky……………. 6 9 2 – 17

    POINTS IN PAINT 1 2 3 – Tot
    Missouri……………. 24 22 4 – 50
    Kentucky……………. 14 24 4 – 42

    2ND CHANCE POINTS 1 2 3 – Tot
    Missouri……………. 10 5 0 – 15
    Kentucky……………. 5 7 2 – 14

    FAST BREAK POINTS 1 2 3 – Tot
    Missouri……………. 4 8 2 – 14
    Kentucky……………. 6 2 0 – 8



  64. Frank Haith
    9:49 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Well that sucked



  65. Freddie Cowan
    9:57 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Great summary Mrs. TT….you always do an outstanding job. Great win team, CAT fans are very proud of you. I wasn’t at the game but it sounded like a terrific crowd. Coach Cal, great job of coaching!! I loved seeing the smiles on the team. I love the nickname Uncle Julius who has been the heart and soul of the team. I love UK. I love this country. Nothing but positive comments coming from me!!!!!!



  66. Jimi
    10:35 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Well Done Men! My hat is off to Mr Goodwin & Mr. Poythress….
    Great team win!
    The BBN is ready gentlemen……..



  67. Al Purnell here....It's GOOOOOOD
    11:45 am February 24, 2013 Permalink

    What’s equally great after a good win like this, is when the Uvel, and Hosier trolls come out from under the piles of sh!t they devour on a daily basis. I’ll grant Uvel they beat them by 23 earlier this year, but if they were to play on a neutral court the score could be a little different.
    Actually it Doesn’t matter, for like I told Uvel and Hosier fans before, if both of them do not play for the National Championship game then their season will be all for nothing. You’ve given us hell all year long, now’s the time to put up or shut up.
    36…..EXACTLY!!!!!



  68. Mark Liptak
    1:06 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    This team has deserved the slings and arrows directed its way this season for some of the frankly bizarre things that they have done (or not done) on a basketball court. Therefore it’s only fair that they should be praised for showing the heart and intensity like they did last night to win a very big game against a good opponent.

    They still aren’t in the tournament in my book, but they took a big stride to get there last night.

    Kudos to the coaching staff and to the players.

    Mark Liptak



  69. Eddie Lashley
    2:21 pm February 24, 2013 Permalink

    Best crowd for me was gameday when #1 Florida came into rupp and got their brakes beat off. Worst crowd was Tennessee game during tubby time. Got beat ands was most orange I’ve ever seen in the building. Ppl if ya gonna sell your tickets make them display UK shirt first before they buy em from ya