Kentucky trailed for a 12-minute stretch late in the game before Aaron Harrison — OF COURSE IT WAS AARON HARRISON — gave UK a lead with three minutes to go. The two sides went back and forth from there until the Cats escaped with the close, and nerve-racking, victory.
After the game, Coach Cal had this to say about his players’ will to win:
I’m really proud of the guys. All we did, we were just scratching to stay in the game. I don’t know if our breakdowns, until I watch the tape, were us or Notre Dame being that good offensively. And I’ll tell you the thing on the side pick and roll and the empty side pick and roll, that’s on me as a coach. We never figured it out, we tried doing some different things and they just kept scoring on that, and Mike did what he should have, just kept going back at it. It was nice to see Aaron do what Aaron does, just a huge 3. It was great to see Andrew play an okay game, but make the plays down the stretch. It was great to see in the second half, us able to throw at Karl Towns, and they either were scoring or you got to leave somebody. And then Tyler makes that 3 in the corner. But we were just fighting to stay in the game, to be honest with you, and it was nice to see how it finished for these kids.
Be honest: you thought Kentucky was going to lose. Don’t lie. We’re all friends here. You doubted the Cats. You thought this was going to be the end.
You were wrong, thankfully.