The KSR #DriveFor9 vehicle is going back to Lexington, unfortunately, but let’s talk about that game real quick before we do.
Five quick, unfiltered thoughts from the scene of the crime…
1. Luke Maye is a name we will never forget. He’s not quite Christian Laettner, but Luke Maye carved himself a spot among the biggest villains in UK basketball history. The star of the game and Wildcat killer scored a career-high 17 points and hit the one that mattered the most to end UK’s season. Many of you on Twitter are reminding me that he is my twin brother, and I can tell you I will never be able to look in the mirror at this ugly bearded face again.
2. Malik Monk did nothing, then almost played hero. If not for Maye’s game-winner, we could be talking about the two incredible three-pointers Malik Monk hit in the final minute of the game to keep his team alive. Sadly he didn’t do much of anything in the 39 minutes before he led the comeback, but it was almost a magical performance in the end. We’re going to miss that guy.
3. Kentucky needed more scoring from De’Aaron Fox. After scoring 39 points and abusing Lonzo Ball, Fox’s performance underwhelmed against North Carolina. He finished the game at 5-for-14 from the field and never really got into attack mode, which is what Kentucky needed to pull this one off. This whole tournament run was in Fox’s hands, and he didn’t do enough offensively to punch the ticket to Phoenix.
4. The officiating was trash. Before I elaborate, please know I am not blaming the outcome on the whistle. But the officiating was objectively horrible and I never want to see John Higgins call a Kentucky game again. He was trending nationally on Twitter during the game and I hate him. I hated him when he called the Wisconsin game and I hate him even more today.
5. This is hard to swallow. It’s a sad time in Big Blue Nation. This team was the hottest in the tournament and peaking at the right time, and we all had eyes on that ninth title. Season-ending losses are never easy, but this one hurts more than most with what we believed was ahead.
Hang in there, BBN.