Hello there, friends. I’m deep inside Bridgestone Arena, home of the worst WiFi known to man, and it’s a party in here. Confetti is everywhere, the Wildcats are dancing, and I’m pretty sure I saw Jerry Tipton funneling Sunkist. What a time.
Anywho, we have a selection show to watch here in about an hour but I’d like to put a few words on the internet about the game, if you don’t mind. I’ll hit my five biggest takeaways and then I have to get on the road for that BRUTAL drive back to Lexington on SEC Sunday.
1. Dominique Hawkins gets my MVP vote.
Sure, De’Aaron Fox was the tournament’s actual MVP, but my made-up MVP award goes to Dominique Hawkins because he was awesome throughout the whole run. Dom played three great games in Nashville at 26 minutes per game, which is well above his season average, and he has become a real contributor and a vital piece to Kentucky’s success. It is especially exciting to see his emergence as his career winds down. Go Dom.
2. I thought we were going to see a fight.
For the second time this season, the Razorbacks got a little mouthy in the final minutes of a loss to Kentucky. This time it began when Dusty Hannahs, obviously mad at his parents for naming him Dusty, dropped Dominique Hawkins on a hard screen. Then things got even dirtier when Moses Kingsley took down De’Aaron Fox with a hard flagrant foul:
All of that extracurricular activity is a bad look for the Arkansas players and it could really cost them some money in the upcoming FYR Macedonian Basketball draft. I can’t imagine any of those owners out in Bosnia are going to take a chance on a player with a bad attitude.
3. Malik Monk didn’t try to do too much.
Going into the game I was a little worried Monk would try to force the action to put it on the team and state he shunned coming out of high school. But he played a good game, didn’t ball hog or showboat, and further proved that his ugly two-game skid is far in the past.
And when I say he didn’t showboat, I mean his throat slash was awesome.
Probably should’ve been a technical there but I loved it. The kid’s been hearing it from those fans since the day he committed to Kentucky early in his senior year of high school. Throat slash away.
4. Bam Adebayo has arrived.
It took a little bit longer than some others before him, but Bam has turned the corner and he is playing great inside for Kentucky. Today he fell a rebound shy of a double-double while scoring 17 points and knocking down all but one of his eight free throws. Good work by the big fella.
5. I like my team.
Kentucky will enter the big dance on an 11-game win streak and the Cats are the only team in the top 16 seeds to have a perfect record since the tournament reveal back in February. Throw in the fact that the backcourt is one of the best two or three in the country and I’ll take the Wildcats over just about anyone else in the coming weeks. This could be a very fun run.
Tournament seeding coming up…