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Kentucky advances despite not making a three

© Brian Losness | USATSI

© Brian Losness | USATSI

If you told me Kentucky would be able to win an NCAA Tournament game without making a three, I wouldn’t believe it, but somehow it happened. Kentucky outlasted a pesky Davidson squad 78-73 despite going 0-6 from the outside, ending their streak of 1,047 consecutive games with a three-point basket. They’ll advance to play the winner of Arizona and Buffalo on Saturday.

This was a hard game for me — to the point I may have a white streak in my hair tomorrow — but let’s break it down before we prepare for a possible matchup with DeAndre Ayton and Arizona.

The streak is dead

Many are lamenting the death of Kentucky’s 30-year three-point streak after the Cats went 0-6 from beyond the arc tonight, but if it means they live to see another day in the NCAA Tournament, I’m fine with it. The Cats are far from sharp-shooters from the outside this year, but tonight’s performance was especially chilly. Davidson outscored Kentucky 33-0 from three tonight, an eye-opening stat that I’m choosing to find comforting instead of distressing.

“We’re not a team that relies on threes,” John Calipari said. “I wouldn’t like to go 0-6, but we’d like to make five, six, seven, maybe eight 3s. There’s other teams that need to make 12, 13, 14 to win; we’re just not one of them.”

Based on postgame remarks, most of the players didn’t even realize the streak existed, which will probably infuriate a good portion of the fan base but should put everything into perspective. It’s only a matter of time before the threes (or at least one three) starts falling, right?

Thank goodness for Kevin Knox

Knox finished with a game-high 25 points, including 9-11 free throws, to seal Kentucky’s win. We’ve always said that Kentucky goes as Knox goes, and thank goodness he was engaged tonight. While Knox was 0-3 from three, he did make the extra effort we’ve been looking for inside, which helped him get to the free throw line.

How about Shai?

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the first to admit he wasn’t perfect tonight, taking blame for being too selfish in the second half, but how can you not applaud his 19-point, 8-rebound, 7-assist effort? As has been the case for the last few months, when the team faltered, Shai put them on his back. With very little from Quade Green (4 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 turnovers), Shai came through in the end.

“He plays to win and he plays to make plays,” Cal said. “I like what he did at the end of the game. He took over, he made free throws.”

“Personally, I don’t think I played too well today,” Shai said. “Yeah, I’ve just been trying to do what I worked on and do what Coach is asking me, what this team needs me to do. Today I didn’t do too well. My shots weren’t falling. I got a little selfishness. I’m going to learn from it and get better for the next game and try to do better next time.”

Oh, Shai, you’re the least of our worries right now.

It’s a shame PJ Washington got into foul trouble

It became clear ten minutes in that Kentucky’s x-factor was PJ Washington, which is why it wasn’t surprising that when PJ got into foul trouble, Kentucky struggled. PJ finished with 11 points (5-8), 3 rebounds, and two awesome stank faces. This was my favorite:

That’s our thing now, isn’t it?

Shoutout to Hamidou Diallo and Sacha Killeya-Jones

Diallo and Killeya-Jones picked up where they left off in the SEC Tournament, continuing to fill the void left by Jarred Vanderbilt. Both had eight points, with Diallo turning in three blocks and Killeya-Jones six rebounds. Sacha’s dunk in the first half was so good this band member broke the internet:

Was fatigue an issue?

It sure looked like Kentucky was a step slow tonight, and while Calipari will jump on the chance to point out Kentucky had a short turnaround from the SEC Tournament, so did Davidson. Regardless, there’s no denying the Cats looked lethargic, which Cal chalked up to inexperience and anxiety.

“We were kind of running in cement and we weren’t focusing on the things we were doing in the first half,” Cal told Tom Leach. “I think they thought they were just going to win the game.”

Shoutout to Davidson

As the newly sprouting gray hairs on my head will attest, Bob McKillop and Davidson had one hell of a game plan tonight and didn’t give up until the very last second. While I’m very happy Kentucky advances, I’m prouder than ever to be a Davidson alum. Shoutout to my black and red Wildcats for a gutsy effort.

Thanks to Kelenna Azubuike, an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area, my dream of seeing Steph Curry in a Kentucky jersey will also come true:

Next up: Arizona?

If so, Kentucky better find their outside shot before Saturday.

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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.

26 Comments for Kentucky advances despite not making a three



  1. mhs1964
    10:42 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Wondered what Azubuike was doing. Still chuckle when I think of Tubby phrase, “ look like Tarzan but play like Jane”. Hope I’m remembering correctly.



  2. Smyrna_Cat
    10:46 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    What? The streak is broken??



  3. ukwildcat1991
    10:47 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Azubuike still plays????



    • BigBlueMeade
      11:35 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      He is a radio announcer for Golden State and does some G League gsmes.



  4. GM1978
    11:04 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    If you told me, I’d say that was the perfect gameplan vs a smaller team—pound the paint

    On to the next one



  5. peaches76
    11:10 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Don’t know why KSR wants to hammer home the fact we didn’t hit a 3. Alternative is hit one, keep the streak alive, and lose?



    • Han
      11:29 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      It’s a 30-year streak. It’s significant.

      And if we lose the next game, most of us won’t remember it 30 years from now, but we might remember we lost the streak this year.



    • maximumscott
      11:56 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Shut up.



    • ClutchCargo
      11:41 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      I couldn’t care less about a meaningless streak, now or 30 yrs from now.



    • ukcamel
      12:47 am March 16, 2018 Permalink

      It’s a fun streak, but ultimately meaningless.



  6. T-wah
    11:13 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Next game, Arizona? Not so sure. Buffalo is more than holding their own against AZ.



  7. dhard
    11:20 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Buffalo giving Arizona more than what they want



  8. gasman01
    11:24 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Buffalo OMG!!!



  9. Han
    11:28 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Interesting things are happening.



  10. dhard
    11:29 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    It appears buffalo may be our opponent



  11. ClutchCargo
    11:40 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Buffalo is schooling AZ. Ayton not really that much of a factor.



  12. Youngcat25
    11:41 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Bring on buffalo!!!



  13. Han
    11:41 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    When’s the last time a 13 took a 4 to the woodshed? Upsets, sure, but this?



  14. roachey45011
    11:52 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Ha ! See y’all Saturday Buffalo !!!!!!



  15. Alleykat16
    11:52 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Hey Han it just happened Buffalo beats Zona



  16. maximumscott
    11:56 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Buffalos guards accounted for 75% of their scoring? Whats the chance Cal brings a zone look?



  17. callitlikeiseeit
    12:02 am March 16, 2018 Permalink

    If we play like we did tonight and Buffalo plays like they did we will lose by 20 as well, thankfully we did not play them first. At least they only have a day to prepare, that should help us. Davidson is not good and we struggled, they were only in the tourney because of lucky game vs URI in tourney title game. PAC 12 is a joke like I said when you were all griping about the draw. Zona was a weak tourney champ, Pac 12 is already out. Sadly we did not get to see MTSU or St Marys cause committee feels they have to put power conf teams in, OK and ASU were a joke and hopefully that makes the future seeding take into account the last month of the season.



    • UK Big Board Update
      7:48 am March 16, 2018 Permalink

      Uh huh….. you sound mad we won.

      How is Louisville doing? The nice thing about the NIT is they get home court advantage and what am I talking about LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!



  18. Alleykat16
    12:05 am March 16, 2018 Permalink

    Well Arizona must have been looking past Buffalo. But its on with the show now we got Buffalo



  19. joseph_daniel
    1:20 am March 16, 2018 Permalink

    Apparently Davidson didn’t think so… Entire defensive strategy was to prevent Cats from “He’s on Fire” NBA Jam mode like that 2nd half vs Vols. If Davidson had a chance to gameplan again, I believe the same strategy would be implemented.

    The poise of this team to not panic when they tied it up at 52 and Knox almost air balled that 3. Shai is as cool as they come and will eventually solidify legendary status before he leaves campus. If I had to sum up SGA in one word, it would be all caps…EFFICIENT!

    I told my Pops that it’s about time a bracket blew up for us. This is that bracket. However, B-lo is legit and we will need to be ready. I have no doubt that Cal’s got this!



  20. joseph_daniel
    1:27 am March 16, 2018 Permalink

    Oh my, even better is the Brother in background with the approval nod and cray cray eyes!