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Kentucky Falls to Ohio State 71-65 in the CBS Sports Classic

Kentucky is leaving Las Vegas empty-handed.

No. 5 Ohio State took control midway through the first half and never let go, handing the sixth-ranked Wildcats their second-straight loss. It’s only the second time a John Calipari team has lost consecutive games in December. Kentucky has now lost to the Buckeyes in back-to-back CBS Sports Classic meetings.

A sloppy start by both teams, when the dust settled from the blowing whistles Kentucky had an early lead. The tide turned when D.J. Carton made a layup with 8:30 to go in the first half. Kentucky never retook the lead.

Nate Sestina provided a spark for the Wildcats off the bench, scoring a career-high 17 points on five made three-pointers. Aside from Sestina, UK’s three-point shooting woes continued. Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley made a combined 2-for-10 from behind the arc, the only other two made three-pointers by the Cats.

It’s a real shame that what happens in Vegas doesn’t actually stay in Vegas.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

70 Comments for Kentucky Falls to Ohio State 71-65 in the CBS Sports Classic



  1. jaw2152
    7:57 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Pathetic again. Maxey takes too many threes for a 20% shooter. Richards will never be good. Tired of these overhyped classes that “get it together” by March and then flame out in tourney anyway.



  2. DelrayCat
    7:58 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    The SEC will eat this bunch of softies alive. They will be very lucky to win 20 games. Easily a 12-13 loss team…and likely NIT bound. The scary part, this whole thing could go south in a hurry, and it could be worse than that. The UL game is crucial.



  3. Righteous1
    7:58 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Going for the hat trick next Saturday!



  4. Looother
    7:59 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Just not very good right now. Reminds me of the Brandon Knight season…



    • runningunnin.454
      8:46 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      You mean when we went to the Final Four?



    • CwoodCat
      8:46 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah…not so much…Doron Lamb (shooter), Brandon Knight (shooter and great basketball IQ), Terrance Jones (reckless as a freshman, but best athlete on the floor in every game), Jorts (tough inside player, good basketball IQ, good shooter), liggins (lock down defender). You’ve got your teams confused…this team is the 2013 team…only they won’t have the excuse of losing their best player to a knee injury.



  5. DelrayCat
    7:59 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Without question, this will be worst or second worst team in the Cal era.



    • DelrayCat
      8:24 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      The competition is between this team and 2012-2013 who finished 21-12 losing to Robert Morris 1st Round NIT.
      Harrow worse than Hagans
      Goodwin and Maxey basically even
      Julius Mays and IQ even
      Willie Cauley and Poythress better than EJ and Nick
      And Wiltjer was bascially a little better than Sestina.
      Seriously, I’d give the edge to the 2012-2013 team.



    • TPACAT
      10:53 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      That’s because we’re in the business of “changing lives” these days, not winning championships…



    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      10:53 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      This team compares more as a whole to the Skal year. And will probably fair about the same. Good guards, no inside presence.



  6. classof68
    8:00 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    They would have won that game if we had one good big man. But, being a minor name in college basketball, we can’t recruit and sign one. Richards and Montgomery were wasted scholarships. Cal has put recruiting on cruise control the last few years.



    • tmcclan16
      8:09 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      This team flat does not have an inside presence. This team flat sucks. Embarrassing another NIT or CBA team



  7. Looother
    8:00 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Utah getting blown out by SDSU…



  8. binarysolo
    8:01 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Same story every year. Pre-season media hype, Cal talking about “this might be my best [defensive/shooting/etc] team yet”, don’t live up to expectations early, pray it all comes together when the SEC tournament rolls around. And whether we go deep or flame out early in the tournament we’re already looking towards the next brand new roster. It shouldn’t surprise anyone.



    • Lip Man 1
      8:22 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Solo: Very true and today poor free throw shooting reared its ugly head yet again in a big game by a Cal coached team.

      We shouldn’t be surprised should we?

      Maybe Cal will have “figured it out” by next Saturday. LOL.



    • Megan
      12:21 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      Poor free-throw shooting, Lip Man? How many points did Kentucky leave at the line? 3 of 4 in the first half is perfectly fine. No complaints there, except the pitifully small number of attempts. 5 of 9 in the second is low, but it would have taken only two more makes to approximate the season average, which is among the best in the country.

      So that’s what you’re complaining about: two missed free throws. That’s what stood out to you in this game? There were far more significant factors in the loss, such as rebounds, personal fouls, Kentucky’s shooting percentage from INSIDE the arc in the second half: 12-17 (70.6%) in the first, 6-19 (31.6%) in the second. Each one of those dwarfs the two missed free throws that have grabbed your attention. I think you’re looking for an easy excuse to criticize Cal.



  9. Aar
    8:02 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Gonna be hard to dance in March with this record, this type to play and a soft SEC. Realism is not negativity.

    Lotsa guys having good games on different nights. Need 6 guys that will have good games every night.



  10. dave1964
    8:02 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    EJ and Richards are a JOKE.



    • lecantrell
      8:29 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      No Cal is the joke for not getting more out of them.



  11. DelrayCat
    8:05 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t understand why Brooks get only 9 minutes and EJ 27. EJ is terrible. Easily the worst player in the entire rotation. Cal is trying to get him going…but he is simply terrible. I mean really really bad. I mean I hate to pick on him, but damn. We thought he’d be one of the top 2-3 guys. He is just god-awful terrible.



  12. dave1964
    8:05 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Is it football season yet



    • cats646
      8:10 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Lol. I wish



    • lecantrell
      8:31 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Just wish Cal had the same ability to develop players like Coach Stoops does.



  13. sharpshooter81
    8:05 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    This is such a extremely overrated recruiting class. Go get players who can shoot!!!! And for the love of God, quit doubling and playing help D bc they don’t know how to recover



  14. ed.mueller
    8:06 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    We’ll probably drop a few more before it’s all said and done, but this is not a bad team. We’ll be fine. This team just lost by less than 10 to a top 5 team. Ok. What’s our ceiling compared to ours? We’re fine.

    With that said, I don’t like a lot of the shots being taken right now. Ashton can’t be the only guy getting to the middle of the zone unless you can park an EJ there and play high-low with him and nick to zone bust…there’s a lot that this team can do, but they don’t know what to do yet.



    • sharpshooter81
      8:08 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      They will lose more than just a few more. More like 7-8 more starting next Saturday.



    • mashburnfan1
      8:11 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Ed you are part of the problem if you believe what you said. It’s not about playing well in one game or losing a close game to a good team. It’s about consistency and being able to put together 5 to 6 games against decent competition to win a title. That is something calculate do as a coach and Kentucky can’t do when we have to rely on freshman every year. He loses to a severely less talented team in the tournament every year. Can already see with losses to Evansville and Utah this year is no different



  15. mashburnfan1
    8:08 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Typical Cal coached team. Usually I have to wait till late January to know if we have any title shot, this year we knew the answer in late November. But is the current UK, just worry about June. For all those screaming on the blog, why don’t we trap, why don’t we press, why don’t we zone, easy answer is that is not how they play in the NBA so Cal will sacrifice our chances to win to try to get them drafted. He has proven for 20 years, unless he just has by far the best talent he can’t win. Yet many of BBN accept this and think he is God. We will not win another title until Cal leaves.



    • sharpshooter81
      8:11 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Unfortunately, Cal isn’t leaving at least for 10 more years.



    • 4everUKBlue
      8:19 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Lol, yes! Deal with it mashbum!



  16. runningunnin.454
    8:10 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Some people need to get off the backs of 18-20 year old kids playing a game. Cal, on the other hand, makes the big bucks, and I have a couple of grievances…one, if the calls are all on one end of the floor, don’t whine and cry; technical be damned, look the ref right in the eye, and say “you need to get your head out of your ass before you suffocate”.
    Two, 5 points down with 1 minute in the game, all the length and athleticism in the world…and no press; I guess Cal can’t coach a press to save his butt.



  17. DelrayCat
    8:10 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I would take Mark Coury or Woo right now over EJ.



  18. cats646
    8:12 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Every year Cal hypes us up and sadly the past few years we haven’t been worth the hype. Fix it Cal!!



  19. tmcclan16
    8:13 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Hey but the only thing we’re gonna hear and is important is how many future draft picks we gonna have? to hell with doing what’s right for the University that pays you a shit ton of money.



    • makeitstop
      8:34 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      It’s the best we hv played since the opening game, and when u saw Doug Shows, u knew OSU would beat the line. That said, we had a shot until we a) missed our FT, b) turned it over or took bad shots by driving one on 3 or jacking from 25; c) we didn’t get one rebound from anyone but Nate and the guards down the stretch which pretty much tells u what the future looks like. Our guards went 2/14 from 3. Our big men not named Nate got like 8 points and 7 rebounds in 60 minutes of PT. That’s and adjusted 6 and 4 in 40 – no.way.you.win. We are talented but undisciplined and selfish in the backcourt and a donut hole inside. Cal needs to fire an assistant and explain next loss, another one bites the dust. The talent is there but no one is playing to potential. U can’t fire players but u can fire staff.



  20. DelrayCat
    8:14 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Honestly, that 2013 team that lost to Robert Morris probably wins 7 or 10 from this team. Willie Cauley and Wiltjer would eat Nick and EJ alive. Poythress was better than Whitney and Brooks.



    • DelrayCat
      8:18 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Harrow EJ
      WCS > Richards
      Wiltjer = Sestina

      I’d give the edge to 2013.



    • DelrayCat
      8:21 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Crap…try again….
      Hagans better than Harrow
      Goodwin and Maxey basically even
      Julius Mays and IQ even
      Willie Cauley and Poythress better than EJ and Nick
      And Wiltjer was bascially a little better than Sestina.
      Seriously, I’d give the edge to 2012-2013 team.



  21. tmcclan16
    8:15 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    The greatest part of this comment section will be all the hill jacks that will get on here saying “if we want to win a title this year” lol title is out of reach my friends



    • runningunnin.454
      8:23 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      There aren’t any great teams this year; OSU is one of the best, and we stayed right with them while they shot twice as many FT’s. Gonzaga is probably the most complete team.
      I’m not saying we can win a title; but, we will get better.



  22. CahillsCrossingNT
    8:17 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Kentucky is a has-been. It’s that simple. And it’s happened on Calipari’s watch.



    • lecantrell
      8:42 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Unfortunately got to agree. As long as Cal continues his present “coaching process,” UK will never hang another banner in the rafters. Been following UK basketball for 46 years. The last 8 years have been disgusting. Probably make some people mad, but RP would have hung at least 6 more banners with the talent Cal has had since 2012. Even Billy the Kid would probably have had at least one. The Kid didn’t have the level of talent that Cal has had over the years. Look what RP did 96, 97, and 98. I know Smith was at UK in 98, but the players relied on the coaching from the previous year. Sadly, the best days of the UK basketball program are gone.



    • runningunnin.454
      8:57 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Pretty good class coming in next year; and, we may have some experience back, lecantrell. But, you’re right about RP. Cal needs to watch tape of RP’s press. Now, a team gets up 5 on us, with a couple of minutes to go, and it’s over…all we can do is foul.
      Hell, we didn’t even try to press til 18 seconds were left in the game.



  23. bigblue2284
    8:18 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    The pick and roll with sestina worked well, then Cal didnt run it again after the 15 minute mark. UK basketball has been awful to watch for 3 straight years. After the Monk and Fox team the wheels came off on recruiting and this is what we are left with.



    • catdaddyd
      10:52 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Why keep running what is working? Sestina is hot, so let’s go away from it and try something else. Quickley, at the end asking coach if we should foul and couldn’t even get Cal to look and answer him.



  24. bigblue2284
    8:20 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Not saying Cal is awful but for 10 million a year we could really get an elite coach. Maybe get a 5 million a year coach that would work better.



  25. BlueWildcat_99
    8:23 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    How is it that Brooks and Whitney are so poor all around? I mean, I get it; they’re freshman. But they look like they just don’t belong on the court. Whitney’s shots are just so far off the mark it’s like he’s never taken a shot before. And Brooks is a little better offensively, but that’s saying very little. They’re the two that really put us pre-season number 2. I just don’t understand how they both are SO bad. Just boggles the mind.



  26. Sig79
    8:23 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    5 Star losers.



  27. UKCatAttack
    8:23 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I thought the guys played pretty good today. Ohio State might be the best team in the country and today they played with 8 players out there on the floor. I mean seriously I’m not a guy who usually complains about the refs but they blew tons of blatant calls (the charge on Maxey and the walk at the end to name a few). I can’t stand Doug Shows he is the worst referee in the game right now and that’s really saying something. I’m looking forward to a day when computers ref games and we can watch these sorry refs take a walk to the unemployment office.



    • Dark Soul
      8:32 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      The free throw attempt by each team sais it all. We deserved do complain on the Utah loss but I’m not sure how any other team wouldve beaten OSU with these same calls against them.



    • makeitstop
      8:37 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Agreed – we lost every black charge and any contact on one end was a foul and body fouls went uncalled at our end. The last block charge was terrible and at the end they missed a 4 step walk and a 2 foot slide both of which resulted in points. Doesn’t fix Nick’s goose egg, or guards 2/14 from 3, but we might hv pulled it out w a more level playing field.



    • bigblue2284
      8:39 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      I get it there were bad calls. There is a reason Ohio state got more whistles, spoiler alert it isnt bias. Ohio state played faster and moved the ball better, this caused us to play on our heels defensively hints more often committing fouling. Stop blaming the officials and look right at Cal, thats where the blame lies. Since 2016 his recruiting has fallen off. Even when he had guys like Herro, Booker and Washington all are better in the NBA because coaches are letting them play to their strengths. His style is old and stale, elite recruits arent interested and now they know they dont have to go to UK to be one and done. Game over. Time for a reboot.



    • makeitstop
      8:44 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Bigblue – they didn’t miss the walks bc OSU pushed the ball and they didn’t miss the Maxey block/charge bc OSU was pushing the ball and moving better. They didn’t miss the body foul Sestina should’ve gotten for Wesson’s 5th for any reason other than it was a bad crew. That said: 2/14 from 3 for ur guards and ur center gives u 2 and zero and yea, ur losing.



    • Dark Soul
      9:09 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      Ur exactly right. If we talk about recruiting then you have to mention next years class which is the highest rated class since his first.



  28. TonyMontana
    8:32 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    If we had hit a few more and stopped them a couple of times, we would’ve won this game. Remember we got 18 year olds going up against seniors out there. Be patient, support your team, or find another team.



  29. sp
    8:32 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Richards – 2 points
    Montgomery – 4 points

    L
    O
    L



  30. JT55
    8:34 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Can we trade coaches with OSU? He has done a phenomenal job everywhere he’s been. Amazing to see a coach call a timeout, come out run a play and get a basket. Must be nice.



  31. BlueDeuce
    8:40 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I certainly won’t act like I know how to fix this group…all I see are a bunch of guys learning how much faster the college game is over high school ball. Don’t understand why they continue to do the same thing with the same results but hey, I’m not a DIV I coach! I don’t think they played terrible but can’t get 5 or 6 guys going at the same time so it’s left up to a player or two and when they miss, it hurts.

    What I don’t like…them all standing around while one guy runs side to side. That’s just too easy to defend. The pick and pop was working but only with one guy so OSU made an adjustment and that was over. Why can’t several guys do that? Also, what’s so wrong with the pull up two? I know it’s not a 3 or a dunk but it’s still worth 2 points right? Finally, I am not sure I have ever seen the “dribble drive” offense from Cal?? If I have, it’s outdated and it’s time to adopt a new scheme to run the offense! I honestly can see what they are doing on most plays…I figure even a decently paid DIV I coach watches film and has figured out the same thing yet UK continues to run the same stuff…years and years later.

    My final thought…Cal will play those who have the highest upside come June. Doesn’t matter if they win or lose, he wants to showcase the player who can and will be drafted. Now, I’m not saying there is anyone on the bench who should have been playing over those on the floor, just saying whoever has the most potential, gets the most playing time. Always has, always will, running the same offense that has been run the last 4 or 5 years.

    Final, final thought…not sure there is a “good” team in college ball this year so if UK can string together a few guys and pull a few wins come March, it’s anyone’s game.



  32. bankerbh
    8:47 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I’m giving them credit and calling it an offense. Albeit ineffective quite a bit but still an offense. Not sure I get why he has them continually dribble and pass outside the three point arc. No picks to get someone free or a look to the inside. Reminded me a little of the globe trotters.



    • makeitstop
      8:57 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      The problem is in a zone that screen doesn’t help u much unless u can raise and pop a 3 w a little opening, and we seem befuddled by a zone and only attack it successfully on baseline drives or runners splitting the D. If we could shoot, and make them play man, I think this would be a good team offensively bc they can attack but alas, it’s a Mason’s Lodge. And inside? Yikes. Again, if we could hit, the big men just clean up the misses and kick it out or turn and pop bc they are one on one but we can’t get anyone in a man D bc we can’t shoot. If we can’t fix that it’s a long dark winter.



  33. CwoodCat
    8:53 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    We had 57 points with 2 min to go and hit scored 5 in garbage time when the game was out of reach. FIFTY SEVEN POINTS…when was the last time a UK team scored 57 points in 38 min?

    This is all on Cal. Cal isn’t on the court in the game…but hes in the gym at practice.

    We lost to the 3rd youngest team in the NCAA on Wednesday and to a team full of 3 stars today.

    They beat us because of who’s in the gym at practice, the preparation and development that goes on during the week, and the adjustments that are made on the sidelines.

    Cal has said repeatedly this year that he’s been out coached. Hard to hear that from a dude that makes $7mil a year to do just that. Also hard to hear that same guy say “I don’t really have any answers for our offense”…

    He’s a good man…a good dad…a good husband…an example to young men when it comes to character and integrity. But I think the modern game of basketball is lost on him.

    And this is the last thing I’ll say…I’m beating a dead horse…

    Utah got beat by 28 today by San Diego State today.

    Ball State beat Ga Tech by 18 on Wednesday…1 of our 2 “quality” wins.

    Evansville lost to East Carolina by 17 and to Jacksonville state by 24.

    That’s it…I’m done



    • makeitstop
      9:01 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      The game hasn’t passed him on but he has a staff. It’s their job to prepare them for each opponent and to teach them how to attack a zone etc. I don’t know which one is the weak link but I’d cut it. Now. Don’t wait. The talent is there, the preparation isn’t.



  34. ohiokatfan
    8:54 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Maxey needs to stop shooting deep threes. He is killing us. Wasted possessions. I don’t mind him taking the occasional nook three, but come on. Show you can make it consistently from the arc before you go launching from 3 feet behind the mark.



  35. hohum
    9:03 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t understand Kentucky’s offense – the only way I know how to describe it is: Erratic (no structure, lot of stagnation followed by forced dribble drive runaway freight train into traffic with a circus shot that ends up in a charge, block, badly missed, etc). Right now the team is fundamentaly weak! Nick Richards is too stagnant, too slow to react and doesn’t know how to anticipate rebounds. He has weak hands and plays too soft – looks like Tarjan, plays like Jane. E.J. Montgomery has dissapointed as well. I think playing Montgomery and Richards at the same time makes us too slow. If not for Sestina, would have gotten blown out. It’s too bad Wiseman went to Memphis because he would have made this team scary good! I just wish Calapari would instil more discipline in this team and clearly define roles and get away from encouraging the dribble drive when this team isn’t equipped for dribble drive. Calipari is too stubburn to adjust defense or adjust the offense.
    I think a zone would help from time to time because our bigs and Sestina get lost on defense, don’t rotate quick enough to cover the threes and get beat off the dribble far too often and end up with a lot of cheap fouls. Khalil Whitney has no business jacking up outside shots or any shots other than a dunk – don’t care how open he is, until he proves he can consistently do it, he needs to just stick with what helps the team – play defense and rebound. The saving grace for the season is there are no dominant teams and who ever (Kentucky included) cuts down the nets, it’s going to require a lot of luck and favorable calls in crunch time by the zebras (the one’s today were terrible).



    • Miller45
      9:07 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

      They literally stood around and heaved up prayers against the zone I’ve never seen anything like it



  36. Miller45
    9:04 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I have never seen everybody on here so much in agreement



  37. Matt10
    9:43 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    I missed the last 10 min but the first 30 had some of the worst ref mistakes In a while. There’s 6 points at least.
    I guess Nate is our best NBA prospect. Lol!
    Hey Nick, 0 boards? Ouch.
    To be this bad and still close to a top 5 team at least says we can get there.



  38. Irememberharrylancaster
    11:13 pm December 21, 2019 Permalink

    Montgomery and Richards will produce ZERO offense. So, when they are in at the same time, you are playing 5 on 3. CAN’T play them together. NO inside game at all.



  39. Megan
    12:26 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

    Wow. Just wow, you guys. Nothing like a couple of losses to bring out your true feelings. Let me invite you to tune out for the rest of the season. You obviously don’t like this team, its players or its coach. So stop banging your heads against the wall and find something more pleasant to do, something more pleasant for all of us.