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Takeways from Kentucky’s overtime win vs. Louisville

The last Kentucky-Louisville game that went to overtime was the 1983 Dream Game. Today’s edition was also a classic, but ended in a much better fashion. Thanks to a trio of very big heroes, No. 19 Kentucky knocked off No. 3 Louisville in overtime 78-70. The way it happened still has my heart racing.

Let’s run through it before we all go celebrate some more.

Nick Richards had the game of his life

Nick Richards wasn’t Kentucky’s leading scorer today. He wasn’t the second leading scorer. But, he was undeniably the player of the game, in my opinion. Coming off two disappointing performances in Las Vegas, Nick stepped up in a big way, notching his fifth double double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. That may not seem like a huge stat line in a game like this, but it was. If you count fouls drawn, he had a triple double, 13, 10, and 11.

“In Vegas and the game before that and I talked about it, and he came back and worked,” John Calipari said of Nick. “We had two great days and, really, three great days. And what I told the team is that he has to get the ball, we got to get him touches. If we can get him touches by how we’re playing, we just got to throw it to him. And Nick, you got to fight for position, so we must throw it to you. We put in a couple little wrinkle stuff for it. But the reality of it is, it was now we are playing. Proud of them, how he played in foul trouble and he still responded.”

Nick got going early, scoring and showing hustle on the boards, accounting for all three of Kentucky’s offensive rebounds in the first half. He picked up his fourth foul a little over five minutes into the second half and while he was out, the Cats struggled, allowing Steven Enoch to have his way inside and the Cards to take the lead. With just under nine minutes left, John Calipari put Nick back in and the junior responded, taking two big charges and scoring seven of Kentucky’s 17 points in overtime, including a pair of free throws to put the Cats ahead by two with 27 seconds remaining. The Bluegrass Sports Commission named Tyrese Maxey its MVP of the game, but after this win, we’ve all got Big Nick Energy.

Photo by Bluegrass Sports Commission

Tyrese Maxey stepped into the spotlight

After going 2-20 from the outside in Kentucky’s last five games, Tyrese Maxey finally found his shot, hitting four of five threes vs. Louisville on his way to a game-high 27 points. Maxey’s effort earned him MVP honors from the Bluegrass Sports Commission and proved that yes, he can make shots and maybe, he feels it more when the lights are bright. Maxey kept Kentucky in the game when Louisville rallied late in the second half, hitting a huge bucket to put the Cats up by two with 32 seconds left. After Louisville’s Lamarr Kimble responded, Maxey misfired on what would have been the game-winner, but made up for it with two big free throws to put the game on ice with 12 seconds left in overtime.

For the first time this season, Maxey’s entire family — including his father, who has been battling health issues — was in Rupp to see him play. I know they are proud of his performance, and so are we.

Immanuel Quickley was clutch

Like Maxey, Quickley has also been in a slump lately but eventually found his groove vs. the Cards, scoring 18 points off 4-11 from the field, 2-6 from three, and most importantly, 8-8 from the free throw line. Considering how close the game was, I don’t need to tell you this, but Quickley’s free throws were huge. Before each one, the CBS cameras captured him pausing, closing his eyes, breathing, and collecting himself before squaring up to shoot. I have no idea what Immanuel was thinking, but I know his family was going nuts. Consider this a shameless plug for my article about them from a few weeks back. Whoop whoop!

Speaking of Quickley…

Kentucky held Jordan Nwora to eight points

Jordan Nwora came into the game as Louisville’s leading scorer, averaging 21.2 points per game. Tonight, the Cats held him to only eight points, 2-10 from the field. Keion Brooks started the game and drew the initial task of guarding Nwora, but Kentucky’s backcourt all took turns guarding the Louisville star, specifically Immanuel Quickley. It paid off. Nwora made some noise in overtime with a three to put the Cards ahead 68-65 but thankfully, that’s when the Cats took over.

That Coach’s Box technical by Cal could have been huge

With 4:23 left in the second half, John Calipari drew a technical foul for going outside of the coach’s box after already receiving a warning. Nwora hit a free throw and Malik Williams made a layup to pull the Cards within one, which, admit it, you thought about when the game was tied at the end of regulation. Thankfully, Kentucky took care of business in overtime, but man, that could have been costly.

Bill Murray witnessed his first loss at Rupp Arena

I’m still not okay with Bill Murray being a Louisville fan (his son is on Chris Mack’s coaching staff), but I’ll admit it was pretty cool seeing him at Rupp Arena tonight. I’m sure he’ll find ways to forget the loss. May I suggest KSBar?

What does this mean going forward?

Kentucky is now 9-3 on the season, 11-2 vs. Louisville in the John Calipari Era (11-1 thanks to Katina Powell). Tonight’s win is big and will provide a huge confidence boost heading into conference play. Against Louisville, we saw what happens when Kentucky’s shooters make shots and there is reliable production on the inside; however, less than a week ago, we saw what happens when they don’t. As good as Nick Richards was, EJ Montgomery still struggled for the most part and Kahlil Whitney and Johnny Juzang only played two minutes each. Those are still big holes that require a whole lot of faith to fill.

That being said, I’m going to enjoy this win. After a really ugly season thus far, it was great to see Kentucky not only go toe-to-toe with, but beat the No. 3 team in the country. The fact that the team was Louisville sent tonight over the top.

Ls Down Forever.

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.

61 Comments for Takeways from Kentucky’s overtime win vs. Louisville

  1. 4everUKBlue
    8:24 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    It’s ok Bill, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So you got that goin’ for you, which is nice.

    • 4everUKBlue
      8:26 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      But in this lifetime it’s L’s down! Lmao!

    • 4everUKBlue
      8:34 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      Does Bill not know the drink of choice in Loserville is Crown Royal? Their fans don’t even know what Maker’s Mark is.

    • Cheli4UK
      9:48 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      @4everUKBlue, I have never understood the Crown Royal comment. I’ve seen it mentioned several times on threads. Would you mind explaining? I know many UofL fans, more than a few in my family, I’ve asked them and get shrugs.

    • runningunnin.454
      12:18 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      Cheli; I’m only guessing; but, I would say it’s because Crown Royal is a Canadien whisky, and that’s frowned upon in Bourbon country.

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:18 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      Actually there have been many pictures of UofLittleBrother fans with line beards drinking Crown Royal and acting like fools, probably not the class of fans you associate with Cheli. So I hope that explains it for you. Am I the only one who remembers that line from Caddyshack when Carl Spackler was talking about the Dalai Lama?

    • Cheli4UK
      3:44 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      I see. I really didn’t get it.

    • 4everUKBlue
      4:18 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      The best pics on KSR were taken down, probably for legal reasons.

  2. dcforuk
    8:27 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    It was probably more important for Richards to have this kind of game than Maxey. We know what Maxey’s capable of in a big game. Maxey knows what Maxey’s capable of in a big game. Neither we nor Richards were 100% certain what he was capable of in a big game. Now we know but more importantly, Richards knows! Maxey’s role was critical because Richards needed to have a great game against a great team to show/prove to himself how valuable he is. But, that could only happen with a win and without both Richards’ AND Maxey’s performance, there would not have been a win!

    • 4everUKBlue
      8:32 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      You make a good point dc, I hadn’t thought of it like that.

    • syrin23
      10:35 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      The best thing Richards did is not foul out. Last year, he would have been down and out three minutes after his fourth foul. Two calls against him were AWFUL, yet he was still effective. Man oh man though, does he ever get pushed around by strong interior players. That’s why OSU ate us up.

    • dcforuk
      10:48 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      It is one thing not to be strong. It is a different (but correlated) problem to not be strong with the ball. If you can focus on (offense) being strong with the ball, you will naturally play stronger and look stronger. Much progress, though! You can believe you are good but not play well. But, you cannot believe you are just average and play well. Today did much good for Nick’s belief in himself!

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:12 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      “The best thing Richards did is not foul out” wins the day for the dumbest comment. Good job.

    • syrin23
      1:54 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      The village idiot has passed judgement, and found to be lacking yet again. It takes real effort to be so consistently stupid AND bitter as you. I am sure you bring a special brand of misery to everyone you know.

    • 4everUKBlue
      4:20 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      You make a stupid comment like that and call me the village idiot? You’re obviously not smart enough to even be called the village idiot.

    • 4everUKBlue
      4:30 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      I guess his 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1 block to 1 turnover don’t mean much to you Einstein. You’re a genius among the bottom feeders.

  3. EdC
    8:29 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    There was a good reason for Maxey’s better production. Other than 1 shot his shot selection was far better than it has been for awhile.

    It is disappointing that Calipari couldn’t manage to admit he screwed up on the T in the press conference. Trying to complain that maybe the other coach might have been out of the box is ridiculous. He isn’t holding himself to the same standards he holds his players to.

    • 4everUKBlue
      8:31 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink


    • CrystalBall
      11:06 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      After the warning Cal was out of the box at least a dozen times before the T was called.
      Selective whistle?

    • Aar
      8:51 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      Maxey had better looks because they were at the end of the extra pass. This was the first time all season that I saw UK play a five man offense for 35+ minutes. Very few forced shots in this game from the entire team.

  4. salyer41
    8:41 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    Richard’s had a good game, well great game by his standards but he still got outplayed by the guy he was guarding. Our interior play will haunt us all season I think. Big step in the right direction for him though. Go Big Blue!

    • syrin23
      10:35 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      Strong physical interior teams are going to be a problem for us.

  5. UKCatAttack
    8:42 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    Wow Bill Murray sure does look rough. He’s look more like 79 than 69 (yes I looked that up). Anyway, I’m glad he got to witness that loss in Rupp Arena.

  6. dcforuk
    8:46 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    Anyone hear what MJ said on post-game? He said the 2010, 2012 and 2015 teams were best in country, the 2011, 2014 and 2017 teams were title contenders and the 2018 and 2019 teams could compete for a title if EVERYTHING went right. Finally, there was 2016 team followed in last by the 2013 team. He compared this 2020 team to somewhere between 2016 and the 2018/2019 teams. What say you? Let’s hear it.

  7. runningunnin.454
    8:50 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    One takeaway is that it sure is quiet here after a win. All the usual haters AWOL…guess we’ll have to wait until after the next loss for their pearls of wisdom…err, their lunacy/foolishness.

    • 4everUKBlue
      8:54 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      They’ll be tossin’ and turnin’
      turnin’ and tossing’
      tossin’ and turnin’ all night…

      Bobby Lewis

    • runningunnin.454
      9:22 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      Too many teardrops for one heart to be cryin’, too many teardrops for one heart to carry on, they gonna cry 96 tears.
      Question Mark and the Mysterians

      What makes the world go around, How can you mend this broken man, How can a loser ever win, Please help me mend my broken heart.

    • dcforuk
      9:34 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      From now on
      These eyes will not be blinded by the lights
      From now on
      What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight
      It starts tonight!

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:42 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      Tears on my pillow
      Pain in my heart
      Caused by you.

      Little Anthony and the Imperials

    • grammarpoliceUK
      9:42 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      I need a darn like button on this!

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:52 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      Outside I’m masquerading
      Inside my hope is fading
      Just a clown oh yeah
      Since you put me down
      My smile is my make up
      I wear since my break up with you..

      Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:52 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      GrammarPoPo, I’d like your like button comment if we had a like button.

    • dcforuk
      10:10 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      ‘Cause you’re just a dead man walking
      Thinking that’s your only option
      But you can flip the switch and brighten up your darkest day
      Sun is up and the color’s blinding
      Take the world and redefine it
      Leave behind your narrow mind
      You’ll never be the same
      Come alive, come alive
      Go and ride your light
      Let it burn so bright
      Reaching up
      To the sky
      And it’s open wide
      You’re electrified

    • runningunnin.454
      10:12 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      Nice guys; dcfor uk, you stumped me on the lyrics…but nice. 4everUk, as usual, right on target; Little Anthony and Smokey….smoooooth.

    • dcforuk
      10:15 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      More the UK angle…..

    • 4everUKBlue
      11:54 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      You beat me to the good ones RG, I didn’t expect you to respond. Good job as usual. I don’t recognize dcforuk’s either.

    • dcforuk
      12:12 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      A few Greatest Showman lyrics

  8. makeitstop
    9:06 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t care about OSU – u beat UL, u had a good December. Merry Xmas!

  9. dcforuk
    9:17 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    Our custodian at work is a great guy. He is a big UL fan so we talk smack against each other. I shared two weeks ago that if UK lost to OSU, then we would beat UL but if we beat OSU, then we would lose to UofL. If it was not for the Utah loss, I would feel fine. But, today’s result is MUCH better than three Ls in a row. We HAD to have this W!

  10. VirginiaCat
    9:42 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    When we play with intensity, we are a different team. I saw that against Ohio State and again, today, against Louisville. You can’t say that our guys don’t play hard and want to win. The team needed this today. We fans did, too.

    • syrin23
      10:32 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      I agree. The effort is pretty consistently there. Shooting is streaky, and that is a problem. Strong physical interior players will eat us up.

  11. Looother
    10:04 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    My take away is that the difference in the game was free throws. Period…

    • dcforuk
      10:13 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      The UofL fans I watched with lamented the same. My response was “if ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we could have one heckuva party.”

    • syrin23
      10:33 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      How many phantom fouls did they call on UK in the first 5 minutes of the second half? Had to win with everyone on the bench getting no rhythm.

    • dcforuk
      10:51 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

      8 UK team fouls to 1 team UofL foul at one point. In Rupp, that just does not happen nor should it!

    • 4everUKBlue
      12:03 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      We can always count on Looooooooother for an idiotic comment.

    • runningunnin.454
      12:15 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      The difference was free throws…we made ours; UL had plenty of FT’s, and only shot 45% from the line.

    • 4everUKBlue
      9:32 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

      Free throws would have been the difference in who who if Little Brother had hit the many touch fouls they were gifted.

    • syrin23
      1:56 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      “Free throws would have been the difference in who who if Little Brother had hit the many touch fouls they were gifted.”

      This is actually the dumbest comment in the thread. Literally untranslatable. Grammar matters. Stay bitter.

    • 4everUKBlue
      4:23 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      Ever hear of a typo dumbass? There is no edit option on here. Free throws would have been the difference in who won if Little Brother had hit the free throws for the many touch fouls they were gifted.

    • 4everUKBlue
      4:23 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

      Sorry syrin but you already won the stupidest comment of the day with the Nick Richards comment.

  12. CrystalBall
    11:09 pm December 28, 2019 Permalink

    Free throw shooting by guards Quickley, Hagans, Maxey, will win close games.

  13. runningunnin.454
    12:20 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    Only comment I have for Bill Murray is that you are an American icon; but….this is our stage.

  14. dan1965
    1:37 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    I said after the OSU loss I expected this team to go on a run and win a bunch in a row now,and after today’s game my feelings I believe are justified.
    I’m not saying the growing pains are overover,matter of fact I’m sure there not, I know there’s still going to be some hard learning experiences ahead.
    Still I really saw this team development that “fight” Cal talks about against OSU,and I think it was a big step.
    This Richards we can win with,more aggression,more passion,if only he will continue will only be the hope.
    Now we need E.J to get going! If he can get his shot,start scoring 11,12,13 a game,hitting the boards,playing good D like he did today,we’ve got something.
    Maxxey,Quickley,Hagans are the leaders,Sestina role is huge and everything he gives is important. I think Keion development will also be big if he can get there,Juzang,and Whitney is heavy added and anything they add will only make this team better.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Herro stop by during his off time and drop a few points to Johnny,who knows it might help.
    Finally L’s down again,little brother is just that,Big Blue rules Kentucky, and if everything comes together,plenty of time, I’m not gonna count these guys out in March !!!

  15. BigBlue4Three
    9:07 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    So, Bill Murray becomes a Red team fan after his son gets a job there. Guess that explains the ugliest old man linebeard I have ever seen.

  16. UKfanman01
    9:17 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    Why is Hagans still wearing UNC colored shoes? I tweeted at him about that crap

    • MrPioneer
      11:05 am December 30, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah, because tweeting at players solves everything. Idiot. They just beat Louisville and all you care about is the color of their shoes.

  17. Aar
    9:28 am December 29, 2019 Permalink

    Every year, one Wildcat breaks out in this game. While Richards has produced better box scores, he’s produced this well against this caliber of competition. That he did his best work without any fouls to give was exceptional! His ability to recover and make plays after being pushed off the block or getting beat is his greatest strength. Amazing agility for such a big guy. I say big due to height and width but he’s quite lean. I’ve been a Richards fan since day one and really happy to see his maturation as a player.

    Another thing the UL game produces every year is progress in the quality of UK’s team play. This year, it was a bit of a quantum leap!

    One welcome difference this season is that the game was good! Really good basketball on both ends of the floor by both teams and very well officiated. Yes, it was over officiated early in each half but that set the tone and they allowed alot of appropriate “play ons” through the rest of the game. It was physical as heck but the chippiness never got out of hand, as it usually does. UKvUL is usually an ugly, physical, chippy mess with an “incident” that’s close to a fight. This was good, high level, defense first college basketball. I enjoyed it as a fan of the game as well as a member of BBN.

  18. classof68
    1:34 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

    Can’t they just pretend every team they play is UofL?

  19. 2thepoint
    10:38 pm December 29, 2019 Permalink

    Every year UK has shooting problems until they learn to play team ball and when to shoot without thinking.