While we’re talking Florida shutdowns, remember the first time Florida shut down, back in March?
The Gators led 57-39 with under twelve minutes to go in the regular season finale against Kentucky. ESPN’s in-game win probability tracker gave Florida a 99% chance of winning the game, considering the 18-point margin and the limited time on the clock for UK to mount a comeback.
Not to mention, Kentucky’s starting point guard, Ashton Hagans, was sitting back in Lexington, and its best scorer, Immanuel Quickley, was about to foul out. The Cats were in trouble in Gainesville in the final game before the postseason. (lol postseason)
Then came the big 2020 shutdown in Florida.
Kentucky, playing without two of its best players, turned up the defense and crashed the glass, shutting down everything that had been working for the Gators. Offensively, Nick Richards remembered he is an unstoppable force with the basketball, then scored 17 second-half points to lead the charge. Richards did whatever he wanted against Florida’s child’s play they called defense, and before we knew it, the Cats had made it a game.
In the end, with only seconds remaining and Florida holding on to its lead for dear life, John Calipari dialed up Keion Brooks (yes, Keion Brooks) for the final play. Brooks received the rock on an entry pass from Johnny Juzang (this all sounds so crazy, right?), made one quick turn out of a mismatch toward a wide open look at the basket.
However, the rim in Gainesville was in no mood for Keion Brooks’ heroics on Senior Day, so it did a real dickish thing and deflected the ball from passing through the cylinder. But what the stupid rim didn’t account for was EJ Montgomery creeping up the weak side, patiently waiting for the tip-in, a game-winner.
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 7, 2020
It’s one of the all-time great comebacks in Kentucky history and it’ll be double-remembered for also being the final game of the season COVID ruined.
Remember it with a look back at “The Journey” episode from that unforgettable game:
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 10, 2020