Congratulations, Big Blue Nation. You made it to March.
This is March.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 1, 2018
The regular season has flown by. It hasn’t always been pretty — just look at last night’s game — but Kentucky appears to have put the pieces together with four straight wins, just in time for March Madness. The regular season concludes Saturday at Florida, but first, let’s look back at UK’s 96-78 victory over Ole Miss.
Too Many Technicals
The first five minutes felt like five hours. The only thing that interrupted the whistles were reviews. Marcanvis Hymon quickly earned an ejection, but it might not have been the dumbest of the four technicals.
Kentucky built up a ten-point second half lead and was prepared to run away with the game, until Wenyen Gabriel goofed up. On the perimeter defending Breein Tyree, the Ole Miss guard took Gabriel to the hole and dunked on his face. The crowd-silencer angered Wenyen, who responded by shoving Tyree to the floor. It resulted in a technical foul and a seven-point possession. Wenyen’s poor decision put Kentucky in the danger, but the Cats were able to claw their way out of a close game to put away the Rebels.
Plenty of Points
Kentucky’s 50 first half points and 96 total points were the most they’ve recorded in SEC play. The Cats knocked down 50 percent of their shots, 44 percent of their three-point attempts and for the fourth consecutive game five players finished in double figures.
The best news — they did it by sharing the ball. Kentucky had 19 assists, the most in an SEC game this season and just three shy of a season high. UK’s assist-to-turnover ratio through the four-game win streak is now up to +17.
Cal’s Retirement Gift for Cutler
My favorite part of last night’s game actually happened after the game. To celebrate Alan Cutler’s final game at Rupp Arena, John Calipari presented the LEX-18 sportscaster with a special gift: shoes.
“You can chase me at any point,” Calipari said. “There’s no way you can run me down.”
UK Grads Honored
Four former Kentucky Wildcats returned to school to finish their degrees this year. Dale Brown, Erik Daniels, Marquis Estill and Allen Edwards (who appeared on the Big Board) were recognized for their dedication to academics at half-court during a TV timeout.
Conference Tournaments are in Full Swing
Today seven conference tournaments are underway: the Atlantic Sun, MAAC, Missouri Valley, OVC, Patriot League, West Coast and the Big Ten. Here are just a few of the games you can find throughout the day:
|Noon||Wisconsin vs. Maryland||BTN|
|1:00||Longwood vs. Radford||ESPN3|
|2:25||Iowa vs. Michigan||BTN|
|3:00||Gardner-Webb vs. Winthrop||ESPN3|
|5:00||St. Peter’s vs. Monmouth|
|6:30||Northwestern vs. Penn State||BTN|
|7:00||#11 Wichita State at UCF||ESPN|
|7:00||Tulsa at ECU||ESPNU|
|8:00||#1 Virginia at Louisville||ACCNE|
|8:00||WKU at #24 Middle Tenn.||CBSSN|
|8:55||Rutgers vs. Indiana||BTN|
|9:00||#10 Cincinnat at Tulane||ESPN|
|9:00||S. Florida at Memphis||ESPNews|
|9:00||Oregon at Wash. State||ESPN2|
Hang Out with the Depth Chart Podcast
Your favorite football podcast is hitting the road. Freddie Maggard and the Depth Chart Podcast crew will be hanging out at Jack Kain Ford today at 1:00 to preview Kentucky’s spring football season. Join us on Versailles Road near the Bluegrass Parkway and I promise you’ll have a spectacular experience.
Meanwhile in Louisville*
*Technically Southern Indiana