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What Went Wrong for Kentucky in the Final Minute

Poor execution in the final minute kept Kentucky from closing out Kansas State.

A P.J. Washington free throw with 1:17 to play tied the game at 58.  The Cats had multiple opportunities to get the win, but could not convert. “I’m proud of my team. Had our chance to win. Didn’t play particularly well for us, but still had a chance to win,” John Calipari said after the game.

Kentucky was a three-pointer away from sending the game into overtime.  Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could not find an open shot and was forced to put up a prayer as time expired.  It was not what Kentucky was looking for in the final five seconds.

“It was a pin at the free throw line for Wenyen. It took a little too long to progress,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.  “Then I had to take a tough shot. Obviously I missed and I’m disappointed with the result.”

“It was a physical game and it kinda got us a little out of rhythm, and it wears you down. I thought Shai got worn down,” Calipari said.

It was a poorly executed play, but Calipari does not believe that was the play that cost Kentucky the game.  Trailing by two on the previous possession, Quade Green settled for a three with nine seconds to play.  Coach Cal blames himself.

“I come back to the big play for us was down two, we were going to run a play to go weak-side corner for a three. We end up not having it, throwing it to Quade.  I was trying to get a timeout at that point, but that’s on me. That’s not on these kids. That was a choice I made.”

Kentucky’s mishaps in the final minute reflected their sloppy play throughout the game.  On a roll through the previous five games, they looked like a completely different team against Kansas State.  Despite the foul trouble, missed free throws and horrible execution down the stretch, Calipari is proud of his team’s fight.

“These kids fought. They were down 13-1…There were plays in the game we just didn’t make, but you gotta give Kansas State credit.”


Article written by Nick Roush

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

28 Comments for What Went Wrong for Kentucky in the Final Minute

  1. Captain Cats
    1:15 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Unfortunately, the poor execution started before the final minute. Hard to stomach right now. Go CATS.

    • Rembrandt
      7:53 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      This. There is no bigger fan of Cal here than me. But it is what it is. Trying to explain this loss by blaming it on the final minute is misleading. Our players looked tired and unfocused. UK was behind practically the entire game. It was a bad performance from the beginning, and KSU would have had a bigger lead if not for the fact that so many of their own players fouled out.

  2. ukwildcat1991
    1:17 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Florida and now this game coach. Two times u screwed up for not calling a timeout. Both times t was your fault. Hopefully u learn your lesson this time. On that note let’s start another new team that are completely new…

    • syrin23
      1:43 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      At least his technical earlier in the game for throwing his f’ing huge ego around didn’t come back to bite us in a close game did it? DID IT ?!?! F’ing a’hole.

    • timbo
      6:12 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      He was out of the coaching box, Pitino…What a miserable existence you lead. The only “huge ego thrown around” is yours. I guess it had been nine games or so since you could show up to deliver your stupidity. You weren’t missed, and you aren’t a part of BBN.

    • shelby
      8:32 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      I saw weber on the floor during play multiple times.

    • Rembrandt
      7:57 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      This was obviously not a good performance. But using it to attack Cal personally shows the lack of character of the attacker. Moron.

  3. Ukfan1010
    1:18 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Free throw shooting was huge! But still we didn’t play well! Way too many live ball turnovers and inability to force Kansas State to take tough twos. They either shot open 3s or lay-ups for most of the game. I thought we’d win it when PJ got that and one because it seemed like we had the momentum but Kansas State made big plays. That game winning drive was really impressive

  4. Kozmo
    1:25 am March 23, 2018 Permalink


    Is he stashing up these timeouts somewhere? Going to trade them in for a dunkin’ gift card?

  5. xavier-sneedlol
    1:25 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    I’m what went wrong! PJ can’t check me!

    • cats646
      1:27 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Ha. PJ would eat sneed alive if the refs weren’t there to protect him.

    • xavier-sneedlol
      1:30 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Boi stop he those sorry ass refs kept calling those weak fouls on me! He needs to go to the doctor and get those 3’s removed that I kept putting in his ass!

    • syrin23
      1:44 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Your soul cancer has metastasized. Enjoy dying alone, miserable and unwanted.

    • Rembrandt
      8:00 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      The referees called 30 fouls on KSU. That’s the only reason UK was even in the game at all. Anyone blaming this loss on the referees is admitting de facto that they are idiots.

  6. UKinIN
    1:29 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    If teams won games because of the passion of the fans then UK would win the NCAA every year. But that’s not how it works. UK did not play well tonight. They didn’t just lose the game in the final minute. If they hadn’t been down 13-1, if Shai hadn’t been 2-10 or PJ 8-20 … it happens. The team made the SEC tournament and the NCAA fun. This year we have to settle for that.

    • xavier-sneedlol
      1:34 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Instead your players don’t care about the university and are only there for 6 months and there for themselves

  7. bluecrowe
    1:34 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Here is what really went wrong. Seeing the game in person I noticed something.. When you see the entire court it is very obvious that Alexander simply refuses to push the ball. I would say he is utterly incapable of pushing the ball after a rebound. I have never seen anything like it. I do believe this is simply because Shai prefers to walk the ball up the court. Perhaps he needs to slow everything down for him to feel comfortable, but it is the reason we did not win this game. UK’s advantage every year is the athleticism and length. I feel you are doing yourself a disservice if you walk the ball up, as this team is absolutely not a set it up and methodically move the ball until the end of the shot clock group. We should have been pushing it and getting into the lane all night long, but instead we walked it up the court every single time. It was absolutely painful to watch. I remember Cal saying earlier in the year that he wanted them to always push the ball, but they absolutely never did the entire year and perhaps it is because Shai is not comfortable doing that. It is the only explanation. Watching Cal it never appeared as though he was urging them to run the ball.. I was confused as time after time he would be given the ball and then wait for everyone to start down the court, Our advantage is we have better athletes. Having Diallo running around coming off picks in the half court as though he is going to shoot 15 footers all day is simply insane. Tonight Shai could not get by his man the way he had all season and as a result, we did not have those easy buckets which we count on as a team. This put more pressure on everyone else and they looked absolutely terrified out there in the second half. We should have won this game by at least 15 points. It was truly surreal to watch. I love how PJ played, but for the love of God……FT’s!!

    • xavier-sneedlol
      1:38 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      I ate PJ for lunch. I am his DADDY!
      I didn’t teach him to shoot FT’s tho

    • syrin23
      1:46 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      I screamed it at him the whole game.Why didn’t he push it for some easy transition baskets? Was he killing clock because we had a 20 point lead? Andrew used to do the same thing, and I hated him for it as well.

    • timbo
      6:17 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      You’re a disgusting human being “Syrin”.

  8. makeitstop
    1:44 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Without Vando, we just don’t hit the glass. When you hit shots, you don’t miss the offensive rebounds as much but we got owned on the glass in the 6 games after he went out for whatever it was he went out for… eventually that bites you. One and done is a real problem if it’s your offensive set. That team was small, and we couldn’t beat them on the glass to extend plays. That’s effort. They wanted it more and they got to the ball even when they were smaller and less talented.

    • makeitstop
      1:46 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Right up to the last minute when they got another offensive rebound to extend a play and score and we got none…

    • Bobbum Man
      2:02 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      I mean we outrebounded them by 10 if I remember right, obviously missed the crucial one but rebounding wasn’t our main issue

  9. bluecrowe
    1:48 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    I hate to say it, but losing this game was embarrassing. I think Kansas State could not believe they were still in the game.

    • xavier-sneedlol
      1:50 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      I believed the whole game!

    • Voice of Reason
      2:47 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

      Have fun getting hammered in games ahead.

  10. BigBlueNationDude
    2:36 am March 23, 2018 Permalink

    Cal cant coach thats what happenned. Pj shoulda been out on offense. Shoulda called a timeout(even though cal knows 0 set plays).