For a half at Rupp Arena, you couldn’t beat the atmosphere.
Texas and Kentucky were tied at the half on Friday night, mostly because of excellent rebounding by some of the bulkier Longhorns players (just fyi, they could have doubled over as football players if they really wanted to).
Kentucky coach John Calipari was looking for a team, “to challenge us” and they certainly got their wish–at least in the first 20 minutes.
On every missed shot, there were at least 2 or 3 Texas players on a mission to get that ball. However, Texas could have had a sizable lead if they had not kept missing shots in the paint–close to the basket. I counted at least 15 misses from six feet in.
Willie Cauley-Stein brought a little bit of order for the nation’s top ranked team by becoming the first Wildcats player this season to score 20 points. Normally, teams would see on their score sheets shortly after Veteran’s Day, but this was not the case. Even though UK misfired on 11 of 12 attempts from three, it was their overall depth and selection of plays that made the difference.
A Kentucky 16-2 run to open the second half proved to be the winning margin, albeit the 63-51 final was not truly indicative of how this game really was. 51 total fouls were committed by both squads. For the record, two Texas players and Alex Poythrees of Kentucky all fouled out.
Defending champions go down to Ivy League power
Yale upsets UConn on the road. And yes, if Yale was playing in another conference I would give them extra brownie points. At least, they will move the RPI ladder thanks to a rather impressive 45-44 comeback victory. Jack Montague hit a trey out in the left corner with 1.7 seconds for the Bulldogs’ virst victory against their in-state rival since 1986, the first year the NCAA instituted the three-point shot and ushered in an exciting time for scoring offense in college basketball.
The game was a defensive struggle as Yale only led 24-19 at the break and both teams shot under 40 percent. Rebounding and overall fouls was just about even, but the bigger story is that UConn has lost three straight games after winning their first three contests. Some bracketologists online either have the Huskies in as one of the last four teams to the tournament, or one of the last four teams out to enter for possible NIT consideration.
Light schedule begins today due to most schools gearing up for fall semester final exam week
Today, CBS Sports begins its’ 34th and final consecutive year on its’ Road To The Final Four with a spicy matchup in Cheesehead Country. Wisconsin takes a two hour drive east on I-94 to visit the land of beer in Milwaukee as Big East foe Marquette provides the opposition at 12:30 Eastern time.
Other cool games worth taking a peak inbetween the final big Saturday in college football include:
St. Joseph’s at Villanova, 1 p.m. Eastern on FS1
Virginia at VCU, 2 p.m. on ESPNU
Northwestern at Butler, 4:30 p.m. on FOX. Should be a rather entertaining game. Is Butler really that good, coming off that huge upset of North Carolina during the Atlantis Holiday tournament?
Gonzaga at Arizona, 6:15 p.m. on ESPN. Rematch of a memorable NCAA second round game a few years back. One team will see their undefeated season go down the tubes when the final buzzer sounds.
Also, Wichita State hopes to start a new winning streak when the Shockers are back at home playing St. Louis–6 p.m. regionally on Fox Sports Midwest.
I will check in if there are upsets of note. Stay warm, everybody.