The Texas A&M Aggies- The team the Cats shared the conference championship with last season. The ones who we’ve gone to overtime with several times in the last few years. The team we narrowly beat in the SEC Tournament Championship. The team the Cats annihilated tonight at Rupp Arena.
Although the win was predicted, the margin most certainly was not. Texas A&M’s size and physical play was meant to give Kentucky fits. They’re slower pace of play was meant to bog down the game and keep the Cats out of a scoring frenzy. Davis, Hogg, and Williams were surely supposed to challenge UK. However none of that happened… at all.
Kentucky started out of the gate like a team on a mission. I reckon we can thank “Camp Cal” for that. We can also be thankful for the fact that A&M had two guards out and they played pretty awful. Nevertheless, that doesn’t take a single thing away from Kentucky who literally played (almost) as well as they could; Coach Cal’s words, not mine.
Defense was the crown jewel of the night. After the Aggies scored their first three points, the Cats had already had enough of them scoring and proceeded to go on a massive run. A few threes and a couple dunks later, the Cats had an extremely comfortable lead. It would be around the 6:50 mark before Texas A&M would break into double digits.
I could type out the stats and give you all the numbers you probably already know, but instead, I’ll do you more of a service and remind you that Isaac Humphries hit a three-pointer. That was just the kind of night it was.
The team that outlasted UNC, handled Ole Miss, and obliterated Texas A&M showed that they have the goods to win it all come April. This game put the magic back in my heart that the Louisville loss hampered. I missed the magic.
If Coach Cal is right (which he usually is), and the big shift was caused by a newfound dedication to discipline, this is good news. They are learning new habits, and new habits can be very fun. That was evident tonight.
By the looks of the last two games, I say bring on the rest of the season! The magic is back. The excitement is back. And perhaps most of all, the real hope that Number 9 is right around the corner.