Yeah… well… that was a hard loss to watch.
Kentucky played great for the first 15 minutes. Things were looking great… had a 12 point lead… crowd was loud… Rupp Arena was packed… all the ingredients for a W.
Then… things got ugly. Kansas went on a run, and Kentucky just couldn’t come back. There were a lot of sloppy plays… multiple failed alley-oop attempts which led to turnovers and points for Kansas. Hats off to Josh Jackson for the Jayhawks who had 20 points and 10 rebounds which is a similar stat he posted against a victory against UNLV earlier this season. He’s a tough player who totally abused Derek Willis on the boards and deserves to get the recognition that he’s getting on social media. His rebound over Willis under four minutes left in the game (in my opinion) was the key play of the game. “Josh plays much older than his years… …he’s a complete basketball player.” – Bill Self speaking on Josh Jackson after the game.
Kansas didn’t hit a three pointer in the first half, but they ended up hitting five in the second. That stat line right there to me is the most telling. Kentucky’s defense failed to stop Kansas’ rally back into the game. Everyone watching knew that Kansas wasn’t going to shoot that cold the whole game. It seemed like everyone knew… except Kentucky.
When Kansas went to zone and slowed the game down… Kentucky couldn’t figure out how to beat it… for at least the second time this year. You can call it coaching… you can call it lack of experience… I believe it’s a mixture of both which was heart-breaking to watch. Gabriel didn’t really show up and there was no chemistry in the second half within the team. Kentucky just looked tired, real tired.
Sure we set the world record for loudest indoor crowd cheer, but I’ll take a win over Kansas over a world record any day.