Kentucky Wildcats 70, Georgia Bulldogs 58: Post Game Happy Place

Kevin C. Cox

Yeah, that's two in a row, and both in fine fashion. Who'da thunk it?

Well, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, I give you your Kentucky Wildcats! Yes, you may applaud and high-five with yourselves now, as the Wildcats overcome the Georgia Bulldogs in convincing fashion. This game was unique in that we got to see all we loved yesterday, and all we feared the week before, all in the same game. It was somewhat uncomfortable, but I think most, if not quite all of you, are happy with the result.

Outstanding effort by the Georgia Bulldogs. I agree with one of the game announcer's comment that if not for Billy Donovan, Mark Fox should be the SEC Coach of the Year. I got to meet coach Fox at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans, and he was a very nice man and polite to a stranger. I appreciated that, and I have pulled for him ever since, and I don't hold his "Catlanta" comment against him, I think that's exactly what a Georgia coach should say.

Georgia was typically scrappy and tough today, but they match up poorly with Kentucky and it eventually showed. Fouls really helped the Dawgs stay close in this one, but Kentucky eventually figured out how to defend them well enough to get some key stops. Great season for the Bulldogs, considering, and I wish them luck in the post-season, wherever they wind up.

Final stats

Observations

  • Kentucky's offense is notably inferior without James Young in the game. He moves without the ball much better than any other Kentucky player, and that movement creates defensive mistakes that either open up driving lanes, or produce open looks from the perimeter. Also, he has a big effect on Andrew Harrison, who tends to hold the ball and become a reluctant passer when Young is on the bench.

  • Kentucky continues to miss too many layups, and too many free throws.

  • This victory is pleasing from the standpoint of handling some adversity. Georgia really put pressure on the Wildcats, getting it down to three in the second half.

  • Kentucky is finally shooting the ball solidly from the perimeter, and it makes them look like a much better basketball team. There is no substitute for making shots.

  • Strength to you, Dakari Johnson.

  • Julius Randle makes the game look hard around the rim. I'm not sure why. But he sure must be scary to the other team, and he rebounds like Dwight Howard.

  • There is no doubt Kentucky has taken their game to another level. Now, they must keep it there. That's tougher than it sounds.

  • No matter what seed Kentucky gets, they are a dangerous opponent to a lot of teams with much better records.

  • If Kentucky continues to make shots, they are going to be really hard to handle. But they won't, because teams never do. What will they do when the shots stop falling from the outside?

  • The Harrison twins have delivered on their promise the last two games. Their detractors are looking really stupid right now. That's what you get for being a detractor.

  • Should be a great game with the Florida Gators tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm not all invested in it. Florida is still a better team right now, in my view. But Kentucky at it's best is good enough to beat them. The problem is, we see too little of "at its best."

  • The officiating in the SEC continues to be the worst I have seen of any conference.

I'll have a full postmortem tomorrow morning. For now, let's enjoy the fact that we finally get to see some good basketball, and that this team isn't going to fall into disarray like the team did last season. That fact is no longer in dispute, no matter what happens tomorrow.

Those of you best by psychic malaise prior to the advent of the SEC Tournament, I hope these last two games have put you in a better mood. If not, well, I recommend you stay away from the TV for the next couple of weeks. Better safe than sorry, I don't want any suicides or murderous rampages.

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