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Kentucky Wildcats 69 at Mississippi St. Bulldogs 59: Post Game Victory Thread

An ugly win is still a win.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

All I can say about this game is that I'm glad it's over, and I'm glad it was a victory. It didn't really feel like one, because it was just an ugly game all around. The officiating, in my view, was poor for both teams, there were a lot of plays for both teams that should have been "play ons" instead of fouls and fouls instead of "play ons." Overall, it was a choppy mess featuring missed layups and dunks by both teams.

Congratulations to the Mississippi St. Bulldogs for hanging tough despite having a key player down with illness and already having a very short bench. They were tough, played tougher than Kentucky, got themselves to the line and made a gobsmacking percentage of free throws for a team that came in as the second-worst free-throw shooting team in the league. MSU made 22 points at the line, 10 more than Kentucky. They also rebounded well, especially in the first half. I can't remember the last time a team made more free throws than Kentucky attempted. This just may be the only time all year, which is an even better reason to doubt the officiating.

Box Score

Quick observations

  • The lack of energy in the team today was disappointing. They didn't come here ready, and it totally showed.

  • The offensive fouls called on Andrew Harrison were 1-3. The officials got one out of the three right.

  • Alex Poythress didn't have a great game, but given his play of late, he gets some slack.

  • Wilie Cauley-Stein started slow, but came on.

  • I don't know why our zone offense was so poor today. I'm not sure whether it was something they did, or something Kentucky did (or didn't do). Whatever, it sure was ugly.

  • Kentucky got a ton, and I mean a ton, of clean looks from three, and almost missed every one of them. Inconsistency is a real problem with this team outside, they either make them all or miss them all.

  • Loved Jon Hood today. He was awesome.

  • Jarrod Polson played really well despite shooting very poorly.

  • The zone defense had some more good moments today, but it also had a few bad ones.

  • Transition defense was absolutely horrid in the first half. It was better in the second half

  • The Wildcats still struggle with small guards.

  • Whither Dominique Hawkins, who didn't log a single second today?

  • Love Dakari Johnson's effort, and his improvement. He didn't have a great game, but it was a solid one.

I'll have the postmortem a bit later, but no matter what the pluses and minuses of this game, the big plus is that Kentucky walks out the winner. Ugly wins are a fact of basketball, and there's really nothing to be done about them, they are going to happen. For the record, and I know this is stating the obvious, but ugly wins are far better than ugly losses.