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Kentucky Rolls The Tide, 70-48

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This might be the best game Kentucky has played all year.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

I think we can safely say after this game that Kentucky is back into pre-conference form after having a couple of overtime games early. The last two games, one at home against a too young but talented Missouri Tigers team and this one on the road against a high-quality Alabama Crimson Tide team have shown the quality of the Wildcats' collective focus has returned. Kentucky has achieved 17-0, and are two wins away from matching Calipari’s best start at Kentucky in 2009-10.

Alabama played hard, but they didn’t play particularly well offensively despite shooting reasonably well (at least, better than most Kentucky foes). Defensively, they had to either concentrate on Kentucky inside, or deny them the perimeter. They chose the inside (properly, in my view) and the Wildcats lit them up from the arc. Alabama really doesn’t have enough big guys to compete with Kentucky if the Wildcats are making shots, and UK made shots. Respect to Alabama for their hard play, they were worthy opponents and never gave up.

Final stats

Observations

  • Kentucky looked really good today defensively. The Wildcats were simply dominant without blocking a bunch of shots.

  • Great shooting today all around. This is UK’s 6th game out of 7 where they have been over 40% from three.

  • The Wildcats made 89% of their free throws, and both Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson were involved in that high number. Well done.

  • Kentucky didn’t turn it over a lot, but they turned it over more than they should’ve.

  • Over 50% assists today. Can’t fault that.

  • One of my points was 3-point defense. Kentucky held Alabama to 28%. That’s getting it done.

  • I don't know yet what the defensive rebounding will look like, but I think it will look okay.

This is one of those games you just want to sit back and admire, like a precious jewel. live in the moment, and enjoy the victory, because it was much tougher than the final score indicates. Alabama really worked hard, but they just didn’t have enough quality depth and inside presence to handle the Wildcats. But it wasn’t easy like the Missouri game, so respect what good work UK did. It was excellent, and against a very good team.