Illness has hit the Wildcats hard.
No De’Aaron Fox, no Mychal Mulder and no Sacha Killeya-Jones meant it was going to be a crucial game for guys like Dominique Hawkins and Tai Wynyard. Kentucky certainly felt the absence of those guys.
But in the end, Kentucky tightroped out with a win. Musburger got to call an incredible last game. One in which Malik Monk erupted, went cold and then erupted again.
Here are three things to know about the game.
The basketball facilities need to be decontaminated
Illness has been a lingering issue for much of the season for this team. The illness issue has struck again, as De’Aaron Fox, Mychal Mulder (who has been sick nearly two weeks now) and Sacha Killeya-Jones were all out due to illness tonight.
It was clear that these guys were missed, especially Fox, as Kentucky allowed Georgia to storm out to a 12-0 lead, and the Bulldogs led by as much as 14 early on. UK had just 2 assists and 8 turnovers in that first half.
It wasn’t until the end of the first half that the Wildcats were able to even the score and eventually pull out a hard-fought win.
Brent Musburger has ended his legendary play-by-play career
What an honor it is to host the great Brent Musburger for his final play-by-play broadcast. The veteran of courtside commentary put an end to his career with UK-UGA as the farewell.
Kentucky and Georgia both honored him before the game with a jersey, a hat, plenty of photos and more. Rupp Arena is special to Musburger, as he called the 1985 National Championship between Villanova and Georgetown in the same arena.
It was one of the most notable national title games, as ‘Nova upset Georgetown to stifle the Hoyas’ dynasty. It was only right for him to finish his legacy in the same building.
Perhaps my favorite thing that Musburger said today? When he described how he approaches broadcasts: “Let’s have a cold one and watch the game.”
And of course, Musburger’s final game had to be a heart-stopper, going into OT and featuring some very clutch shots. His final moments were legendary, and he’ll be missed as a commentator (even if he couldn’t pronounce Adebayo correctly).
Malik Monk was all over the place tonight
Monk has been a bit of a streaky shooter lately, and he experienced both hot and cold streaks tonight. Kentucky needed a spark without Fox on the floor, and Monk gave it to them in the second half. He made five straight three-pointers in the second, and his defense was also exceptional, as he blocked 3 shots and recorded 3 steals.
However, he went 0-2 from deep in the first half, missed four straight jumpers following the five straight makes, and missed both of his last two free throws (in regulation) following eight straight made attempts.
And then, out of nowhere, he set fire to Rupp Arena...again. Monk drained a deep two to send the game to OT, and hit two threes in OT. All in all, he was 7-11 from deep with a whopping 37 points.
He may have been inconsistent, but he was as clutch as could be.