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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Morgantown Comeback Edition

Kentucky gets massive win on the road, Kevin Knox is the road warrior, SEC wins challenge against Big 12, Grayson Allen is back, and Drew Barker gives up football.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

What. A. Game. The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the #7 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown 86-73 and they did it by making an improbable comeback from 17 points down.

John Calipari’s team grew up before our very eyes and they did it by playing tough man-to-man defense, rebounding the basketball, and riding the hot shooting of Kevin Knox who had 34 points in his best game as a Wildcat.

The questions about toughness and the ability to win games in the closing minutes were put to rest last night and nobody was happier about it than John Calipari.

Maybe this team has finally turned the corner.

Tweets of the Day

We finally saw Alpha Kevin Knox last night. He was not only magnificent with the basketball, he emerged as a vocal leader that did not shrink away from the hostile crowd.

Those were the most eye popping stats to me. West Virginia is one of the best rebounding teams in the country and the Cats had 15 more than they did. Many of those credited to Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt who had 18 between the two of them. Nick Richards had eight. And 18-18 in the second half from the line is just absurd. Also, the Cats turned it over 11 times in the first half but only five times in the second.

It was a HUGE day for the SEC. The conference proved to the rest of the country that it’s for real.


Wildcats finally earn respect | SEC Country- This is the most impressive win on Kentucky’s resume but how will they handle it from here? In order to build on this win, they need to beat Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in Rupp Arena and leave no questions.

Kentucky bullies the bully | WDRB- In the first half of the basketball game, the Mountaineers had the Wildcats reeling with their frenetic style of defense and Jevon Carter did whatever he wanted to UK’s defense en route to 18 first half points. Then in the second half, the Wildcats did the pushing. WVU was clearly shaken and Bob Huggins said he was ill after watching his team get manhandled. Cats outscored the Mountaineers 50-28 in the second half.

Drew Barker giving up football | Courier-Journal- Barker had plans to transfer and try to reignite his football career but now those plans are null and void. He is going to stay in Lexington to finish his graduate degree. His football career is over.

Kentucky’s comeback pushes SEC over Big 12 | CBS- The SEC and Kentucky were both big winners yesterday:

Thanks to unexpected wins from Alabama over No. 12 Oklahoma and from Kentucky over No. 7 West Virginia, the SEC can feel good about its standing in the college basketball hierarchy after taking down the Big 12 in impressive fashion.

Elsewhere in the challenge, Florida handled Baylor, Tennessee destroyed Iowa State on the Cyclones’ home floor, and perhaps most surprising of all, Vanderbilt handed TCU an L. From top to bottom, it’s a big win for the conference, especially considering the underdog matchups that swung the final outcome of the challenge.

And it should be noted that the SEC’s best team, Auburn, wasn’t selected to participate this year.

Road Warrior Kevin Knox leads comeback | If Kentucky wants to be one of those teams at the end of the season, Kevin Knox has to be their best player. He was last night and the usually quiet and reserved kid was loud with his play and with his mouth. He relished the harsh environment. Between this game and the win vs. Mississippi State, it appears Knox found his groove.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know:

Virginia with a statement win at Duke | ESPN- The Cavaliers overcame a second half flurry by Duke with tough defense and efficient offense. UVA, along with Villanova, have separated themselves as the best basketball teams in the country. Duke dropped their third game in ACC play. Surprisingly the Louisville Cardinals are in second place. That 29 point beatdown is looking better and better. The Cards travel to Virginia on Wednesday night.

Serial flopper Grayson Allen up to his old tricks | SEC Country- Exhibit #10,317 why people hate Duke. Allen fouls Virginia’s Ty Jerome in closing seconds of the game and they tries to sell that no, he actually was fouled! This was followed by the best Grayson Allen cry baby face ever and him slapping Jerome’s hand away. I can foresee further Grayson Allen Meltdowns in the near future and then I’m sure Coach K’s back will go out. Again.

The refs went to the monitor and neglected to assess a foul to Jerome.

NC State shocks at North Carolina | CBS- Kevin Keats and the Wolfpack get another big win and this one on the road. They have wins over Duke, Arizona, and Clemson. As for North Carolina, they were somehow ranked as the 10th best team in the country with five losses, one of those to Wofford, so I assume they will drop to 12th with their sixth loss.

Roger Federer wins Australian Open | Sporting News- It’s the 20th Grand Slam title for the living legend.

Draymond Green and Le’Veon Bell discuss Michigan State crisis | ESPN- Both Green and Bell offered support to the victims and those negatively affected by the sexual assault allegations. Bell also offered support for Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo.

Space X sets sites on February 6th for launch | Yahoo!- Elon Musk is looking to launch the Falcon Heavy space rocket in the next couple of weeks.