clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: How Sweet it is Edition

Kentucky moves on to Catlanta, John Calipari serves humble pie to Nate Oats, Hami’s back, Bat Cats falter, and a recap over a crazy second round Saturday.

Buffalo v Kentucky Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation!

For the seventh time in the nine years that John Calipari has been the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats, he is taking his team to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.

He’s never lost once he’s reached it.

They punched their ticket to the second weekend with an impressive 95-75 win over the Buffalo Bulls. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured on 27 points and once again flirted with a triple-double.

But the story of the game was Hamidou Diallo. He scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked two shots, and played tenacious defense.

This was the Hami that we thought we were getting this summer when he turned down the NBA Draft to come back to UK.

Wenyen Gabriel was huge as well with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

This team is firing on all cylinders and they may add another piece to the puzzle if Jarred Vanderbilt can return for the trip to Atlanta.

Tweets of the Day


SGA Silences hostile crowd in win | SEC Country- The 12,000 plus that attended the Kentucky vs. Buffalo game in Boise were anti-UK. But thanks to the play of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander they were quiet in the second half.

Wenyen showed he’s not scared | Lexington Herald Leader- With P.J. Washington and Sasha Killeya-Jones in foul trouble, Kentucky needed Wenyen Gabriel to have a good game. He ended up having a great game thanks to a challenge from his coach.

I went out early and missed a layup, boom, ‘What are you doing?’” Gabriel said of the one-sided sideline conversation. “He said, ‘You missed an assignment on defense.’ He’s saying ‘Fight or flight.’ He’s trying to claim I was scared. That I was trying to (board a) flight.

“I responded to that to show him what kind of player I was.”

Kentucky looks Final Four bound | SB Nation- With either UMBC or Kansas State waiting for them in the Sweet Sixteen, Tennessee eliminated, and a probable match up against a VERY beatable Cincinnati Bearcat team, the Cats have that Final Four look about them.

Hami was the ‘full package’ for the Cats in win | Courier-Journal- If the light came on for the most athletic player on the team, the rest of the opponents in their wake need to be very afraid. Very. Afraid.

Nate Oats apologizes to Calipari for ‘whining’ comments | SEC Country- Oats is a young up and comer and part of his team’s identity is their cockiness. But he was a little over-zealous with his comments towards John Calipari. Cal said there is no beef between the two but he did make sure that Brad Calipari, Jordan Pulliam, and Johnnie David got some clock at the end of the game. If you come at the king you best not miss.

The best and worst of March Madness Day 3 | SB Nation- Relive the Madness of the second round with buzzer beaters, close games, and Wildcat dominance.

Grace Baalman throws complete game to defeat #8 LSU | UK Athletics- The softball team won 4-1 against a very good LSU Tigers team. Rachel Lawson has been excellent in the SEC and this year looks like it won’t be an exception.

UK Swept by Arkansas | UK Athletics- The Razorbacks dominated the opening SEC series for the Kentucky Wildcats and left no doubt. The Bat Cats need to put this behind them and look ahead to what’s going to be tough sledding in the conference.

16 things to know after Saturday | CBS- A lot happened yesterday in what continues to develop into one of the best tournaments in years.

From the Kentucky side of things:

Kentucky is still the greatest show on earth

I doubt that Kentucky’s 20-point win against No. 13 seed Buffalo is going to get much attention, but it’s worth noting that both this game was close in the second half and that the Wildcats showed in victory every aspect that makes them as frustrating and encouraging as a Final Four contender this year. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is ultimately the conductor of this train, and with Virginia, Arizona and Tennessee bounced from the bracket it’s looking more and more like John Calipari can lead this team to San Antonio.

Next stop NBA for top talents eliminated from tournament | ESPN- Collin Sexton, DeAndre Ayton, Michael Porter, Jr., and Mohammed Bamba are done early in the NCAA postseason but they will hear their names in the NBA Draft.

If you want to experience success and winning at the college level, don’t go to second tier programs, kids.

Loss to UMBC will define Tony Bennett | CBS- Virginia wasn’t just a one seed, they were THE one seed. And they lost to a sixteen seed, the first ever one seed to do so. Bennett is at a crossroads and he has to decide whether or not to continue to be married to a style of basketball that fails so abysmally in March.