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Day after thoughts on a tough end to the Kentucky Basketball season

Kentucky lost, and it’s hard to deal with, but we should be proud of this team.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kansas State vs Kentucky Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Now that I have had some time to process the events of the game and how it all turned out, I realize I am still upset and frustrated because a trip to the Final Four was right in front of us.

Let’s be honest, the entire game was hard to watch due to the way it was being officiated and Kentucky was struggling to score. It just wasn’t fun from the tip. However, Kentucky had their chances to win the game and were the better team they just didn’t execute down the stretch to win it.

So, here are some day after thoughts about the game.

Kentucky made too many mistakes

One thing this team had been good at over the last few weeks is taking care of the basketball. That went away in this one. Kentucky turned the ball over 15 times and made some mind-boggling decisions down the stretch. It is hard to win a game when you have 15 turnovers and only 6 assists. That’s the way they played during the four-game losing streak. It doesn’t matter who they are playing. That kind of performance will get them beat against just about anyone, especially a team good enough to make it to the Sweet 16.

Free-throws could have saved them

I noticed a lot of people were giving PJ a ton of trash talk on twitter about him struggling at the line. First of all, that is completely uncalled for and the people that did is should be ashamed of themselves. However, while I believe the 20+ points K-State had off our turnovers costs us the game if Kentucky knocks down their season average of free throws (70%), they walk away with a win. Kentucky had a chance to be saved at the line, but it just didn’t happen for them.

K-State was on fire from three

The narrative coming into this one was that K-State struggled to shoot from the outside. Well, when a team plays Kentucky they always play out of their minds and that happened again. They knocked down 9 threes and shot 40% doing so. If Kentucky was to get upset, K-State would have to make threes and that’s exactly what they did.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander struggled

Shai was great all season long and made big plays for us throughout the year. He just couldn’t get it going in this one. He was 2/10 shooting and scored majority of his points at the foul line. If he just has a normal Shai game, Kentucky wins. But, he didn’t, and people must step up, it just didn’t happen in this one.

While losing sucks and the few days after a loss are hard Kentucky need to not dwell on this for too long. Kentucky should get majority of these guys back and next year has the potential to be a very special season. Rough way to end the year but I am proud of this team and all they accomplished this year.

Go Cats!