The 2017-2018 college basketball regular season is over. The Kentucky Wildcats finished the year 21-10 and 10-8 in conference play.
Over the years, the Big Blue Nation has grown used to up and down regular season play. Attempting to win with extreme youth is an expected regularity under John Calipari.
But, this year just had a whole different level of volatility. UK ending their four-game winning streak in disappointing fashion on Saturday only reaffirms this.
A silver lining to the Cats’ unpredictability is that I still cannot name a team in the country that UK can’t beat when playing their best basketball. It can be easy to remember the struggles, but this year’s team also gave UK fans a lot to be optimistic about heading into the SEC tournament.
So before we get completely in March Madness mode, let’s take a look back at a few of the best regular season moments:
1. Demolishing the Cards
UK played it’s best overall game of the year against it’s rival, Louisville, on December 29th, 2017. Regardless of regular season record or how March pans out for UK, you have to give this squad indefinite credit for that historic performance.
The 29-point victory was the largest over the Cards since 1999. It’s still arguably the best 40-minute performance we’ve seen from the Cats this season, and it probably will help keep Louisville out of the NCAA Tournament.
2. Rallying in Morgantown
The incredible comeback win at West Virginia has my vote for game of the year. It’s still hard to believe that UK game back from a 17-point deficit in the second half to win in Morgantown. It also gave UK hope of actually making this a memorable season after it had begun trending toward a lost year.
Kevin Knox took command and gave us one of the better celebrations in recent memory.
Take that, Huggy Bear.
3. Whipping the Hogs
The dominating road win at Bud Walton arena after getting down 11-0 was crazy. The Cats looked dead in the water, then they looked unstoppable in the second half in what was a masterpiece on offense and defense.
That game-winning dunk by Michael Qualls in 2014 still bothers me, so it is always good to get a win in Fayetteville, especially a monster victory like the 2018 team provided.
This is Kentucky's 3rd largest win in a road game against Arkansas (15 points), and their largest since February 14th, 2009 (16 points)— Corey Price (@coreyp08) February 21, 2018
This also ended up being the game that earned UK the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament. Both UK and Arkansas finished with a 10-8 mark in league play, but this head-to-head win gave the Cats the 4 seed and a double bye.
The Cats are now headed to the first ever SEC tournament in St. Louis. No more road games.
From here on out, blue will get in, and UK should have a near home-court advantage. The SEC was much better this year, UK was younger than ever, and we have John Calipari.
This is not the time to be negative. UK still has a chance to cut down some nets in 2018.
What were your favorite moments from the regular season?