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Sunday Quickies: Victory over the Tigers Edition

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It’s all about Kentucky basketball today.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a beautiful snowy day in the Bluegrass and Big Blue Nation is feeling extra good because the Kentucky Wildcats went to Alabama and defeated the Auburn Tigers 82-80 in an exciting game.

Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson led the way with 20 points each. Ashton Hagans gave the Cats what they needed defensively and by being a distributor on offense. Reid Travis and PJ Washington were back to form as they both neared a double-double.

But the unsung hero of the night was Immanuel Quickley. He was involved in two crucial plays for Kentucky. One was a steal to stop an Auburn run and the other was a rebound late in the game to help the Cats to victory. Both sequences ended in free throws for Quickley and he went 4-4. His value to this team cannot be understated.

It was a great win for the Cats as they were able to extend a double-digit lead on the road and they were able to take and respond to every punch we knew they would get from the Tigers.

These Cats are starting to get it. There will be some slip ups along the way but as long as they continue to understand their roles then they will be a force in March.

Tweets of the Day

Obviously the Herro lay-up is the highlight of this clip but it was all started by the busy hands of Ashton Hagans.

This team has developed an attitude.

The best college player in the state goes to Murray State.

This was not at all a dirty play by Washington. The refs reacted to the blood and the crowd. It is what it is. Luckily that play did not end up a big advantage for Auburn.

The Duke Dorks don’t deserve Maria Taylor.

Quickies

Herro Ball | WDRB- Tyler Herro had only five points in the first half but exploded for 15 in the second half. He hit every shot that Kentucky needed him to hit.

Charles Barkley crashes Cal’s press conference | Sporting News- Sir Charles paid his good friend a visit as Calipari addressed the press. Barkley dropped an expletive “f - - - - John Calipari” but it was all in good fun. The two laughed, bantered and hugged.

Cats play complete game at Auburn | CBS- There were four players in double-digits for the Cats and they played very well defensively. They did it all on the road in the toughest environment they’ve seen so far.

College Game Day back at Rupp Arena | UK Athletics- ESPN is bringing out all the stops as the Kansas Jayhawks come to to this Saturday. Gates open at 9:00 AM and the show starts at 11:00 AM. I’m sure the arena will be full for the showdown between the two blue bloods.

Takeaways from Kentucky at Auburn | Cats Pause- Growth is the takeaway here. It didn’t happen as fast as we all expected but this season is starting to feel special. The Cats have two more resume building opportunities this week. Don’t look forward to Kansas and overlook Mississippi State on Tuesday night.

Late layup downs Kansas | ESPN- The West Virginia Mountaineers got their first Big 12 win of the season at home against Kansas. The Jayhawks have flaws but they will be clicking on all cylinders vs. Kentucky. Bill Self has won three in a row against John Calipari.

Winners and Losers after a Saturday of upsets | CBS- Kansas wasn’t the only ranked team to lose. Michigan lost their first game of the season at Wisconsin yesterday as well. The Cats came out winners yesterday in more ways than one:

In a tough road environment against a talented Auburn team, with a player like Bryce Brown going absolutely off, Kentucky survived an 82-80 thriller to improve to 14-3 on the season and 4-1 in SEC play. The Wildcats still have a ways to go on both ends of the court, but this could be an inflection point with UK’s young stars -- Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson -- really coming into their own as leaders on defense and offense, respectively.

Today’s Championship picks | USA Today- Personally I would like a Chiefs/Saints Super Bowl. The experts think it’s going to be Pats/Saints. Wouldn’t shock me in the least.