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Wednesday Quickies: A good day to be a Wildcat

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Cats baby!

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State Farm Champions Classic - Michigan State Spartans v Kentucky Wildcats Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Well, last night was pretty awesome.

It didn’t get off to the best of starts when Kentucky lost Cade Cunningham to Oklahoma State, but that felt like a distant memory was the final seconds rolled off the clock of a 69-62 win by the Cats over No. 1 Michigan State.

After the frustration of missing on seemingly every elite recruit in the Class of 2019, not to mention Kerry Blackshear, Jaden McDaniels and N’Faly Dante over the summer, Tyrese Maxey reminded everyone he’s not only one of nation’s the best freshman, but also a star on the rise who already made a major statement in the Player of the Year award races. He also outshined the favorite for said awards in Spartans All-American senior Cassius Winston.

After that aforementioned loss of Cunningham, the Wildcats proved yet again they can win at the highest level even when not getting those John Wall/Anthony Davis/Karl Anthony-Towns-level recruits.

Perhaps most impressively, Kentucky already looks like an elite defensive team capable of locking down anyone, and that’s with a team that, while it does have veterans, still played four freshmen, a grad transfer from Bucknell, a hobbled Nick Richards, and a struggling EJ Montgomery still finding himself.

Despite all of this, they played like a true team that, at least defensively, has been through countless battles together, a great sign for the rest of what now looks like a very promising season.

But above all, this was just a great day to be a Wildcat.

Tweet(s) of the Day:

Word.

Mean mug and the staredown.

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Your Quickies

Maxey-mum Effort Lifts No. 2 Cats Past Top-Ranked Spartans - UK
The Champions Classic brought the top-four teams in the nation to the same building for the first time in college basketball. The nightcap marked the fourth No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in college basketball in the last 10 years, and it was Kentucky who came out on top.

Tyrese Maxey: “I’m a winner, I’m a competitor” - KSR
Maxey, Kentucky’s latest freshman star, scored a game-high 26 points, including a dagger three in the final minute.

Defense Leads No. 13 Kentucky Past Mount St. Mary’s - UK
Rhyne Howard had 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists as the 13th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Mount St. Mary’s 67-44 on Tuesday night at Memorial Coliseum.

Cade Cunningham picks Oklahoma State | Lexington Herald Leader
Five-star point guard recruit Cade Cunningham announced his commitment to Oklahoma State on Tuesday night, picking the Cowboys over Kentucky and three other schools. His brother is a coach in Stillwater.

Five-star forward Isaiah Jackson sets decision date - CatsPause
Ranked No. 25 overall and the No. 3 power forward in the 2020 class according to 247 Sports Composite, Jackson is down to Alabama, Kentucky and Syracuse.

Kentucky’s Bowl Projections with Four Games Remaining - KSR
The Gator Bowl is becoming a popular pick again for the Cats. Where are you hoping to see them land for the postseason?

Blake Best Named Burlsworth Trophy Candidate - UK
Senior long snapper Blake Best has been named one of the record 83 candidates for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding football player who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field.

‘She just felt at home.’ | Lexington Herald Leader
Five-star basketball recruit Treasure Hunt committed to Kentucky on Monday, joining the Wildcats’ class of 2020. She is a friend and former teammate of UK star Rhyne Howard and a major addition for the Cats.

No. 4 Duke edges third-ranked Kansas 68-66 - ESPN
Tre Jones scored 15 points and Cassius Stanley added 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help No. 4 Duke beat third-ranked Kansas 68-66. The real story was 27 turnovers by the Jayhawks, though Duke did have 16.

Lamar Jackson’s rise, eight other things to love in the NFL in ‘19 - NFL.com
The Ravens’ Lamar Jackson-led attack is a sight to behold -- along with Joey Bosa’s defensive prowess and Tyler Lockett’s connection with his QB. Gregg Rosenthal spotlights nine things to love in 2019.

Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 9 of the 2019 NFL season | PFF
PFF’s Mark Chichester takes a look at the overall grades for every first-round rookie after the ninth week of the 2019 NFL season.