Kentucky dug themselves a huge hole early, trailing by 22 points to the Irish heading into the half, which proved costly in the end.
Olivier Sarr has established himself as a go-to scorer and true post presence for the Wildcats. He scored 22 points on 11/16 shooting, and his final shot at the buzzer was just an inch away from being a game-winner.
Kentucky managed to outscore Notre Dame 37-16 in the second half. Was that a sign the Cats are finding themselves, or were the Irish just coasting after building such a big lead?
Either way, starting 1-4 is inexcusable, and I hate moral victories, even if there is a few to take from this game.
Up next, Kentucky faces UCLA next Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic at 2 pm EST.
Here is what social media had to say:
Had a shot at the buzzer.— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 12, 2020
Proud of the fight back and we'll keep on working pic.twitter.com/RZrdGXuTaS
UK falls to 1-4 for the first time since 1984-85.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) December 12, 2020
Hopefully this is what turns the corner— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 12, 2020
I can’t help but be skeptical but they did show a lot of heart coming back
Now they need it for 40 minutes
I’m sorry but this is embarrassing. This is the University of Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/jIKPRhNXqd— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) December 12, 2020
If BJ Boston would’ve shot at Tupac he’d still be alive today.— Cats Coverage (@CatsCoverage_) December 12, 2020
How it started: How it’s going: pic.twitter.com/oIudabs2lF— Chet Lemond (@ChetLemond) December 12, 2020
Kentucky was +10 with Isaiah Jackson on the court. Easily best on team. First half foul trouble, Notre Dame built 20-pt lead then.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 12, 2020
Terrence Clarke came over to Olivier and physically lifted his head up for him.— Tod Lanter (@tod_lanterIII) December 12, 2020
Tough loss. But we finally showed some fight! And we can build on that.
I believe we will point to this as the turning point down the road.
Mintz is a Lifesaver ™— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) December 12, 2020
Criticisms and questions regarding BJ Boston's play are extremely valid right now. Shot selection and open misses are hurting this team. https://t.co/GQJ8tsjOvn— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) December 12, 2020
Kentucky falls just short of a 24-point comeback against Notre Dame— Bleacher Report CBB (@br_CBB) December 12, 2020
What an ending pic.twitter.com/GBXVTAx9Cq
What a response by @KentuckyMBB in 2nd half. ND had zero answer for Cats pressure. Another loss.... but with hope. It’s a long season— Jimmy Dykes (@CoachJimmyDykes) December 12, 2020
Things you didn't think you'd tweet: Kentucky is 1-4.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 12, 2020
The last time a John Calipari-coached team got out of the gates anywhere close to this was back in 2000-01, his first season at Memphis — when he started 2-6.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) December 12, 2020
The Tigers finished 21-15, 10-6 in C-USA and did not make the postseason.
Incredible fight by Kentucky in the second half, clawed back with their backs against the wall. Hope they look at that effort and build off of it moving forward.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) December 12, 2020
1-4 is 1-4, but they needed to know how to fight and how to respond with punches of their own. Step one.
Olivier Sarr, Terrence Clarke, B.J. Boston & Davion Mintz combined for 57 points today. The rest of the team had six. @KentuckyRivals— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) December 12, 2020
Every single player went to Olivier Sarr after that missed shot. Even in a loss, that tells me everything I need to know moving forward.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) December 12, 2020
Certainly, the fight of UK in final 10 minutes was heartening, but saddled with a 1-4 start, UK will likely face a very difficult seed in @marchmadness. (if there is one). It’ll take a phenomenal run over next 12-14 games to even smell of Top 25. Seeding no higher than 8 or 9.— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) December 12, 2020
just an opinion but i think john calipari should recruit more kids who want to play for kentucky, and less who want to play for the knicks. hoping he recruits more kentucky hs kids, who tend to play better when they put on the uniform because it means so much to them.— Dick Weiss (@HoopsWeiss) December 12, 2020
John Calipari said he likes what he saw from Terrence Clarke at point guard, sounds like it's going to be a permanent move— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) December 12, 2020
Kentucky found a defensive identity, took care of the ball better, Clarke looked pretty good handling the ball, Sarr looked like a #1 option. Team showed fight and effort and got experience in crunch time. Could be a turning point game— • (@swilson502) December 12, 2020
“But look, there’s hope now. If that’s who we are, those 20 minutes, there’s hope.” https://t.co/zFXmx4eVEI— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 12, 2020
Calipari: “I think we should play through Olivier and Terrence and no one else”— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 12, 2020