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Kentucky Basketball finishes the season on a high but emotional note

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The players got together for one last pick-up game.

UK Huddle Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats’ season was obviously cut short last week due to growing concerns regarding COVID-19.

It was a heartbreaking way to end the season for players, coaches, and fans, alike. This wasn’t the typical March Madness heartbreak, though. This was something no one could have predicted.

The Cats had secured the No. 1 seed in the SEC and were coming off an unbelievable 18-point comeback win in Gainesville over the Florida Gators. This was despite Ashton Hagans missing the game due to “personal reasons.”

Regardless of Hagans’ absence, something with the team clicked, and getting Hagans back at 100% for the SEC Tournament made this team that much more dangerous.

Immanuel Quickley was named SEC Player of the Year. John Calipari was named Coach of the Year. Nick Richards joined Quickley as a First Team All-SEC performer. All of those awards coupled with many more should have had us flying high heading into Selection Sunday where a two seed seemed very possible.

Instead, this amazing season that looked like it could end in a national title run was canceled. Everything these guys worked for went out the window.

Sure, some of them will head to the NBA or other professional ranks and have successful careers. But these guys had been working for March Madness since last summer. And a guy like Nate Sestina transferred to Kentucky simply for the opportunity to experience it.

So, how did the season really end after the NCAA abruptly canceled the NCAA Tournament? Well, the team headed back home from Nashville and had one last pick-up game.

And they cried when it was over. If that doesn’t show you how much this means to these players, I’m not sure what will.

We could have seen Hagans, Quickley, Richards, Sestina, Tyrese Maxey, and even EJ Montgomery play in a Kentucky uniform for the last time and not even know it.

They didn’t even truly get to cherish their last game together, but at least they were able to end it on a high note.