Right from the tip, Kentucky seemed out of sync as they were quickly down 7-0 forcing coach Cal to take an early timeout.
Kentucky would find some rhythm and would cut the lead to 11-9 but Florida had it going from deep and they pushed it to 18-9 with 10 minutes to go in the half.
The Cats were down 22-11 but were able to battle back once again and make it 25-20 with just under 6 minutes left.
Unfortunately, Kentucky’s defense was rough throughout the half without Hagans as Florida was able to drive to the rim at will.
Despite the struggles, Kentucky remained within striking distance at the half as they trailed 40-30.
In the second half, Kentucky came out strong and cut it to 40-35 but Florida answered again and extended it back out to 45-35.
Things quickly started unraveling for Kentucky as they were struggling offensively and couldn’t stop the Florida guards.
At the under 12 media timeout, the Cats found themselves down 56-39.
Kentucky did start to build some momentum after the break and a three by Keion Brooks with just under 9 minutes to play cut the lead to 61-51.
The Cats momentum continued to build as they stepped up on both ends and with 4:26 left in the game, the lead was down to 66-61 and Florida was forced to take a timeout.
Each team exchanged buckets, but Kentucky continued their climb and it was 70-67 with 1:28 to play.
Kentucky completed the major comeback with a tip in and a defensive stop to beat the Gators 71-70.
Time to get ready for the SEC Tournament next week!
Here is how Twitter reacted to the comeback:
This team is as good at runners and floaters as any UK team I can remember.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 7, 2020
Both of Quickley's offensive fouls have been meh.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 7, 2020
Everyone loves to critique Hagans’ offensive ability, and his questionable decisions on offense.— Big Blue Nation (@BigBlue9ation) March 7, 2020
We don’t talk about how he is an aggressive, pesky on-ball defender.
His defense is extremely underrated, and the Florida guards are doing whatever they want right now.
This teams inability to make layups is insane— Eric Murphy (@emurphy24) March 7, 2020
Wait, what? A 3-pointer by Keion Brooks. OK then. Had only made three all season.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 7, 2020
That was Keion Brooks' first 3 since the Fairleigh Dickinson game on Dec. 7.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) March 7, 2020
I know he blocks some shots but Kentucky gives up a lot of second chance points when Richards doesn't get the block coming over to help.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) March 7, 2020
Hagans' defense is what Kentucky is missing most today. Florida driving the Cats to death.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 7, 2020
ashton hagans has the highest AST% of any guard in the calipari era, so with very little preparation some major disruption in offensive roles was going to happen— J. Kyle Mann (@jkylemann) March 7, 2020
the team has heavily depended on his decisions, good and bad
Halftime: Florida 40, Kentucky 30.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) March 7, 2020
The cats are clawing through without Ashton Hagans.
These offensive foul calls on Nick for posting up are trash— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) March 7, 2020
Not saying that Calipari said game didn't really matter on pregame with Tom Leach, but no conference title at stake, seeding won't change lot win or lose. Bigger deal is if Hagans can get "mind" right and return and will team accept that.— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) March 7, 2020
Just keep fighting. That’s all we ask. Let’s go Cats!— Revolving tweeter handle (@jrasmussbbn) March 7, 2020
Doug Shows is such a loser.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) March 7, 2020
The Coaches Box T is the dumbest thing in sports, regardless of which coach or team. It’s another way for college officials to pretend to be important.— Chris Bailey (@Kentuckyweather) March 7, 2020
Why do officials reward guys for sliding over and taking charges after the offensive player has left his feet? Quickley has been called for three offensive fouls today.— Derek Terry (@DerekSTerry) March 7, 2020
Johnny Juzang is firing today and no one is going to stop him.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 7, 2020
I give a lot of credit to Juzang-Brooks-Sestina.....playing hard and have done their part— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 7, 2020
I’m cool riding with this group win or lose. Playing their ass off.— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) March 7, 2020
Oh my goodness, Keion Brooks. Ridiculous floater goes and it's 66-61 Florida, 4:26 to go. Kentucky totally re-energized. Brooks has 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals. He and Juzang giving the Cats a shot.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 7, 2020
This stretch might be the best thing that has happened to this team, regardless of how this ends today. Kentucky needs Keion Brooks, Johnny Juzang and Nate Sestina to play big minutes in postseason play. This has to be a shot in the arm for those three.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) March 7, 2020
To my new Florida friends, maybe you should have yelled a little louder at the end? Kidding. Thanks for a laugh after a long week. pic.twitter.com/1wfhKIo3FY— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) March 7, 2020
Nicholas Richards my god— Leah Edmond (@leahedmond13) March 7, 2020
No Hagans— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 7, 2020
Maxey can’t make a shot
Down 18 on the road in 2nd Half
And they are down 3 with a minute to go
Heck of a comeback by these dudes
If they rule this offensive interference I’m grabbing the pitch forks— Ian Teasley (@ianteasley) March 7, 2020
Hell of a win!! ⚪️— Jonny David (@JonnyDavid) March 7, 2020
To rally back from 18 down and win without Ashton Hagans and without Immanuel Quickley for most of the second half is HUGE. This week has been a pendulum of emotion. What a way to cap it off.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) March 7, 2020
Speaking of deleting tweets ... what a second half by Nick Richards. Carried Kentucky on his back down the stretch. https://t.co/c00JW8dhau— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) March 7, 2020
Trailing by one with 27 seconds to go, John Calipari drew up a play for Keion Brooks. He showed so much today. Can't wait to see him completely unleashed.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) March 7, 2020
Keion Brooks on Richards: "I'm going to ride with Nick 10 times out of 10."— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 7, 2020
Kentucky mounted an 18-point comeback when:— Travis Graf (@TravGraf_Rivals) March 7, 2020
-Maxey was 1/11 from the field
-Quickley fouled out with 9 min left
-Montgomery finished with 4&2.
Today makes me think of one of the great UK pictures of all time pic.twitter.com/Jq4N86bduU— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 7, 2020