Kentucky had a solid first half in the season finale at Rupp. With complete efforts across the board, it was the transition game that really gave Ole Miss trouble. Alongside that speed, the Cats shot 57% percent from the field, and 55% from three to give them a 44-35 lead going into the half.
Ole Miss came out in the second half, and Kermit Davis had his squad ready to fight until the very end. The Cats proved to be too much though on offense, as Kentucky continually broke down the defense to put together another impressive night shooting from the floor, but the defense was a big letdown.
Tonight’s game once again flashed the potential of this squad as the final month begins. With a fully healthy TyTy Washington, and Sahvir Wheeler in the backcourt this team 1-5 matches up with anyone in the country.
With the win, Kentucky moves to 24-6 (13-4) on the season. They will wrap up the regular season on Saturday against the Florida Gators in Gainesville.
Here are a few quick takeaways from tonight’s victory over the Rebels:
Although their time in Lexington was short, all of Big Blue Nation got to show their appreciation for Kellan Grady and Davion Mintz before tonight’s game as they both participated in senior night activities.
Kellan Grady and Davion Mintz introduced one final time at Rupp Arena on Senior Night pic.twitter.com/4ZBdAhNumG— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 2, 2022
Both players helped the Cats get off to a fast start. Grady came out of the gate hot once again scoring seven points in the first five minutes of game time tonight, while Mintz continued to prove his worth on both ends of the floor as a guard off the bench. If both of these guys play as they did tonight, this team is every bit a championship contender.
Really love this moment— Maggie Davis (@MaggieDavisTV) March 2, 2022
Davion Mintz & Kellan Grady also hug each other’s parents on senior night pic.twitter.com/A9tdElEt9p
Perfect Season at Rupp
With tonight’s win the Cats have completed the perfect season at Rupp. This is the sixth time in John Calipari’s tenure that his teams have ended the season perfect at home, and is just the 14th perfect home-slate in Rupp Arena history.
For it to happen after last season’s struggles makes what this team accomplished even more special. The story is shaping up to be a pretty magical March.
Oscar is the National Player of the Year, and it shouldn't even be close. Tonight was further proof of that as he recorded his 12th straight double-double.
He finished with 18 points on 9/12 shooting, while also adding 15 rebounds.
Throughout the game he not only rebounded every ball that came in his direction, he is starting to show flashes of some quick and effective post moves. If he can continue to be a force on the block, as well as knock down the free throw line jumper, the offense is going to be humming with a completely healthy roster.
Defense Struggles Again
Ole Miss is a bad defensive team themselves, and the Kentucky defense seemed to follow suit in tonight's matchup.
Coming into the night the Cats were considered the 20th best defense in the country according to KenPom, and have been solid at that end of the floor all season. Ole Miss took advantage of easy drives to the basket, and made open shots from the perimeter to keep them within striking distance the entirety of the game.
Will this be an outlier, or will this trend continue? That is a big question that has to be answered especially down the stretch in March.
Now, let’s talk about the win!