In their first game since 2019 in the NCAA Tournament, the Kentucky Wildcats looked pretty rusty.
I don't think you could have imagined a worse first half for the Cats, as they allowed a sub-250 offense in the country to drop 37-points without their star player. That's a recipe for a disaster, and going into the half Kentucky was flirting with one.
And all of that flirting came to fruition in the second half as the Peacocks, would not back down from the Cats.
Oscar Tshiebwe was magnificent once again as he went for 30 points on 11/16 shooting while also adding 16 rebounds. But the supporting cast just wasn't there again tonight, and the title dreams are over.
Kentucky now turns to the offseason, where it will wait on draft decisions from Oscar and TyTy Washington, and see if Sahvir Wheeler and Keion Brooks will return for another season.
This was the end of the road for Kellan Grady and Davion Mintz however, and both will now move onto the next steps in their careers.
Here is quick thread of tweets from such a brutal game.
30 minutes until tip ...— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 17, 2022
RT if you're with the Cats pic.twitter.com/Jflc3wNMP6
The Saint Peters’s Peacock is ready. pic.twitter.com/2zzeIsvj2b— Aaron Gershon (@agershon99) March 17, 2022
Saint Peter's came into the tournament 281st in the nation in total offense. They've already hit 4 three's— Aaron Gershon (@agershon99) March 17, 2022
I mean, Saint Peter's is ... just outplaying Kentucky through nine minutes.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 17, 2022
Can we un-tweak?— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) March 17, 2022
Saint Peter's is 260th in KenPom's offensive efficiency. They're shooting 50% from the floor and 75% from 3 through the first 9 minutes.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) March 17, 2022
Saint Peter’s guard making some plays against Kentucky’s extended man pressure. Two backcuts against overplay, and two deep dribble drives on the last two possessions. @KentuckyRivals— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) March 17, 2022
Davion Mintz becomes just the fourth transfer in Kentucky basketball history with 100 made 3s.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) March 17, 2022
1. Travis Ford (190)
2. Patrick Sparks (151)
3. Dale Brown (109)
4. Davion Mintz (100)
Caller noted today on KSR that going into this game, Kellan Grady only had 33 Free Throw attempts on the YEAR— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 17, 2022
He now has 6 in the first 12 minutes. MUCH more aggressive
Let's keep running the Jacob Toppin alley-oop play. That seems to work OK.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 17, 2022
Embarrassing defensive performance by Kentucky so far. Giving up 35 in 17 minutes to this team is ridiculous.— Brandon Ramsey (@BRamseyKSR) March 17, 2022
Kentucky just isn't going very far with this version of its offense. Was forced to play a different way due to injuries and just hasn't quite been able to find its rhythm since.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) March 17, 2022
HALFTIME: Kentucky 37, Saint Peter's 37— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 18, 2022
Kentucky's starting backcourt: 10 points, 2/12 shooting, 7 assists, 4 turnovers— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) March 18, 2022
Not terrible, but they just need to be better. Doesn't help that Daryl Banks cooked them on the other end.
We didn't wait three years to be tied with St. Peter's in the first round.— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) March 17, 2022
Kentucky better be thankful for the whistle. Saint Peter’s has a higher percentage in both overall and 3-point shooting. The Cats made 13 of 15 free throws in the first half. The opponent was 2-3. @KentuckyRivals— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) March 18, 2022
I will say this…1st Round games are like JV playing Varsity in practice. Total freedom. Confidence when you shoot because missing doesn’t matter. Good teams win these games by 20 in the 2nd Half. If the ‘Cats do that then the first half means NOTHING.— Brandon Ramsey (@BRamseyKSR) March 18, 2022
And now, finally, it turns into Rupp North.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 18, 2022
Thunder dome in Indy as Tshiebwe hits a J, Kentucky gets a stop, Brooks hits a putback.
UK 42, Saint Peter's 40, 15:11 2H
Kentucky has forced six turnovers in seven minutes to start the 2H. Big change.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 18, 2022
Oscar miss, rebound, and then score. Stat stuffer— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) March 18, 2022
TyTy Washington, Sahvir Wheeler and Kellan Grady are a combined 2-17 from the field.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 18, 2022
Saint Peter's wants it more right now. Calipari said yesterday they wouldn't let go of the rope.— Aaron Gershon (@agershon99) March 18, 2022
Sahvir turning it up down the stretch pic.twitter.com/hgkg3lkUW3— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 18, 2022
We'll head to OT - UK 71, SP 71— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 18, 2022
Kentucky has a combined 3 games of NCAA Tournament experience on its roster and it’s showing.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) March 18, 2022
If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that OSCAR TSHIEBWE DOES NOT DESERVE THIS!— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) March 18, 2022
Our season comes to an end in Indy. pic.twitter.com/P3gxoUfR5h— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 18, 2022