It was a great start for the Cats as they jumped out to a quick 7-0 and were up 9-4 at the first media timeout.
The last few games, the Cats have not looked very good on the defensive end of the floor. Now that the team is back healthy again, we needed to see them defend at a high level, and we got that in the first half.
Kentucky was forcing tough shots and used that to build a 28-14 lead with just under 8 minutes left in the half.
Florida made a run, as expected, and got the lead to single digits. However, the Cats answered the run and took a 38-26 lead into halftime.
The second half was a quick start for the Gators as they go on a run to make it a 38-31 game forcing Calipari to take a timeout.
It was then the Oscar Tshiebwe takeover as he scored 11 straight point for the Cats giving them a 49-37 lead with 15 minutes to go.
Florida kept fighting and a three with 12:19 remaining cut the lead back to single digits making it 51-42.
Kentucky responded once again and went on another run to push the lead back out to 61-47 at the under 8 media timeout.
The Cats did an awful job down the stretch putting this game away, but they did enough as they come away with the 71-63 win.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the game:
Keyontae Johnson ♥️♥️♥️— A Sea of Blue (@ASeaOfBlue) March 5, 2022
Kentucky can just pull two guys off the bench and they provide immediate impact. Biggest strength of this team imo.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) March 5, 2022
Feels like Kentucky is exclusively scoring in transition today. Nothing coming easy in the half-court.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) March 5, 2022
I just love oscars toughness— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) March 5, 2022
LOUD “Go Big Blue” chant ringing through the O-Dome with Kentucky up 25-11. Can hear it clearly on TV.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) March 5, 2022
The road Go-Big-Blue chants are great but I'm ready to hear them at the tournament.— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) March 5, 2022
Love a good fast paced game!— Big Blue Breakdown (@BlueBreakdown) March 5, 2022
Kentucky is back to playing really good basketball on both ends of the floor. Good to see with postseason play starting.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) March 5, 2022
Just assumed that layup hit the backboard before Washington blocked it but not so sure on replay. Looked like a good block.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 5, 2022
You have to love what you see from the Cats in the first half.— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) March 5, 2022
The seed for the SEC tournament may be set but it’s time to make a statement!
Dang Davion almost canned that— All Things Kentucky (@BBNWonka) March 5, 2022
Kentucky leads Florida at the break 38-26, very strong half of basketball.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 5, 2022
Oscar Tshiebwe with a first-half double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sahvir Wheeler and Kellan Grady with seven, Davion Mintz with six.
UK shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three.
I need a high quality gif of Cal right now— Colton Covington (@C_Cov_) March 5, 2022
Nine straight points for Big O. Can’t be contained.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) March 5, 2022
Oscar Tshiebwe is feasting.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) March 5, 2022
Ref gonna choke on that damn whistle if he ain’t careful.— Michael Beard (@AllMikedUp_) March 5, 2022
When in doubt, give it to Oscar.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) March 5, 2022
Florida is stopping Oscar Tshiebwe about as well as I would stop Oscar Tshiebwe.— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) March 5, 2022
I’m not sure you can have him in late in the game— Ian Teasley (@ianteasley) March 5, 2022
Hate how conservative we have gotten down the stretch— Big Blue Nation (@BigB1ue9ation) March 5, 2022
Kentucky is so awful in the final two minutes of close games. They have to figure out this inbounding-mess. Have to be perfect in March.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) March 5, 2022
Oscar Tshiebwe: 27 points, 15 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals. Ho-hum.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 5, 2022
Most complete team since the 2016-2017 team!— Jonny David DPT, PT (@JonnyDavid) March 5, 2022
Really good way to end the regular season. Now time to prepare for the postseason.— Big Blue Express (@bigbluexpress) March 5, 2022
Oscar Tshiebwe. The National Player of the Year.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 5, 2022
Kentucky. The pick --- as of right now --- on a neutral court to win the 2022 national title.
This is March.
Oscar Tshiebwe: "I think I just give it everything I have every night. I fight. I never give up. When you fight until the end, you’re always going to help your team. I just do what Oscar does all the time."— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) March 5, 2022
Regular season ☑️ pic.twitter.com/SXbM9JEmVD— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 5, 2022