To sum this game up in one word, I would say “punked.”
Kentucky got punked by the Arkansas Razorbacks tonight, more so in the second half, which was quite possibly Kentucky’s worst-executed half of the season.
Everything from a stagnant offense to a defense that resembled saloon doors, to hilariously bad turnovers, the Kentucky Wildcats had the chance to change the tone of their season, again, and blew it.
It marks the end of the six-game SEC win streak and Kentucky’s 8th loss on the season with just eight games remaining. Kentucky is now in severe danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.
It was also another disappointing outing from Oscar Tshiebwe, who had his second straight game struggling to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball, and also got pretty badly on the defensive end as well.
Kentucky will look to get back in the win column on Saturday at Georgia.
Here’s what Twitter had to say.
This loss hurts, especially by the margin— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 8, 2023
Arkansas is good but that was a poor 2nd Half effort
Arkansas just getting layups. If only there was some kind of defensive scheme that could prevent this and make teams shoot over you. I guess we'll never know. pic.twitter.com/3TurtYKPhB— Steven Peake (@StevenPeakeKSR) February 8, 2023
Lots of fans hitting the exits— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) February 8, 2023
The refusal to zone again after watching this display of defense tonight is alarming.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) February 8, 2023
I don't care what Oscar did last year. I don't care what Toppin is *supposed* to be. Cal lost this game by forcing them on the court. Can't keep negatives on the court in this sort of game. Makes no sense to bench Collins.— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) February 8, 2023
The officiating has been bad, but Kentucky has not helped themselves.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) February 8, 2023
Too many turnovers, leading to easy runouts for Arkansas. Allowing easy layups at the rim.
Kentucky allowing Arkansas to shoot 61.7% and 44.4% from three. Just a bad defensive team.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) February 8, 2023
Just not a good enough defensive team.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) February 8, 2023
Lunardi gonna move UNC up two seed lines and knock Kentucky to the next four out— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) February 8, 2023
Tshiebwe has given UK almost nothing, Collins played his best half of basketball ... and Collins hasn't played since 11:37 to go.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 8, 2023
Hogs by 12, 2:07 left. Cason Wallace has 21 points and 5 assists but needed to be more aggressive in the middle of the game. And needed help.
Terry kicked 5 fans out. Absolute embarrassment by SEC officiating.— Matt Sak (@MattSakBBN) February 8, 2023
2 second-half minutes for Daimion Collins after one of the best first halves of his career while Oscar Tshiebwe is struggling.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) February 8, 2023
I don't get it.
Arkansas is shooting 75 percent (18-of-24) in the second half & 64 percent (32-of-50) for the game— Mark Story (@markcstory) February 8, 2023
Eric Musselman is the first call when Calipari finally calls it. One hell of a coach, and literally just rubbed this win in the face of the remaining UK fans in Rupp.— Ethan DeWitt (@EthanDeWitt1) February 8, 2023
Say what you want, but this Arkansas team just one a fight... And its Muss that helped that.
Daimion Collins scored seven points, hit the halftime buzzer beater and tried to dunk on a guy from the free-throw line in six first-half minutes.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 8, 2023
Despite Oscar Tshiebwe being a straight up liability again, Collins played two minutes in the second half, none in last 11:37. Why?
It's the same old story with these losses. Cal's lineup decisions make no sense and are horrendous. Players don't make plays, especially upperclassmen. Only guys to show up were freshmen + Collins.— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) February 8, 2023
North Carolina. Bubble Team.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 8, 2023
Kentucky. Bubble Team.