The Kentucky Wildcats made it to the round of 32 with a win over Providence on Friday night. On Sunday they looked to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16 with a matchup against the Kansas State Wildcats.
It was a slow offensive start for both teams, but the Cats were able to take a 6-3 lead into the first media timeout.
Kentucky was playing excellent defense and used that to build a 14-7 lead by the under-12 media timeout.
Kansas State wasn’t going to go away and started battling their way back into the game. With 7 minutes remaining in the half, the lead was cut to 17-15 and with just under 3 minutes to go, they took a 23-22 lead.
Down the stretch, it was Kansas State that converted more opportunities than the Cats as they took a 29-26 lead into the break.
The second half got off to a fantastic start for the Cats as they use a 13-0 run to take a 39-31 lead.
Once again, Kansas State didn’t go away and battled back to make it a tie game at 43 with just under 12 minutes to go.
K-State took a 47-43 lead, but Kentucky battled back to make it a 51-50 game at the under-8 timeout.
Out of the timeout, Kentucky began to take control and grabbed a 60-56 lead. However, Kansas State responded with a big three to make it a 60-59 game at the under-4 timeout.
Down the stretch, Kansas State made dagger threes and Kentucky couldn’t answer the blows as the Cats fall 75-69.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the game:
Beautiful defensive game plan by Calipari so far. Not going to let Nowell beat him. Will trade for open shots by non-shooters. Just like Providence. See if they can make. Keyontae Johnson has had some open lanes as UK transitions from press to man. @KentuckyRivals— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) March 19, 2023
Would love to create some separation— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) March 19, 2023
CJ Fredrick for 3!!!— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) March 19, 2023
This is where you have to persevere. Cats in a 3+ minute scoring drought, with 3 turnovers in the last 3 minutes. No wonder Kansas State is on a run.— Maggie Davis (@MaggieDavisTV) March 19, 2023
Can’t let it get away from you before the half
Oscar Tshiebwe’s little half nod celebration is it.— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) March 19, 2023
Oscar just may need to put the team on his back today.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 19, 2023
Kentucky has looked awful on the offensive end but holy cow these officials are actively going out of their way to make sure UK loses— Locked On Kentucky (@LockedOnUK) March 19, 2023
Kentucky is a perfect 19-0 when tied or leading but just 3-11 when trailing at halftime.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) March 19, 2023
Kentucky is going to have to draw up a lot of buckets via back cuts, screens, etc., they're going to have to get red hot from outside, or Oscar has to go into monster mode, because there is no conventional offense today.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 19, 2023
Only reason Kentucky is in the game is because of Oscar the rest of the team has to pick it up asap #BBN— Jordan Coleman (@JordansTrueBlue) March 19, 2023
The optimistic take on a pretty gross half of basketball by Kentucky:— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 19, 2023
They got two total points on 1-of-14 shooting from Jacob Toppin and Antonio Reeves (40 combined points last game) and had more turnovers (11) than made field goals (10) and trail by three.
Do it all Cason.— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) March 19, 2023
Cats out running and looking much better early in second half— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) March 19, 2023
Kentucky has come out of halftime HOT. 9-0 run in the first two and a half minutes. Exactly what you needed.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) March 19, 2023
Whatever John Calipari did at halftime, keep doing that.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) March 19, 2023
Disaster final segment of the first half leads to a brilliant first four to open the second. 13-2 run for Kentucky to take a 39-33 lead with 15:45 to go.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 19, 2023
Cason Wallace in takeover mode.
Every dead ball Jacob Toppin is grabbing a teammate and giving direction.— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) March 19, 2023
Oh my lord, it took them until March 19th but they are finally calling fouls for Oscar.— Berkley’s Pops ™️ (@BrandoAKing) March 19, 2023
Cal just have the biggest smile and head rub to Oscar during this timeout praising him. Everyone laughed.— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) March 19, 2023
Vintage John Vincent Calipari.
Gotta be elbow I don’t think headbutts count. But that was a travel.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) March 19, 2023
Oscar bringing the ball down to his knees is the most infuriating thing I have ever watched.— Brandon Patterson (@brandonpatt) March 19, 2023
Chris Livingston gonna go down fighting. 8 points/6 boards and a whole lotta "want it" today.— John Huang (@KYHuangs) March 19, 2023
I mean Reeves can’t throw a ball into the ocean…— Big Blue Nation (@BigB1ue9ation) March 19, 2023
No technical there is absurd— Angelo Carriero (@AngeloMediaLex) March 19, 2023
Just like old times. Kentucky's freshmen making plays in March. Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston doing a lot of good.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) March 19, 2023
Shewwweeeeee, we got a classic going now. Nowell bangs a deep 3 to tie it. This is fun.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 19, 2023
Great defense by Wallace on that Nowell three…that one hurts— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 19, 2023
What a game. So intense in here
Usually it’s at Rupp but it’s not surprising a kid is shooting lights out against us.— James (@RockwallCat) March 19, 2023
It was a pass not a shot attempt… crazy momentum— Haak™️ Year 4 (@jacksonhaak) March 19, 2023
Make or miss sport.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) March 19, 2023
Another tournament loss to Kansas State— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) March 19, 2023
These some crazy shots by k state— year 20 (@johnrivers131) March 19, 2023
Can't shoot 17% from 3 and expect to win— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) March 19, 2023
A lot of ups and downs this season but I really enjoyed the progression of this team.— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) March 19, 2023
You hate to see Oscar and Jacob go out like this.
Just brutal, man.— Lyndsey Gough (@LGonTV) March 19, 2023
Markquis Nowell just absolutely onions when it mattered.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 19, 2023
And I guarantee this wasn't called because the total fouls were already skewed in Kentucky's favor. Just make the call that needs to be made. Whatever and whenever it is. https://t.co/POC6MFRBYf— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) March 19, 2023
Rebounding 44-25 UK but 3 of 19 from 3 just killed Cats— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) March 19, 2023
I still want Reeves back— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) March 19, 2023
He would compliment the players next season great. More often than not, he’s a great shooter. Just an awful awful day
Kentucky needs Chris Livingston back next year so badly.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 19, 2023
When did that “foul” turn into a foul and not a jump ball?— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) March 19, 2023
Major credit to Nowell for hitting big shots, and KJ’s too, but officials sucked complete and total butt today.
In such a weird, and frustrating season, it ended somewhat unsurprisingly.
Final from Greensboro. pic.twitter.com/tai8oI2j2y— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 19, 2023