■ As expected of a team 24-0, Kentucky finds ways to win.
On Jan. 6, UK trailed Ole Miss 83-81 with 3:22 left in overtime, yet beat the Rebels 89-86.
On Jan. 10, UK trailed host Texas A&M 57-55 with 27.3 seconds left in overtime, then trailed 59-57 with 4:20 left in the second overtime, yet won 70-64.
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On Feb. 7, UK trailed host Florida 44-42 with 12:32 remaining, yet beat the Gators 68-61 before a wild crowd in the O'Dome.
On Feb. 10, UK trailed LSU 69-66 with 3:52 to go, but stopped the Tigers the rest of the way and won a 71-69 thriller in Baton Rouge.
■ Overlooked Tuesday night: Dakari Johnson had seven points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in just 12 minutes.
■ Don't look now, but Arkansas has won six of its last seven. The one Razorback loss came on a controversial call with 1.2 seconds left at Florida. As a result, Michael Frazier hit two free throws to give the Gators a 57-56 victory.
Without that unfortunate whistle, Mike Anderson's team is 20-4 overall and 9-2 in the SEC. Arkansas visits Rupp on Feb. 28.
■ LSU's Jordan Mickey played 39 minutes Tuesday night. Jarell Martin played 38. Keith Hornsby played 37. All three came into the UK matchup averaging at least 35 minutes per game.
With the 6-5 Tigers needing a strong push to get into the NCAA Tournament, you have to wonder if those three will have much left down the stretch.
■ Kentucky did an excellent job Tuesday on Mickey. The 6-foot-10 sophomore entered the game off three straight double-doubles in which he averaged 24 points and 14.7 rebounds. Against UK, Mickey finished with 16 points, seven rebounds.
■ In the past 10 years, only one NCAA champion has rated outside the Top 20 in advanced stats guru Ken Pomeroy's defensive efficiency rankings. The 2009 North Carolina team was the exception. The Tar Heels ranked 21st heading into the tournament.
Gonzaga is currently 27th in defensive efficiency.
■ George Karl, newly hired head coach of the Sacramento Kings, will form an interesting mix with DeMarcus Cousins.
■ RIP Jerry Tarkanian, the ex-UNLV coach who passed away Wednesday at the age of 84.
In one way, Tarkanian was a forerunner of the modern college basketball coaches who are all about, as Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski wrote Wednesday in a piece about Tark, the "unapologetic grab for glory and money and power."
In another way, however, Tark was a throwback to a time when coaches were full of personality, said what they thought and didn't mind controversy. As a basketball fan, I miss those days.
■ RIP Dean Smith, who passed away Saturday night. Here are two Smith stories:
In 1986, I was covering Louisville's eventual run to the national title. The Cards started the tournament in Ogden, Utah, at the home of Weber State. So did North Carolina.
The Tar Heels were out on the floor, warming up for one of their two games — I don't remember which — and I was walking around the back hallway to get to the floor. There, just outside the opening of the tunnel, hidden from his team's view, was Dean Smith, sneaking a smoke.
Eleven years later, I was fortunate enough to cover the North Carolina-Colorado second-round game of the 1997 NCAA Tournament in Winston-Salem. UNC won 73-56, giving Smith his 877th victory, passing Adolph Rupp's 876 on the list of all-time college basketball victories.
What struck me that day was the number of former North Carolina players who were in attendance. They all wanted to be there in person to witness the feat and show their affection for a coach who remained a part of their lives long after they stopped being student-athletes.
To me, that said a lot more than the wins.