UK's three-point streak was 'cool,' but 'it's all about winning right now'
The University of Kentucky escaped with a 78-73 victory over Davidson in its opening game of the NCAA Tournament at Boise, Idaho, on Thursday night.
The Wildcats did not escape with their 30-year streak of consecutive games with a made three-point shot intact.
For the first time since Nov. 26, 1988, Kentucky played an entire game without making one basket from beyond the arc.
UK finished the night 0-for-6 from three-point range. Kevin Knox missed all three of his attempts, Hamidou Diallo, Wenyen Gabriel and Quade Green missed one try apiece, and the streak disappeared on a night when victory mattered much more than history.
Kentucky connected on at least one three-pointer in 1,047 consecutive games.
The three-point streak ended not so much because Kentucky was ineffective but because getting to the basket was so much easier than firing from long range. The Cats used their size advantage to make 26 of 51 shots (51 percent) and maintain a lead throughout the night. The Wildcats also sank 26 of 32 free throws (81.3 percent).
College basketball stats guru Ken Pomeroy tweeted after the game that Kentucky's 0-for-6 night was only the 19th time this season that a team failed to make a three-pointer in a game.
Kentucky flirted with a streak-buster a couple of times previously this season, making just two against Harvard on Dec. 2 and only one — by Knox with 6:56 left to play — at South Carolina on Jan. 16.
For those who fret about the three-point streak, the game at South Carolina was the 26th time Kentucky made only one three-point shot since missing the only two attempts against Seton Hall on Nov. 26, 1988. John Pelphrey and Chris Mills did the missing.
The game at South Carolina was the seventh time a John Calipari-coached UK team made only one three-pointer.
It also happened seven times during Tubby Smith’s time as coach, five times during Eddie Sutton’s time, four times when Billy Gillispie was coach and three times under Rick Pitino.
Players who kept the streak alive the most times were Derrick Miller and Jodie Meeks. Each made UK’s only three-pointer three times. Doron Lamb, Tayshaun Prince and Richie Farmer made UK’s only three-pointer in a game twice.
Staff writer Jerry Tipton contributed to this article.