Sidelines with John Clay

Some quick thoughts on Kentucky basketball’s SEC title win

Kentucky celebrated with the tournament trophy after their win over Texas A&M in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on March 13, 2016. Kentucky beat A&M 82-77 to win the 2016 championship.
Kentucky celebrated with the tournament trophy after their win over Texas A&M in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on March 13, 2016. Kentucky beat A&M 82-77 to win the 2016 championship. Lexington Herald-Leader

NASHVILLE -- Quick hits from Kentucky’s 82-77 overtime win over Texas A&M:

Recap: Tyler Ulis scored a career-high 30 points, and Derek Willis and Jamal Murray each hit huge three-pointers in overtime as Kentucky held off the Aggies to win their 29th SEC Tournament.

The Cats led 71-66 with 1:43 in regulation when A&M stormed back to send the game to the third consecutive overtime affair between these two teams. Danuel House, who finished with 32 points, hit a three, then score on a drive with 18 seconds left. Ulis missed on Kentucky’s final possession in regulation.

But Ulis opened the overtime with a three-pointer. And with the score tied at 75-75, Willis hit a three with 1:02 remaining. Murray followed with a rainbow three with just 15 seconds left on the game clock and three seconds left on the shot clock to make it 81-75.

Player of the game: Tyler Ulis showed why he was SEC Player of the Year. The sophomore guard hit 10 of 17 shots, including three of five three-pointers. He was also seven of eight from the foul line and dished five assists.

 

SEC trophy #bbn

A photo posted by John Clay (@johnclay21) on

Silver lining: The Cats had to earn this title, beating a determined Georgia in Saturday’s semifinal before surviving Texas A&M’s strong push on Sunday. After being 0-3 in games it trailed before halftime this season, Kentucky trailed at the half in both the semifinal and final and won both games. UK was down 38-34 on Sunday before rallying to get the win. John Calipari has talked about fight all season. His team fought to win the title.

Dark cloud: Kentucky’s defense was not the best. UK came into the game having slipped to 70th in defensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers. Alabama averaged 1.017 points per possession on Friday; Georgia averaged 1.213 on Saturday; Texas A&M averaged 1.063 on Sunday.

Key stat: After a slow start, Kentucky ended up making 10 of 24 three-point shots. Dick Vitale said that Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy told him in pre-game interviews that the Aggies had to contain UK’s three-point shooting, especially with regards to Murray. And A&M did do a good job for most of the game. UK was two of six from three in the first half and five of seven from three in the second half. But the Cats went three of four from beyond the arc in the overtime.

In the three SEC Tournament games, Kentucky was 32 of 67 from three-point range for 47.8 percent. UK made 10 or more threes in seven of its last 13 games.

What’s next: The NCAA Tournament Selection Show, which starts at 5:30 p.m. on CBS.

Kentucky men’s basketball 2015-16

Date

Opponent

UK

Opp

Dec

Overall

SEC

11/13/15

Albany

78

65

W

1-0

 

11/14/15

NJIT

87

57

W

2-0

 

11/17/15

vs. Duke (Chicago)

74

63

W

3-0

 

11/20/15

Wright State

78

63

W

4-0

 

11/24/15

Boston

82

62

W

5-0

 

11/27/15

@South Florida (Miami)

84

63

W

6-0

 

11/30/15

Illinois State

75

63

W

7-0

 

12/3/15

@UCLA

77

87

L

7-1

 

12/9/15

Eastern Kentucky

88

67

W

8-1

 

12/12/15

Arizona State

72

58

W

9-1

 

12/19/15

vs. Ohio St. (Brooklyn)

67

74

L

9-2

 

12/26/15

Louisville

75

73

W

10-2

 

1/2/16

Ole Miss

83

61

W

11-2

0-1

1/5/16

@LSU

67

85

L

11-3

1-1

1/9/16

@Alabama

77

61

W

12-3

2-1

1/12/16

Miss State

80

74

W

13-3

3-1

1/16/16

@Auburn

70

75

L

13-4

3-2

1/21/16

@Arkansas

80

66

W

14-4

4-2

1/23/16

Vanderbilt

76

57

W

15-4

5-2

1/27/16

Missouri

88

54

W

16-4

6-2

1/30/16

@Kansas

84

90

L*

16-5

 

2/2/16

@Tennessee

77

84

L

16-6

6-3

2/6/16

Florida

80

61

W

17-6

7-3

2/9/16

Georgia

82

48

W

18-6

8-3

2/13/16

@S Carolina

89

62

W

19-6

9-3

2/18/16

Tennessee

80

70

W

20-6

10-3

2/20/16

@Texas A&M

77

79

L*

20-7

10-4

2/23/16

Alabama

78

53

W

21-7

11-4

2/27/16

@Vanderbilt

62

74

L

21-8

11-5

3/1/16

@Florida

88

79

W

22-8

12-5

3/5/16

LSU

94

77

W

23-8

13-5

3/11/16

vs. Alabama (SEC)

85

59

W

24-8

 

3/12/16

vs. Georgia (SEC)

93

80

W

25-8

 

3/13/16

vs. Texas A&M (SEC)

82

77

W*

26-8

 
  Comments