Kentucky headed to College Station with a huge chip on their shoulder. They had not lost three games in a row in the Calipari era and being a 5 point underdog meant they had an uphill climb to avoid the dubious distinction.

The ‘Cats would be without Sacha Killeya-Jones as he was attending a funeral for his grandpa.

Knowing the road ahead (at Auburn, Bama’s backcourt coming to Rupp) the need to win this game was enormous. The possibility of losing 5 straight was honestly in the cards.

Without SKJ, the ‘Cats would be extremely thin. Only Nick Richards would be UK’s true ‘big man’ for the game.

FIRST HALF

Kentucky began the first half very much like every first half they seemingly play every game. They had 11 points in the first 11 minutes of the game.

Kentucky saw a half in which Quade Green shot a three off the side of a backboard, another lob fail miserably, Hamidou Diallo score zero points again.

Somehow, Kentucky led at the half anyway, 30-26. The only way this team wins game is with defense and they put on another solid display. Holding A&M to 30% from the floor and 2-14 from three.

The defense is odd too… they have A LOT of brain farts and make made decisions, but you look down and they have held the team to miserable stats.

Kentucky was led in the first half by Kevin Knox, with 11 points on 2-3 from three-point area and 3 rebounds. Only Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had more than 4 points. He had 6 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds.

Highlights:

SECOND HALF

The Aggies came out with their hair on fire, making their first 4 shots of the half on 2 layups, one dunk, and an easy jumper.

It would only get worse as Calipari had to take a timeout to stop the bleeding after 3 trips and three 3-pointers for A&M to take an 11-point lead. A 17-2 run to start the half for the Aggies.

The Aggies continued to lay it on to Kentucky with reckless abandon. Nothing but dunks and threes as the Aggies stretched the lead out to 22… TWENTY-TWO points at the midway point of the 2nd half, 61-39.

A&M would continue to keep UK at bay and pull away for an easy victory to elevate their resume. It was a second half that did not see UK with any fire in their belly, or anyone one person trying to keep UK from getting embarrassed.

The Aggies did get very sloppy as the game wound down and let UK get to within 8 points with under a minute to go, but it certainly was not due to Kentucky pride.

This is a team that does not seem to have any pride in their play, at least none that they show. Dan Dakich made two great points during the game. One was when he said that Calipari was the only person on UK’s team that had any fire. CORRECT. He also said late in the game, what offense is UK actually trying to run, besides SGA dribbling around.

My only response to those points

CONCLUSION

Kentucky has now dropped three in a row for the first time ever under Calipari. They are going to Auburn Tuesday so it could be 4. As of now, Kentucky is playing for March and trying to get right before then. However, they may want to start worrying about the bubble.

If UK loses to Auburn and then at Arkansas, at Florida and drops another one along the way you are talking about a 12-loss team with a 19-12 record.

The simple truth is this team is not a lock to even make the NCAA tournament in a year when they were pre-season top 5.

 

Image courtesy of SEC Network Twitter