A gut-punching ending as I call it to what we just watched happened in the final seconds of Kentucky/Arkansas. Not that a win would've really mattered, or that anyone was predicting us to win this one, but for all of the build up that happened for it to do nothing but just drive us off the cliff at the very ending, hurts.
This was somewhere in the top two or three performances this season as a group, in which this team looked like they knew for once what they were doing, and were working like a well-oiled machine. Kentucky was clicking on offense for the majority of the game, and even more so in the second half. From one of the worst three-point shooting teams I've seen in my lifetime, the Cats went for 14 made three's on 54% shooting from behind the arc. Their defense- was as bad as it has been all season- but their hot streak of shooting kept them relevant throughout.
Kentucky found themselves under the four minute mark, where all has went wrong this season game after game, and as the Big Blue Nation held their breaths, as they kept things close to just one possession after a BJ Boston three, 78-77, with 27 seconds to go. Kentucky fouls, Arkansas goes 1 of 2 on the free-throws and makes it 79-77.
Davion Mintz hits the go-ahead three to put Kentucky up 80-79 , then goes down on the defensive end and have this questionable foul called on Jacob Toppin (below).
Arkansas makes both of their free-throws, take the lead 81-80. Kentucky ball for the final play. 4.3 seconds then THIS happens...
A game that didn't really matter, turned into a fun one that felt like it mattered and gave life to our already broken hearts, just gets stomped on all over again.
FINAL: 81-80 for the 13th loss of the season - the most losses in one season for John Calipari at Kentucky. Yes, you read that correctly. The worst season under Cal, and in program history... It's getting pretty ugly if I do have to say so.
In the postgame press conference, John Calipari said that the play was drew up to be thrown to Olivier Sarr, who was suppose to then find an open guard for the final shot, but neither of the guards were able to get open. BJ Boston later said he was the one who was in charge of taking the last shot.
It was interesting to hear the comments of BJ Boston when asked of what he thought on the late game (very questionable) call on Jacob Toppin, that really hurt Kentucky's chances of winning the game as it put the Razorbacks up one under 10 seconds. "I didn't think it was a foul. I think the refs gave them that game. That's all I can say." It's not usual that we get to hear players or coaches vent their immediate feelings to stuff like that, but was great to for once get to.
Kentucky falls to 5-13, and will face Auburn this Saturday.
Fun (actually sad) Facts:
Kentucky only lost 7 games at Rupp Arena from 2014-2020. They’ve now lost 7 games at home this season.
Kentucky made 14 three-pointers tonight. The last time Kentucky made at least 14 3-pointers in a game and lost was January 29th, 1995 against... Arkansas
Prior to tonight, Kentucky was 105-1 (.991) at Rupp Arena in the John Calipari era when they scored at least 80 points (lost 97-92 to UCLA on December 3rd, 2016)
Prior to tonight, Kentucky was a perfect 29-0 in the John Calipari era when they made at least 11 3-pointers in a game (they made 14 3-pointers tonight)
Seasons in Kentucky men's basketball history in which they had 3 one-point losses in the same season: (1957-1958 and 2020-2021 seasons)
Kentucky is 4-13 in their last 17 games played, their worst record in any 17-game span in any season in school history.
(Final five bullet points brought to you by @Coreyp08 on Twitter)