As usual, a trip to Lexington did not end well for the visiting team. The Wildcats came into this afternoon’s festivities a perfect 15-0 at home on the season, and Alabama was unable to break the trend.
It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.
Alabama came out playing as spirited a brand of basketball as they have all season, and shooting the lights out to boot. Keon Ellis in particular came out playing like a man possessed. With 3:29 to go in the half, Alabama held a 46-34 advantage and looked to take some serious momentum into the half.
Unfortunately, that’s when the music stopped.
The Wildcats roared back with a 13-0 run to close the half with a one-point lead, and Kentucky rolled in the second half. The biggest problem was sharpshooter Kellan Grady, who is always a good shooter but today managed to make 7 of 9 from deep, several of them closely guarded. Oscar Tshiebwe pretty well owned the paint as he often does, and when all is said and done the Wildcats just had more firepower. Add in some typical Rupp officiating nonsense and the result is a typical Alabama visit to Lexington.
The Tide actually shot the ball reasonably well today, Kentucky was just better. Had Grady simply made his outstanding 44% outside instead of 78%, this game would have gone down to the wire. He didn’t, and it didn’t.
The good news is that this win is one that would have been nice to have, but losing it doesn’t affect the Tide’s positioning much. There are four winnable games left on the schedule. A 20 win regular season is within sight, and that should be the goal.