The number one Kentucky Wildcats carry on with their cruise towards winning the College Basketball championship with the deepest team ever assembled, beating number seven Texas 63-51 in what was their most difficult challenge so far this season.
A win by 12 points is the closest we’ve seen from Kentucky this year. That’s how dominant they’ve been. Tied at half time? That was the first time the Wildcats have seen anything remotely difficult put against them. And they simply went into an extra gear and blew away the competition. No one can match their athleticism, height, size and depth. Texas are a tough, good team, but even they, at some point, looked like they’re playing with bigger kids than they’re supposed to.
For the Longhorns, this was their first loss of the season, as their offense struggled to make its way through the long arms of Kentucky defenders in the second half. Texas turned the ball over 22 times, resulting in 19 points for Kentucky. Kentucky also scored 10 second-chance points in the second half, limiting the Longhorns to only 30% from the field, The moment Kentucky ‘turn it up’, it just doesn’t seem fair.
Above everyone was Willie Cauley-Stein with 21 points and 12 rebounds, getting plenty of help from Dakari Johnson with four offensive rebounds and Trey Lyles who was very difficult to stop on the boards. As long as Texas were able to keep this game in mostly half court sets, their defense was capable of containing Kentucky. The moment this became a sprint competition and the turnovers wouldn’t stop coming, the ending was quite easy to predict.
Things will get more difficult for Kentucky once true road games begin and they enter SEC play. But this group assembled by Calipari – a great batch of Freshman with players he managed to convince to stick around for one more year so they’ll be part of something very special, is truly a phenomenon and a cut above the rest in college basketball. For the first time it hasn’t been perfect, and it still wasn’t too difficult to make it a comfortable win in the end.