Kentucky’s bubble is periously thin after the Quarterfinal match up against Vanderbilt tonight.
The Kentucky Wildcats were out-everythinged tonight against the Commodores. We knew Kevin Stallings had Vandy rolling, winning 5 of 6, but with their backs firmly against the wall, many believed Kentucky would play their best like they did in the season ending game against Florida.
It’s fairly accurate to say the game was over at the half with UK down by 14 at a score of 37-23. Ryan Harrow played like the bad Phil Pressey of Mizzou, 1/9 with 1 assist and 4 turnovers in the first half, finishing the game 2/15 for 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 turnovers. Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley Stein were busting out everything they had yet it wasn’t enough to overcome Vandy’s hot shooting.
Coming in, Vanderbilt was among the worst FT shooting teams in the SEC, finished 8-10 with the only two misses in the last two minutes while UK struggled on the line going 8-16. Kentucky also finished 4-14 from beyond the arc for 28% and had only two score in double figures with Archie Goodwin playing one of his best games and leading the pace with 12 points to go along with 5 rebounds, and Kyle Wiltjer who had 10 points to go along with 2 rebounds. Willie Cauley-Stein played a complete game by scoring 7 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.
Vanderbilt’s defense held UK to a season low in scoring at 48 points, eclipsing their prior low of 50. Their offense was very balanced with four double figure scorers and Rod Odom on the cusp of double digits with 9. They hit 9-17 3 pointers for a 52% clip.
Vanderbilt’s next opponent is either Ole Miss or Mizzou tomorrow in the SEC Semifinal to decide who meets either Alabama or Florida for the SEC Title.
The Kentucky Wildcats now must wait until Selection Sunday to see if their bubble officially burst.