Four of the #11 Kentucky Wildcats’ starting five found themselves with at least two fouls in the first half against the #18 North Carolina Tar Heels, including Willie Cauley-Stein who ended the half with 3. Cauley-Stein’s third came with 1.9 seconds remaining in the half as the two teams were tied at 30 and triggered coach John Calipari to seemingly try to join his club in foul trouble as he drew a technical and asked for a second after disagreeing with the call.
Aaron Harrison, who picked up his second at 2:30 and didn’t reenter, scored 5 of Kentucky’s first 7 and only trailed James Young (second foul at 10 minutes – 7 points) and his brother Andrew (6 points and the only starter to not only not have two fouls, but 0).
Cauley-Stein’s ended with 4 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist, and 1 steal, but the aforementioned crucial 3rd foul which will likely see him sit to start the second.
Dakari Johnson also ended the half with three fouls.
Kentucky out rebounded the Tar Heels 25-12 but also turned the ball over 11 to 4.
The key to Kentucky’s 2nd must be avoiding fouls and get Julius Randle involved (2 points, 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers) for them to win.