When the SEC slate of games opens up for Kentucky, the one game I cannot stand to watch is whenever the Cats are forced to play in the odd-shaped facility in Nashville, otherwise known as Memorial Gymnasium. It is uncomfortable to watch on TV, and it looks even more uncomfortable in person. The gym is one of a kind; probably because no basketball player or coach would want to put themselves through as much trouble as Vandy does just to call a play or a timeout. Kentucky has had some classic games there over the years, no doubt. But most of the wins have been gut-wrenching, last-second victories. At times, there have been some tough losses as well. I won’t even delve into the 2008 debacle that Billy Gillispie coached; I won’t even reference that as a basketball game. Since Calipari came to town, the Cats are 3-1 in Nashville. But none of those three victories came without a fight.
Kentucky 60, Vanderbilt 58: January 10, 2013
The Cats took an 11-point lead at halftime, and looked like they were going to walk away with the game early in the second half. That is until Vandy went on a run and stormed back to take a 49-48 lead. The two teams battled hard until UK was able to escape, thanks to 16 points from Ryan Harrow and 13 from Nerlens Noel.
(1) Kentucky 69, Vanderbilt 63: February 11, 2012
The Cats took an early lead in this game, but the Commodores wouldn’t let them run away with it too easily. UK had four players score in double-digits, with Doron Lamb’s 16 points leading the way for the Cats.
(23) Vanderbilt 81, (18) Kentucky 77: February 12, 2011
The Cats shot the ball poorly (28/60) and Vanderbilt was able to capitalize on those mistakes, turning them into points at the other end. Vandy made 11 three-pointers in this game, which proved to be the difference in the last five minutes of the game where they took a two-possession lead and held on for the upset.
(2) Kentucky 58, (17) Vanderbilt 56: February 20, 2010
This game was very reminiscent of a boxing match; both teams went blow-for-blow until the final second. The Cats were able to make some tough shots, thanks to John Wall (13 pts) and Patrick Patterson (13 pts, 13 reb). But it was the 19 points by Demarcus Cousins that made the difference in the paint. The game came down to a missed last-second shot from the Commodores.