After a back and forth first half, the Kentucky Wildcats led the Ole Miss Rebels by a score of 35-34. This performance came on the backs of Aaron Harrison and Willie Cauley-Stein, who had 12 and 8 points respectively. Coming out of the half with something to prove, that Wildcats came out with a fire. In fact, Julius Randle sent us into the under-16 timeout with an empathic two-handed dunk after bringing the ball up the court himself.
By the under-12 timeout, the Kentucky lead has swelled to double digits, 57-47. The next eight minutes were littered with highlight-reel dunks and acrobatic blocks. Kentucky began looking like a team that is doing the one thing that separated the 2012 National Championship team from the two teams since…having fun! Their aggressive style led to many opportunities for fast-pace, high-flying basketball. This style is as much fun to play as it is to watch, and that showed in the Wildcats demeanor on their way to a 73-59 lead at the under-4 timeout.
The Wildcats never took their foot off the gas, as they cruised to an easy win. The final score, 80-64, was done in style and smiles. Showing the potential that everyone knew they had all along may have shown that the Cats have finally turned a corner. If this team continues to improve and play loose and free as they did tonight, there is not a team in the country that could beat them. Whether it was the all-around play of Willie Cauley-Stein or the athleticism and ball-handling skills shown by Julius Randle tonight, the ‘Cats will find a way to win and win big! Next up for Kentucky is a trip to Mississippi State this Saturday at 1:30pm. Check out the box score for tonights game below and be sure to follow my on twitter for more post game recap action.