Twenty quick thoughts on Kentucky’s win over Ohio State

(H-L photo/Mark Cornelison)

(H-L photo/Mark Cornelison)

Twenty quick thoughts — no time for questions — on Kentucky’s brilliant 62-60 win over Ohio State.

  1. Kentucky won this game with its defense. The Cats held the Buckeyes to 32.8 percent shooting, OSU’s third-worst shooting game of the year. This was the same Ohio State team that was shooting 49.9 percent for the season.
  2. Kentucky guarded the three-point shot well. The Buckeyes made 28 of 50 three-pointers in their first two games of the tournament. Ohio State was six of 16 against Kentucky.
  3. Against George Mason, David Lighty made seven-of-seven three-pointers. Against UK, Lighty was one of four from beyond the arc.
  4. In the post-game press conference, Josh Harellson, he of the 17 points and 10 rebounds, said he had gone up against the best centers in the country the past two years. He mentioned DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson last year, and Enes Kanter this year. Good point. Very good point.
  5. Down the stretch, Ohio State’s Jon Diebler could not guard DeAndre Liggins, who continually beat him to the basket. Liggins scored four of Kentucky’s last six points.
  6. Kentucky was the more athletic team. Key stat: The Cats blocked 11 Ohio State shots. Ohio State blocked one Kentucky shot.
  7. After Calipari screamed at Brandon Knight, “You’re 0-for-12. Pass!!!!!”, Knight hit two big shots, including the game-winner with five seconds remaining.
  8. First half, Ohio State made 12 of 15 free throws. Kentucky made four of four. Second half, Ohio State made four of seven free throws. Kentucky was eight of 10 at the line.
  9. Jared Sullinger is very good. Ohio State’s freshman center scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. But he did have four turnovers, and blocked just one shot.
  10. Charles Barkley said that Kentucky would win because of its depth. We all laughed at Sir Charles. But maybe he was right. UK’s bench outscored Ohio State’s bench 15-2.

The second 10:

  1. In the post-game press conference, OSU coach Thad Matta interrupted a question to one of his players by saying, “Come on man, that team won the SEC Tournament. That’s a good team.” Later, he said, “I apologize. But that’s the best team we’ve played all year.”
  2. How sweet that the team that for so long could not win a close game, won what was the biggest game of the year by two points.
  3. Terrence Jones made just three of 10 shots, but he did hit a couple of key rainbow three-pointers.
  4. Jones and Knight were a combined six-for-20 from the floor. The rest of the Cats were 16-for-28.
  5. The lead changed hands 19 times. And the score was tied 11 times.
  6. Ohio State did not have a single fast-break point.
  7. Kentucky plays North Carolina on Sunday at 5:05 for a trip to the Final Four. UK lost to North Carolina 75-73 back in December. “They are a whole lot better now,” said Calipari. But Kentucky is a whole lot better.
  8. And, oh yeah, Calipari coached his rear end off in this game. First half, as UK was being called for 11 fouls to Ohio State’s four, he worked the refs. Second half, he worked his team, to great effect.
  9. This is the first time since 2006 that a No. 4 seed has beaten a No. 1 seed in the round of 16. That was LSU’s win over Duke. LSU then beat Texas to reach the Final Four.
  10. The head of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee was Gene Smith, the Ohio State athletic director. The committee seeded Kentucky fourth, and put the Cats in the same region with Ohio State. Sure in Columbus they are thinking, good work, Gene.

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  1. Mark Liptak says:

    Very ironic that they couldn’t win a close game to save their souls in the regular season, now they can’t lose one in the post season. Maybe things do even up?

    Amazing game, great win, survive and advance.

    Mark Liptak

  2. deron says:

    After Kentucky knocked off this overrated Ohio State team, this year became the first time since the 2000 tournament that only one number 1 seed made it to the Elite Eight. It has happened only twice since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. By the way, Jared Sullinger is way overrated and has been exposed.

  3. Tim says:

    No offense, John, but please keep picking Kentucky to lose. It’s working. :-)

  4. Lamb says:

    Sullinger had 21 points and 16 rebounds. Not sure what you meant by “exposed,” deron, but it must be a compliment.

  5. John Clay says:

    Tim, I’m picking North Carolina. :)

  6. Alex says:

    Strangest thing about this game? I said all 7 regulars would need to play well for UK to win. Arguably, Liggins and Harrellson were the only two who had “good” games. This team still has a lot in the tank.

  7. Nick says:

    Alex: What you’re missing is the defensive end, where the entire team played superbly. Offensively we scored 62 points on 60 possessions – not terrible, but, as you say, not a great total production either. Defensively, we killed it.

  8. LH says:

    21. Josh standing over Sullinger laying on the floor and the call: Jump Ball

  9. blackjack17 says:

    As Coach Cal said after the game, “when it’s close at the end, we’re going through Brandon.” NICE JOB, Brandon.

  10. hollercatfan says:

    Jorts quote on practicing against Cousins, Patterson, and Kanter should be on every locker room wall in Ky.

  11. Alex says:

    Nick. You are absolutely right. Great performance on D by the whole team. I’m just encouraged it didn’t take a perfect game to beat the best team in the country. We have yet to see Lamb catch fire, Jones dominate inside or Miller play the way he did in the SEC. No reason to think this team cannot go all the way if it all comes together.

  12. timmiller says:

    UK just proved they NEVER should have been a 4 seed and the SEC IS a power conference!! Don’t look now but there are 2 SEC teams in Elite Eight

  13. Gordon says:

    I would love to hear from the committee on their seeding. They should make future selection committee meetings an open event and have ESPN broadcast it. I bet the seeding would be a little bit more realistic if they did.

  14. jerry boucher says:

    I like the nickname Clark Kellogg gave the cats The Saran Wrap 5. He has it right the Ky. defense was air tight ask OSU.

  15. jerry boucher says:

    What will the Ohio State players tell people when they get back to Ohio every one of them has VOIT imprint on their forehead and Sullinger has a big VOIT on his chest they will have a lot of explaining to do won’t they?

  16. deron says:

    Lamb, when I said exposed I meant that he is not ready for the NBA now, did you see Sullinger down the stretch of this game. He threw up some horrible shots and had some bad turnovers. Those stats were empty and he’s just a bully; when he’s up against someone close to his size he doesn’t know what to do.

    All of that being said, it’s a moot point since he said he’s coming back next year. He’ll have another of improvement under his belt.

  17. Paula UK FAN LIVING IN KANSAS says:

    I grew up in Kentucky and now life in Kansas. I do hope that it is UK vs KU and that UK beats the hick out of KU. KU is an over praised team in the state of KS. The smaller college K-state doesn’t get the praise KU does, and never has. Last night I held my breath for the last 10 seconds of the game. Oh! yeah I lived in Ohio for 7 years, if they weren’t playing UK I might have wanted to see them win. KENTUCKY FAN FOREVER.