Some quick thoughts and number-crunching on Kentukcy’s 87-71 win over Iowa State tonight in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.
1. Marquis Teague scored a career-high and game-high 24 points, meaning that UK’s top seven scorers have now led the team in scoring at least one game this season. Teague’s previous high was 17 against South Carolina on January 7.
2. Iowa State’s game plan was to obviously lay off of Teague and make him shoot the ball from outside. He did, and made his shots, opening up the driving lanes, which is his real strength. The freshman from Indianapolis had never made more than seven field goals in a game all season, going seven-of-12 against Marist in the season opener. Tonight, he was 10-of-14 from the floor.
3. Teague also dished seven assists, by the way.
4. The Cats love to shoot at the Yum Center. Kentucky shot 55.4 percent, the second straight game it has shot better than 55 percent from the field. The Cats shot 50.9 percent in the Yum Center last season in its win over Louisville.
5. UK hit 10 of 20 three-pointers for 50 percent, the third time this year the Cats have shot more than 20 threes and shot 50 percent or better. There was that Senior Night firestorm against Georgia in which UK made 15 of 27 from three for 55.6 percent. And therre was a 10-of-20 from three performance against Penn State back at the Mohegan Sun Center in that November tournament. (Seems like a long time ago now.)
6. On the other side, Iowa State has lived and died by the three. Tonight, the Cyclones died. ISU was three-of-22 from three, the worst against Kentucky since Radford was two-of-25 for 8 percent.
7. You can see now why John Calipari flew to Minnesota to meet with Royce White. (Too bad White didn’t make the return flight.) The Iowa State star scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Afterward, Calipari called White “Charles Barkley” but then took it back because he said Barkley would never pass. White had four assists — and three steals.
8. Almost unnoticed was the fact Anthony Davis recorded his fifth double-double in his last six games, grabbing 15 rebounds with 12
9. Kentucky averaged 1.334 points per possession, the fifth time all season the Cats have topped the 1.3 mark.
10. Doron Lamb made five-of-seven three-pointers, his most prolific day from three all season. Last year, Lamb made seven-of-eight threes in a game against Winthrop.
11. Lamb scored 16 points for the second consecutive game.
12. Darius Miller played with senior determination, scoring 19 points, best since his 19 against Georgia on Jan. 24.
13. Iowa State did average 1.046 points per possession.
14. On the podium, the Kentucky players played down the rematch Friday night with Indiana in a Sweet 16 game. In the locker room, it was apparently a different story. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist said, “We’re going to pay them back.”
15. Speaking of Kidd-Gilchrist, he scored just two points in 33 minutes, but did grab seven rebounds.
16. Calipari said that Kyle Wiltjer was fine after landing on his rear end with 8:46 left in the first half. The coach said he just chose not to put Wiltjer in the game in the second half.
17. Kentucky has now won 61 straight games in which it has led by 10 or more points at the half.
18. Give Terrence Jones credit for not only working his butt off to guard White, but grabbing 11 rebounds.
19. Iowa State’s Chris Allen, who scored 20 points in the Cyclones’ win over Connecticut on Thursday night, made one of 10 three-point attempts.
20. After Iowa State tied the score at 42-42 with 16:28 left, Kentucky outscored the Big 12 team 45-29 the rest of the way.