College Basketball Analysis: Kentucky Beats North Carolina

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Last game the word was awesome. Today the word is ‘wow’.

This is unbelievable. No one expected this team to accomplish what they have. To make the Final Four after a 13 year hiatus has cemented these guys as one of the most cherished groups in University of Kentucky history.

There’s so much excitement around the program, around the state and especially around the city of Lexington. John Calipari came into this game with just as perfect a game plan as he had against Ohio State. Calipari outcoached Anthony Grant and Billy Donovan in the SEC Tournament and then he outcoached Bob Huggins, Thad Matta and Roy Williams in the NCAA. This team has spent the past three weeks proving doubters inside and outside of the program wrong. I wish I was in Lexington rioting right now. I love this feeling.

Quick Hitters:

- Brandon Knight was named the Most Outstanding Player in the East Region and both Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins were named to the All-Region team. Those three played as well as they’ve played all season. Liggins and Knight hit clutch shots down the stretch and Josh Harrellson once again matched the play of a much more talented big man on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

- The impact of the three-point shooting can’t be understated in this game. The team hit 12-22 from behind the arc and used the shot to negate all attempts by North Carolina to start a run. If we can keep shooting like this, then there’s no way we get stopped short of a title.

- Darius Miller hit big shots and pulled down a couple huge offensive rebounds when the team needed them most. Darius played an efficient game despite getting into a bit of foul trouble and stepped up with DeAndre and Brandon as a clutch performer.

- Terrence Jones had a great game. People have knocked Terrence for not putting up the same scoring numbers as early in the season but he has realized his role on the team and he executed it to perfection against North Carolina. He pulled down some man sized rebounds and took advantage of defensive mismatches to assert himself in the post. He also displayed his much more reliable three-point shot. Jones is a player that would benefit from one more year in school and if he stays, he has the potential for a Derrick Williams-like second year.

- Doron torched UNC for 24 points in the first meeting and even though he didn’t score that many, he played well. He hit both of his three-point attempts and came off the bench for the first time in about a month to contribute well to the winning effort.

- You have to be happy about what happened in this game. You have to be. This is a time for celebration.

Big Blue Nation is on its feet and is migrating to Houston. There’s going to be a large UK contingency and the Cats have a shot at winning it all. This is something that no one could have foreseen after the losses to Ole Miss or Arkansas.

Let’s finish out strong.

Go Cats!

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