Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Sharing the basketball key to Kentucky Wildcats' late-season success

Sharing the basketball key to Kentucky Wildcats' late-season success

After leading by as many as 13 points in the first half, the Wildcats found themselves in a dogfight down the stretch against No. 12 seed Davidson in their first-round NCAA Tournament South Region matchup Thursday night in Rupp Arena.

The Wildcats will now take on the victor of No. 4 Arizona and No. 13 Buffalo in the South Regional's second round on Saturday.

Defensively, Buffalo neutralized Arizona's size inside by collapsing on the paint, forcing the Wildcats to shoot from the perimeter.

It's such an overlooked piece of history that not even Wildcats coach John Calipari knew about it until it was pointed out in the postgame news conference. "This is life and death and hopefully a good lesson for us going forward". The freshman filled up the box score with 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals. The underdogs shot just 29.4 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-of-15 from three-point range as Kentucky's length affected their shots.

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Jon Axel Gudmundsson scored 21 points for the Davidson (21-12).

Well, the Wildcats were pretty deeply unimpressive in a brutal survival over No. 12 seed Davidson 78-73.

Kentucky held Davidson scoreless for almost five minutes in the first half to get out to its lead, but Davidson made some halftime adjustments and shot better than 60 percent for the first 15 minutes of the second half to pull even.

It went back and forth until Knox's two free throws with 2:50 made it 63-59 and sparked a 9-0 run to put Kentucky up by 10 points with just under a minute to play.

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BC-BKC-NCAA-Davidson-Kentucky, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 784Who needs 3s?

3s PLEASE: Davidson is 16th in the country in 3-point attempts, trying more than 27 per game. Overall, Kentucky scored 36 points in the post and made several mid-range jumpers, several by Knox in the second half. You can't miss every one. People aren't going to make threes every time.

No. 11 Loyola-Chicago 64, No. 6 Miami 62: Donte Ingram picked the flawless spot for this game-winning shot.

2nd - Most points scored (25, Kevin Knox) by a United Kingdom freshman in his NCAA Tournament debut.

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Dusan Ristic had 16 points, and Deandre Ayton finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead Arizona. Buffalo was completely fearless and could prove to beat Kentucky just as badly as they did Arizona. United Kingdom gained possession. Gilgeous-Alexander and Knox converted their free throws down the stretch and United Kingdom advanced to the next round of the NCAA Tournament.

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