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UK vs. Florida – Post Game

Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 20, 2008

Referees Were Horrible 

Well it is hard to win when you are playing 8 vs. 5 for 45 minutes. The referees were particularly atrocious tonight calling many fouls that were non existent and numerous late calls that were whistled 2-3 seconds after the play ended. Kentucky lost in overtime to Florida 81-70 just a few minutes ago. Had a few calls been the other way we would have won in regulation easily and upset the Florida Gators in their own house, but the referees made sure that did not happen. This is the second consecutive game that Kentucky was potentially cheated out of a victory, earlier this week against Mississippi State we were cheated on some non calls and the same goes for this game tonight. For some reason the NCAA refs dislike Kentucky and really just do not want to see them win, it seems like grudges are held or something. Also I forget his name but one of the refs also did our last game at Miss. State, that might lead you to believe that he may have something to do with it. Here are a couple unbelievable stats about our free throws: In the last two games our opponents have out shot us from the free throw line 73-30 and three players from North Carolina have attempted more free throws this year than our whole team. there is no way that there is nothing going on and the SEC should look into this situation.

KEYS TO THE LOSS

Like I said in the preview, Kentucky would have to contain Nick Calathes to have a chance and they failed miserably at the task. Calathes flirted with a triple-double finishing with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. Calathes played poised down the stretch, more so than his freshman age would imply. Florida shot 40 free throws to Kentucky’s 18 and that again was the deciding factor in who won the game. It is obvious to people that watched the game that the referees clearly took the Gators’ side on many debatable calls that could have gone either way and had even just 2 of them gone to the Wildcats I would be talking about Kentucky’s hustle and courage.

Kentucky played with so much heart tonight and I think Coach Gillispie will look back on this game as a positive experience, because if UK can take a previously 15-3 squad into OT at their arena with the lack of talent that UK has is staggering because the calls and momentum seemed to be in Florida’s hands for 90% of the game. The only exception is about the final 3 minutes of regulation concluding with his game-tying last second shot. I thought Kentucky would ride that wave of courage and heart into overtime but Florida dominated the tempo and style of play in the extra period and knocked down all 10 of there free throws in OT and really had the game in hand after a few possessions of overtime. Bradley is one of my favorite ‘Cats of all-time because of his will to win and his ‘never give up’ attitude. He could have easily thrown in the towel with a couple minutes to play in regulation but he put the team on his back when Jodie Meeks was called for a phantom foul and Patrick Patterson began to cramp up in his leg and hit the game-tying trey as time expired to send the game into OT.

The main reason UK lost was the free throw deferential but besides that it had to be the lack of a second down low scorer. Kentucky had to play a great portion of the game with 4 guards and only 1 big man in Patrick Patterson. That let Florida double on Patterson without giving up any easy baskets and allowed them to really crash the boards. UK out-rebounded Florida by 1 but they were out-rebounded by Florida in the final 25 minutes by around 15, Kentucky only had one good rebounder crashing the boards where as Florida had 2-3 every time the ball was shot. Mark Coury finished with a measly 4 points even though he was a starter. Perry Stevenson was the only other big man who played and he finished with 4 points before fouling out. The top 3 big men on the team finished with only 23 points, where as Florida’s top 3 big men finished with 35 points. That is a 12 point difference, Kentucky needed just a couple baskets throughout the whole game to change the situation of the game.

Kentucky’s schedule gets no easier as they have less than 48 hours to prepare for their Tuesday night game at home against the Tennessee Volunteers, who are considered by many to be one of the top 5 teams in the nation. I honestly do not think this one will be close. I predict the final score will be 88-63 UT kills UK, they will press us all game and force 20+ turnovers and I think Jamar Smith finishes with 27 points and I think Chris Lofton has 18 points.

NEXT GAME

Jan. 22 vs. Tennessee

9:00 pm EST on ESPN

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