Men's Basketball Falls Late to Kentucky, 79-74, in SEC Tournament Semifinals

Beth Cruz
March 13, 2017

Kentucky's Malik Monk, the SEC's freshman of the year, scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half on 4-of-8 shooting, and De'Aaron Fox did his work in the second half with 19 of his team-high 28 points. But Kentucky converted chances when needed, hitting 13 of 17 free throws in the final six minutes with Fox making 5 of 7 in particular and 11 of 15 overall.

Fox led the Wildcats with 18 points.

"I just kept getting the plays and they kept the ball in my hands", said Fox, who made 8 of 12 shots.

"When you smell blood, just keep attacking".

MI 84, MINNESOTA 77: Derrick Walton Jr. had 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds to carry eighth-seeded MI into the Big Ten title game with a victory over fourth-seeded Minnesota at Washington. The Wildcats took control from there. extending their lead to as many as eight points.

"We needed that kind of game", Calipari said. "I thought I got some good looks".

Win some of those- especially a February 11th 9-point loss to the Wildcats in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that saw the Crimson Tide shoot a season-low 34.6 percent from the line (nine of 26)- and Alabama could return home with a reasonable expectation of receiving the program's first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament since 2012. The Wildcats are now 28-5 on the season. Both of these squads are coming off fairly convincing wins in their quarterfinal games, and Kentucky should be a healthy favorite coming into this afternoon's game.

"Give Kentucky credit", Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. Arkansas is part of the South Regional.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson - never a John Calipari fan - isn't anxious about the edge United Kingdom will have in fans Sunday.

Vanderbilt has the second toughest strength of schedule in the country. "The Florida home game last week, then the A&M game Thursday because we knew what was at stake, and then the overtime game against Florida".

The play off the bench for Hawkins during this three-game SEC title run is something that can't be described by numbers. The Wildcats have finished runner-up four times and reached 17 Final Fours. Kentucky defeated Alabama, 79-74, in the semifinal round. On Jan. 25 Arkansas was down by as many as 15 but got a foul with one second left to let Daryl Macon sink three free throws for the win. And they ran into a buzzsaw on the other end of the court as the Razorbacks shot 48 percent and put four guys in double figures, led by Jaylen Barford's 18 points.

Later, Arkansas player Dusty Hannahs floored Dominique Hawkins by thursting both forearms into the United Kingdom player's upper body.

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