WHO'S CINDERELLA NOW? TENNESSEE VOLS FALL TO KENTUCKY WILDCATS 72-66

Tennessee
Kentucky
66
Points
72
22/57 - 39%
Field Goals
22/45 - 49%
7/26 - 27%
3-Point FGs
4/15 - 27%
15/21 - 71%
Free Throws
24/28 - 86%
27 (12/15)
Rebounds (Off-Def)
36 (9/27)
11
1st Half Fouls
8
13
2nd Half Fouls
11
24
Total Fouls
19
6
Steals
3
5
Blocks
9
8
Assists
16
9
Turnovers
12
8 / 9
Assist/Turnover
16 / 12
20
Bench Points
25
14
Second Chance Points
9
12
Points Off Turnovers
7
28
Points In the Paint
28
6
Fastbreak Points
2

Once upon a time, an unranked men's basketball team sloughing through an unforgettable season played host to a nationally-ranked rival. The underdog's fans poor-mouthed the team and bemoaned its chances of sending the powerhouse visitor home with a loss. In the end, when the clock struck zeroes and the final buzzer sounded with the underdog on top, those same fans celebrated with exuberance. They reveled, caroused, and frolicked like they'd just won the national championship.

That was Knoxville, circa 1999.

That was Lexington, last night.

Last night, it was the Vols, not the 'Cats who brought their national ranking into an unranked opponent's inhospitable environment. It was Kentucky's, not Tennessee's, fans who wisely measured their words into tiny digestible morsels in case they had to eat them later. And it was the fans of the Big Blue, not the Big Orange, who were ecstatic with a surprise victory over a favored opponent.

So we can talk about those ugly numbers in that pretty chart up there. We can look with disdain upon the 39% field goal percentage, or the all-too-meager-yet-all-too-familiar free throw percentage, or the rebounds and blocked shots that are symptoms of a serious size deficiency inside. But the most interesting thing about last night to me is that Kentucky was absolutely, undeniably jubilant in victory. It was almost as if they were happy to have received a pair of glass slippers as hand-me-downs from the Tennessee team of almost ten years ago.

I offer sincere congratulation to Kentucky fans for besting our team last night. The Wildcats played a great game and deserved to win.

But I offer an even more genuine gratitude to coach Pearl and the Pantheon for making the Big Blue so downright giddy about it.

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