Heat on John Calipari surged with Kentucky’s 28-game home winning streak against South Carolina

Kentucky The season went off-kilter off the rails on Tuesday as wildcat favorites fell from 19.5 factors at dwelling in an upset to unranked South Carolina 71-68. The loss snapped Kentucky’s 28-game dwelling successful streak at Rupp Area I used to be longest streak within the SEC and dropped the Wildcats to 1-3 in convention play for the primary time for the reason that 1986-1987 season. The catastrophic loss comes simply days after it fell by 26 factors to Alabama – Greatest margin of defeat within the century-long sequence towards the Crimson Tide – on Saturday.

The Wildcats struggled at numerous factors all through the season, each on offense and protection, however Tuesday towards the Gamecocks was a mixture of every little thing going unsuitable always. South Carolina smashed the online from 3, crashed on the offensive boards and had 21 second likelihood factors in a wire-to-wire victory towards the UK trustworthy. And each time the Wildcats ran round to slim issues down, South Carolina appeared to have a solution all the way in which to the top.

South Carolina obtained Meechie Johnson’s 26 large — a brand new profession excessive — in his out-of-mind scoring efficiency on the street to finish an upset. Johnson hit six of his 10 3-point makes an attempt, together with an implausible run from lengthy vary late within the second half and one other close to the crest to solidify the lead as UK had been pushing to shut it. Freshman JJ Jackson additionally added three factors on two makes an attempt and contributed 16 factors on 6 of 10.

South Carolina was simply as sweltering as chilly Kentucky in one other flat efficiency by the Wildcats. Even together with his Participant of the 12 months award successful Oscar Cheppui, UK have labored the plates and attacking glazes, getting no assist from the aggressive facet of issues to tip the scales. The crew took solely 10 seconds and made three, a baffling technique by a crew that’s statistically the most effective 3-point taking pictures groups of the Calipari period.

Complicating issues, star rookie Casson Wallace, the crew’s greatest three-point taking pictures proportion, left halfway by the sport with an damage and didn’t return.

Listed below are three notes from the sport.

1. The stress on Calipari is mounting

John Calipari denied experiences this week that Texas officers had approached him a couple of vacant teaching place following Chris Chook’s firing. However this was as distracting as doable for a Corridor of Fame coach. After falling to No. 15 seed St. Peter within the NCAA Event, Large Blue Nation was the Large Mad Nation concentrating on Calipari, and beginning 10-6 in 2022-23 – regardless of opening the season as a top-five crew – added stress on him. It could be one factor if the expertise wasn’t there, however this listing has quite a bit going for it. The hassle appears to wane and fade intermittently, although, and the system—spacing, tempo, three-point makes an attempt—appeared to be off as effectively. It is by no means good when your fan base is making indicators telling you to go away. (Even worse when your college officers need to go to the New York Knicks to defend the coach by kicking a fan out of the world.)


Having hit seven of 14 tries towards South Carolina, Kentucky has now hit a 65.6% charity bar on the season — a mark that ranks third within the SEC’s rankings and close to the 300 mark nationally (of 363 Division I groups). 4 of Kentucky’s six losses on the season had been by double digits, so it isn’t the one factor retaining it from successful, however make no mistake: It is a large deal. On Tuesday, it was the distinction between a win and one other grueling loss.

3. What’s subsequent for Kentucky?

Earlier Tuesday, the CBS Sports activities faculty basketball crew went to the sport How will the remainder of Kentucky’s season go? And I used to be the highest man within the group. Then they circled and misplaced to the least gifted crew within the SEC at dwelling. So what’s subsequent for Kentucky? There isn’t any respite in sight. Saturday is a street sport towards Tennessee and an elite protection that can possible make this UK system look much more damaged.

There may be room for optimism right here that Kentucky can flip issues round, however there isn’t any actual foundation on which to base that perception. It is merely that… issues could not get a lot worse. This can be a listing of the highest three by expertise within the SEC. She has no video games flop within the works away from her native South Carolina because the 19.5-point favourite. Issues will certainly get higher. They may virtually definitely enhance. However whether or not it is a shift in the direction of a contest bid path stays up for debate, and issues appeared to look quite a bit bleaker on Tuesday night time than they did just a few days in the past.

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