LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) — The most upside down University of Kentucky men’s basketball regular season in years ended the way the Wildcats expect every season to end: a thunderous, one-sided victory.
Kentucky defeated an inept South Carolina team, 92-64, on Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena in Lexington. It was the Wildcats' largest winning margin against a Southeastern Conference opponent this season.
UK freshman B.J. Boston played like a guy eager to live up to his first-round NBA Draft hype. Credit Boston with 21 points, and he made 6 of 9 shots from distance.
Davion Mintz, the graduate transfer guard from Creighton, was also terrific. Mintz scored 20. He also made six shots from distance while contributing seven assists and five rebounds.
Isaiah Jackson had another solid all-around game, scoring 13 with 10 rebounds, two steals and a block. Olivier Sarr had 15 points.
Kentucky made 13 of 27 3-point field goal attempts, while South Carolina went 2 of 17.
A Kentucky team that was picked to finish second (behind Tennessee) in the SEC completed conference play with an 8-9 league record, 9-15 overall.
Mark it down as Kentucky’s first losing season since 1989 — as well as coach John Calipari’s first losing record since 1989, when his first team at the University of Massachusetts finished 10-18.
Unless Kentucky wins four games at the SEC Tournament next week in Nashville, Tennessee, the Wildcats will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.
UK is likely to open play in the SEC Tournament at noon EST Thursday against Mississippi State in Bridgestone Arena. The Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs, 78-73, in double overtime in Starkville, Mississippi, on Jan. 2, their conference opener.
The winner of that game will play SEC champion Alabama at noon Friday. UK went 0-2 against the Crimson Tide, losing by 20 in Rupp and by 15 at Alabama.
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