FINAL: Kentucky 78, Davidson 73: NCAA Tournament recap, analysis, box score

No. 5 seed Kentucky basketball plays No. 12 seed Davidson at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15, 2018, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Boise, Idaho. Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.

Kentucky-Davidson score, live updates, stats

FINAL:  Kentucky 78, Davidson 73

The Wildcats (25-10) won for the eighth time in nine games and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament — where they’ll face the Arizona-Buffalo winner — but it came at a cost: the death of the nation’s longest streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer. After 1,047 in a row, UK missed all six 3-pointers (why so few?) it attempted Thursday night in Boise.

Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came up huge for the Cats with several clutch jumpers — just none from beyond the 3-point line. Knox finished with 25 points and 6 rebounds, while SGA (SEC Tournament MVP) stuffed the stat sheet: 19 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals and 1 turnover. Here’s the full, final box score:

Kentucky 65, Davidson 59, 1:55 2H. PJ Washington missed the front of a one-and-one and Davidson had the go-ahead 3-pointer in the air (again) on the other end — but like so many of those tonight, it missed. Then Knox hit a pair of clutch free throws and a big-time mid-range jumper for some breathing room. Still, UK’s 3-point streak is on life support.

Kentucky 61, Davidson 58, 3:17 2H: Whew, what a wild one this turned out to be. In a tie game, UK got 2 SGA free throws, a Davidson shot-clock violation, Knox chasing down a loose ball and hitting 1-2 free throws. Knox and Green both hit jumpers, too, with Davidson trying to close the gap further, and the underdogs missed a gimme at the rim  and a tying 3-point try. Davidson is 8 of 26 from three and UK is 0 for 6. The nation’s longest streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer (1,047) is  really in jeopardy now.

Kentucky 54, Davidson 54, 7:12 2H: Davidson had the ball with a chance for the lead and SGA went steal/slam. Jon Axel Gudmundsson answered with a tying 3-pointer (his fifth make from deep) and Davidson had another three in the air for the lead but missed. SGA responded with a jumper and fortunate bounce to take back the lead, but Davidson answered in kind. Down the stretch the com (and UK still hasn’t hit a three). Box score so far:

Kentucky 50, Davidson 49, 9:55 2H: Well then. Here come those other Wildcats. UK still hasn’t made a 3-pointer (now o for 5) and Davidson just hit a high-arching floater over SKJ’s long arm to cut the deficit to one. The danger zone is real for the Cats from Lexington.

Kentucky 46, Davidson 43, 11:52 2H: The Cats still haven’t made a 3-pointer (only four attempts) and Davidson is now 4 of 6 from deep this half. UK just turned it over, too, and one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country could tie this up on the next trip. Buckle up, BBN. Here’s the box score so far:

Kentucky 41, Davidson 38, 15:57 2H: Hey now, we’ve got a ball game. After hitting just 3 of 15 threes in the first half, the Davidson Wildcats are 3 of 3 from deep (and 5 of 5 overall) this half, and UK fans are suddenly squirming. Bright side, at one point after Davidson cut the lead to six, SKJ did it again: monster jam off a lob from SGA, and one. He already has 8 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. He’s really playing well since the SEC Tournament semifinals.

HALFTIME: Kentucky 34, Davidson 24

The Cats defended the 3-point line quite well in that first half. Davidson hit just 3 of 15 from deep — but Kentucky was 0 for 3 from deep, meaning that after a blistering outside shooting week in St. Louis, the program’s beloved 3-point streak is in jeopardy again.

The Wildcats are taking advantage of a significant size/length/strength mismatch and dominating the glass (21-14) and points in the paint (26-10). PJ Washington has 11 points, Kevin Knox 9, and sophomores SKJ and Gabriel have combined for 9 rebounds off the bench. Here’s your halftime box:

Kentucky 32, Davidson 21, 3:52 1H: PJ Washington is beasting (and mean mugging) again: 5 of 5 FG, 11 points in 12 minutes. Kevin Knox three-point play (he has 7 now) made it an 11-point lead and 12-2 run for Kentucky. SKJ had 3 and 3 off the bench and is one of  seven Cats who’ve already scored. Quade Green is also playing well, the 6-foot point guard swishing a little hook shot ( what?!) and firing a perfect pass to Washington on the baseline for a monster dunk. Here’s your updated box score:

Kentucky 22, Davidson 17, 7:58 1H: Diallo with a big block, some great defense on another suffocating possession and a driving layup. He’s played well: 4 points, 2 boards, 1 block and 1 steal. Cats also got a manly three-point play by Washington (7 points in his first 6 minutes).

Kentucky 17, Davidson 17, 10:59 1H: All tied after Davidson’s third made 3-pointer (on seven attempts). It feels like Kentucky can get to the rim any time it wants and score inside almost at will with such a size and athleticism advantage. It’s 12-6 UK in paint points, 8-4 in rebounds. And yet, those threes are great equalizers. Here’s the box score so far:

Kentucky 10, Davidson 8, 15:04 1H: Davidson hit a pair of early (wide-open) threes and are 2 of 5 from deep so far. PJ Washington is off to a nice start with a made jumper and drive-and-jam. Hamidou Diallo opened the game with a steal and slam and Nick Richards actually scored already, which is not insignificant for him.

STARTING FIVE: Calipari sticks with SGA, Diallo, Knox, Washington, Richards. And the NCAA Tournament is under way.

WATCH: Cats are warming up in Boise

Kentucky-Davidson game time, details

  • Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Date: March 15, 2018
  • Location: Taco Bell Arena (12,644)
  • Records: Kentucky 24-10; Davidson 21-11
  • Favorite: Kentucky 4 1/2

What TV channel is Kentucky-Davidson on? 

You can watch Kentucky vs. Davidson on CBS. Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington will be on the call.

How can I watch Kentucky-Davidson  online?

Stream Kentucky vs. Davidson online (if you are an eligible subscriber) via the  CBS Sports Network site.

How can I listen to Kentucky-Davidson  on the radio? 

Kentucky and Tennessee will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and  can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 202 and Sirius channel 138.

Kentucky-Davidson preview

  • To avoid the classic 12-seed upset over a 5 seed — there has been at least one of those in 29 of the last 33 years — Kentucky (ranked fourth nationally in 3-point defense)  must fend off a 3-point barrage from Davidson (ranked 10th in made threes per game). Steph Curry’s alma mater has made 26 3-pointers in a game this season, making them exactly the kind of (seemingly) fictional team John Calipari always warns could beat Kentucky.
  • The Cats won’t have Jarred Vanderbilt for the fourth straight game.  He says his injured left ankle is about 70 percent right now and Calipari said he won’t play the team’s top rebounder until he’s closer to 95 percent. Vanderbilt hopes UK can get through the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and he can get healthy enough to go by the Sweet 16.
  • Freshman sharpshooter Jemarl Baker (knee) also won’t be available for the Cats, which isn’t breaking news because he’s sat out the entire season.  But we spoke to Baker on Wednesday for the first time since preseason and he addressed his future with the program. (Spoiler: If you were wondering, he hadn’t even considered a transfer.)
  • We’ve laid out the glass-half-full and glass-half-empty cases for Kentucky in this NCAA Tournament. Three reasons why  the Wildcats will make the Final Four. And three reasons why  UK won’t make the Final Four.
  • What do the fine people of beautiful Boise, Idaho, think of Calipari acting like their city is some far-flung outpost nobody has ever heard of?  Turns out, a lot of them never even heard of  him. This is a fun, light-hearted rebuttal from Boise to Cal.
  • It’s been 10 years since Curry led Davidson to a dream run to the Elite Eight. The two-time NBA MVP  remains a major part of the program.

The post FINAL: Kentucky 78, Davidson 73: NCAA Tournament recap, analysis, box score appeared first on SEC Country.

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