Cats back in contention for double-bye in SEC Tournament

Published 4:32 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

By Keith Taylor, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Kentucky is back in the chase for a double-bye in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

A pair of losses by South Carolina last week and the Wildcats’ 70-59 win at Auburn Saturday proved to be just what Kentucky needed to regain its confidence following an unprecedented three straight losses at Rupp Arena during the past two weeks.

Kentucky (18-7) has compiled a 7-3 record in road and neutral-site games this season, including a 4-2 mark in league games. Kentucky has won three straight road contests.

“We go on the road again — we’re pretty good,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said after his team’s win at Auburn Saturday. “For some reason we’re better on the road than we are at home,”

The Kentucky coach didn’t have an answer for his team’s recent success away from home, but offered a theory.

“It’s probably, maybe at home, we’re expected to win every game because we’ve won 90-something percent of our home games,” he said. “We’re expected (to win) and the crowds have been off the charts. So now you go on the road and you’ve got no chance of winning and now they play looser? Maybe? I don’t know. But we seem to be better on the road than we are at home.”

The Wildcats moved up five spots to No. 17 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday.

Tennessee is ranked fifth, followed by Alabama at No. 13. Auburn is ranked 14th, Kentucky No. 17, while South Carolina fell nine spots to 20th. Florida made its debut at No. 24.


Former Kentucky standout Karl-Anthony Towns scored a game-high 50 points in the NBA All-Star game in Indianapolis on Sunday night.

“It was amazing, amazing to be able to be in this position,” the Minnesota standout said. “After everything that happened last year with me and the injury and everything, you learn more to appreciate and cherish the moments and opportunity you’re given.

“(Sunday night) was one of those times where you just realize being in a locker room full of some greats in the NBA and the best players in the world and be able to be out here and be able to represent my country and my organization, I just wanted to cherish this moment and make the most of it.”

Towns played his final collegiate game in Indianapolis in 2015 and played at Kentucky from 2014-15. He was a member of the school’s 38-1 squad that lost to Wisconsin in the Final Four. The Wildcats compiled a perfect 31-0 mark during the regular season before falling to Badgers in the national semifinals.

“Indy is such a pinnacle of basketball,” Towns said. “I had such love for Indy watching them. For me growing up, Reggie Miller was the guy that just was electric to me, especially his shooting.”

Gametracker: Kentucky at LSU, 9 p.m., Wednesday. TV/Radio: ESPN, UK Radio Network.