Top-seeded Kentucky, playing in front of a mostly blue crowd of 19,953 that resembled a home game at Rupp Arena more than a conference tournament game inside Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, throttled No. 3 seed Arkansas 82-65 on Sunday to clinch its third consecutive SEC Tournament championship, its fifth under Calipari and its 30th overall. Both of these squads are coming off fairly convincing wins in their quarterfinal games, and Kentucky should be a healthy favorite coming into this afternoon's game. "Whatever seed we had before the game, that's what our seed will be".
"There is no doubt about my allegiance", said Ken Smith, who said he followed the NKU team to the Horizon League Tournament in Detroit last week.
NEW YORK - Josh Hart had 29 points and six rebounds as second-ranked Villanova captured its second Big East tournament championship in three years with a 74-60 victory over Creighton on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. "(I've) been here for all four years (and) I never had a game like I did today. Not once, but twice but now three times Vanderbilt has taken down Florida - this round in overtime to advance to the semifinals against Arkansas.
De'Aaron Fox scored a team-high 18 points for Kentucky. "Dom is a spark plug".
The miscues at the free-throw line meant the end of Alabama's tournament run.
It's still a question whether or not redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga will be available for the NCAA tournament. Defensively, the Razorbacks are yielding 73.8 points per game. In their lone meeting of the regular season, Kentucky rolled to a 97-71 victory in Lexington.
Michigan State is the No. 9 seed in the Stockton Region and will travel to the Columbia (S.C.) first and second round site. "I think they can do it".
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Fox led the Wildcats with 18 points. "We came in with the mindset to win this tournament, and we are just going to continue to work hard and allow the success we had in this tournament to carry over", Corbin Collins added.
"This is a talented group", Kentuckycoach John Calipari said.
Offensively, the Razorbacks average 80.2 points, 36.6 rebounds and 14.3 assists per game. Arkansas made a late push in the final few minutes, but could get no closer than a nine-point deficit with 1:38 to go. The Hogs continued to put their heal on Vandy's throat by continuing it out to a 23-4 stretch over an 8 minutes and 2 seconds to take a 21-point lead.
"We're building our bench", Caliapri said.
But with its first postseason tournament behind it, United Kingdom is heading into the big dance well aware that every game could be the team's last. But by the time they did a Wildcats player was already down and out. Arkansas shot 42.6 percent, 22.2 from 3-point range.
Dusty Hannahs was given a flagrant foul for knocking Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins to the court with his forearms, then Moses Kingsley went to the locker room with 1:02 left for his physical foul of Fox in the paint.
"It was unfortunate but, at the same time, I don't think anybody was intent on trying to hurt anybody", Anderson said. I want to be the guy to help it get back to where it was.