In the final game of the CBS Sports Classic Kentucky is to battle the North Carolina Tarheels In a battle of College Basketball’s Bluebloods. The Teams competed in the NBA Arena of the United Center, AKA the House that Jordan built, as in Michael Jordan. The game is a highly anticipated game amongst the best in the College Basketball. Kentucky last faced North Carolina in 2017 @ the elite 8 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Kentucky lost a heartbreaker as Current Tar Heel Luke Maye hits a shot in the closing moments, sending the Tarheels to the Final 4. North Carolina went on to win the 2017 NCAA Basketball Championship in a game many Kentucky fans considered UK’s opportunity to bring home the elusive 9th NCAA school Championship. Entering today’s contest UK needs the marquee win that has thus eluded the Cats this season. Kentucky enters today’s contest with an 8-2 record and has struggled against teams they should have beat. North Carolina enters today’s contest with an 8-2 record but has been impressive defeating the #1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs last weekend. Kentucky will need to play a complete game to defeat the Veteran led Tar Heels.
Kentucky and North Carolina trade baskets with the Tarheels on the first few possessions of the game. Both teams are playing excellent ball, with either team giving an inch. Kentucky leads 13-12 at the first media timeout. Reid Travis sets the tone early for the CATS as the skilled big man has seven points and 2 rebounds. Travis is a force on the inside and played physicality CATS fans had expected all season. The game is a very high paced game with teams trying to push the ball up the court. Kentucky starts to connect from behind the ARC as Herro adds 2 3pt shots and Keldon Johnson adds one. With seven minutes to go in the half UK leads 26-23. One play that excited the Big Blue Nation involved Tyler Herro getting the ball in the dribble drive offense, breaks down the defense finding PJ Washington for an over the top slam dunk. The Big Blue Nation faithful were on there feet and the C- A-T-S chant rang throughout the arena. Reid Travis finishes the half strong dominating both ends of the game. Travis finishes the half with sixteen points and four rebounds. Kentucky finishes the half with an 8-4 run and takes a nine- point lead to the locker room. Kentucky 40- North Carolina 31 @ the half.
In the opening minutes of the second half North Carolina comes out focused and connects with a couple of made 3Pt shots. The Comfortable nine- point lead UK had established at the half was quickly diminished to four points at the first media timeout. The CATS looked panicked and the ecstatic fans of the Big Blue Nation were becoming weary that UK would revert back to the team that has struggled to score the ball in recent games. Tyler Herro lifts the spirits of the BBN with a made 3 Pt basket and the lead grows back to seven points. Reid Travis continues to dominate the game being physical and demanding the ball in the post. PJ Washington makes a shot as time expires on the shot clock and the Big Blue Nation grows the lead to nine points with 12:57 remaining in the game. Kentucky 54- North Carolina 45. North Carolina isn’t going away and connects with a 3PT basket. The Teams trade baskets on the next possession, the environment feels similar to the excitement that is March Maleness. Two of the most Historic teams in the History of College Basketball playing the game that millions of spectators turn into every year. Keldon Johnson gets hot from behind the ARC making 2 3Pt shots in the closing minutes of the game. Kentucky survives a couple of late runs by the Tarheels, with made baskets on the other end and not allowing UNC to cut into the lead. The Game tonight is the best UK has looked all season and the team many people expected since the Big Blue Bahamas Tour in August of this year. Kentucky hangs on to defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels 80-72, giving the CATS its first signature win of the season.
Kentucky plays a complete game and with the non-conference schedule winding down, delivers a marquee win amongst one of College Basketball’s most historic team. The Fan Base has been extremely disappointed with their team on the court this as the CATS were blown out against Duke in the first game of the season and has struggled against teams that should have been easily won by the CATS. The win tonight will Rejuvenate the Fans who are desperately wanting a winner on the court. With the upcoming Christmas Holiday season here, UK will not play again until next week. Next Week UK plays in the battle of the Bluegrass travelling to Louisville, Kentucky to battle the Cardinals on December 29th2018. The players and coaches get a much-needed break as the players will head home to be with their families, and the Big Blue Nation are leaving the United Center with a swagger that has been missing nearly all season.