Kentucky basketball: Wildcats win 2018 SEC Championship over Vols

by Jared Lewis March 12, 2018, 4:14
Kentucky basketball: Wildcats win 2018 SEC Championship over Vols

Rather, trying to win the Volunteers' first tournament championship in nearly 40 years is always where the Tennessee junior expected to be - even when the Rocky Top faithful were disappointed by a preseason pick of 13th in the SEC.

The Vols (25-7) are advancing to their first SEC Title game since 2009 and will face the fourth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats.

"It's hard to really flush that", Admiral Schofield said after scoring a team- high 22 points for Tennessee. We got swept in the series this season. Schofield also grabbed seven rebounds and finished with a pair of assists. Then nothing came easy.

The Kentucky Wildcats (23-10) are coming from an 86-63 win over Alabama in the semifinal in which Wenyen Gabriel delivered 7 of 7 shooting from outside the arc.

"I thought they were fresher, I thought they were crisper than we were", Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.

The Championship game will mark their third game in three days, but their two games of the tournament haven't been close. Late in the game, he made some huge plays, knocked down some free throws, and found people. Admiral Schofield scored 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Tennessee would get the lead back as Jordan Bone and Lamonte Turner hit back-to-back three pointers.

But Kentucky punched back.

Kentucky and Tennessee are not in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament, but there is pride on the line for both teams heading into Sunday's SEC championship game. The former Hamilton Heights Christian Academy star was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

Neither team has won the American tournament previously.

"Shots were falling", sophomore guard Jordan Bone said. "He was the main reason why we had another shot at this".

"Remember I used to talk about us getting nine teams in, and you all said he needs to be drug tested?" The Bearcats had to erase a 13-point halftime deficit to beat Memphis in the semifinal, and Cronin talked afterward about hoping his team's poor play in the first half could serve as a teachable moment. Tennessee vs Kentucky tv channel is on ESPN.

The win over Arkansas was the first for the Vols (25-7) over the Hogs in three years under head coach Rick Barnes.

UT missed the second of two free throws to set up the potential game-winner.

Therein was a redemptive theme packaged in the painful loss for Tennessee.

The reputations of Calipari and Kentucky were never going to make this team a sleeper in the NCAA tournament.

Kentucky's 31st conference tournament title came 40 years after the Wildcats defeated Duke to capture their fifth NCAA title at the Saint Louis Checkerdome in 1978. "It's been a couple years since Tennessee has been able to do that".

"So it's a big deal and we're really looking forward to competing with Cincinnati". 'If you're going to go by me like that I'm just going to trip you.' That's what I tell him in practice.

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