Basketball is very emotional. Teams battle hard for 40:00, sometimes even longer. So many plays can swing a game. A missed shot that rims out, a crucial rebound, a missed free throw, etc. Those a coach and a team can live with if they lose. But to lose because someone got too excited and slammed the ball, drawing a technical foul, has to hurt.
With UK up by one in the final seconds of overtime, UK center Isaac Humphries grabbed a rebound with the Cats up by one. A&M understandably fouled him to stop the clock, but he apparently took exception and slammed the ball to the floor. This gave A&M two free throws which Danuel House converted both free throws. Humphries fouled out because of the technical so Skal Labissiere shot the free throws. He made one of two to tie the game. But this gave A&M one more possession.
Tyler Davis scored the game winning basket on a putback just before the buzzer sounded, giving Texas A&M a 79-77 win. The game gives A&M a big boost of confidence which they sorely needed after a recent five game slide. The lss may actually do Kentucky some good. It will be a good lesson for their young players, who have been getting better as the season has gone along.
The Wildcats still lead the SEC with a 10-4 record. There is a log jam at 9-5 with A&M, South Carolina and LSU all tied for second. At 8-6 we have Florida and Vanderbilt. The top four teams get a double bye in the SEC Tournament and with four games left, there are some big games coming up.
Florida and South Carolina played an overtime game on Saturday. The Gators stormed back from a 30-13 first half hole to take a 33-30 lead going into the break. But the Gamecocks regrouped to pull out aa tough win to draw within a game of the lead and move into one of the double bye spots.
UK still has Vandy, Florida and LSU still to play. Florida still has Vandy as well. This conference race should go down to the wire.
Even after this setback, Kentucky is still the favorite here and perhaps the SEC’s best shot at a deep NCAA Tournament run.