The Kentucky Wildcats' season to forget is finally over following a 59-57 first-round loss to Robert Morris in the NIT on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats appeared uninterested from the tip-off and it showed on the court. For a program just 11 months removed from winning the national championship, the young 'Cats began the game on the wrong side of a 10-0 run. Robert Morris was engaged throughout, although one final push from Kentucky in the closing minutes made things interesting.
With the score tied at 57-57 and nine seconds on the clock, RMU's Mike McFadden was fouled while grabbing an offensive rebound. McFadden hit both free throws, and a missed three-pointer from Kentucky's Kyle Wiltjer on the opposite end secured the upset win for Robert Morris.
Lucky Jones led Robert Morris with 15 points. Jones was active all over the court, and his energy sparked a capacity crowd at the Charles L. Sewall Center. Russell Johnson chipped in with 14 points and four rebounds. As a team, RMU shot 45 percent from the field and went a perfect 14-for-14 from the free-throw line.
Archie Goodwin was one of the few Wildcats who showed up to play, as the freshman guard led Kentucky with 18 points and seven rebounds. Two telling stats for Kentucky were their 10 assists and 14 turnovers.
For Wildcats coach John Calipari, his attention will immediately shift to next year's team. UK is expected to bring in yet another loaded recruiting class, and while this season should serve as a reminder that freshmen can be highly unpredictable, brighter days are on the horizon in Lexington.
For more on the Kentucky Wildcats, be sure to check out the SB Nation team blog, A Sea Of Blue.