UCLA was having a pretty good season. The Bruins lacked a signature win but were still 8-3 heading into their CBS showcase game against Kentucky on Saturday afternoon in Chicago. With a couple potential first-round NBA draft picks in guard Norman Powell and freshman forward Kevon Looney, it stood to reason that the Bruins could potentially keep things interesting against the No. 1 Wildcats. After all, Buffalo and Columbia were able to do it.
Well, so much for that. The game was over before it ever really started, with Kentucky running out to a 24-0 lead. Wildcat fans traveled well as always, booing foul calls even as their team was well on its way to a blowout victory of historic proportions. Kentucky led 41-7 at halftime, and the score felt even more lopsided than that.
When the final buzzer mercifully sounded, Kentucky had won 83-42. The Bruins avoided the ignominy of getting doubled up *and* avoided the worst defeat in program history (48 points), but still.
This game was brutal. Extremely brutal. Let's go through the carnage.
UCLA's first half was historically bad
UCLA's 7 first half points is the lowest in school history.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 20, 2014
The Bruins started off 0-for-17 from the field. At the end of the first half, Kentucky had more than twice as many blocks (eight) as UCLA had field goals (three). The Bruins ended up shooting 8.1 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins actually grabbed an incredible 13 offensive rebounds in the first half, but it didn't matter even a little bit.
UCLA's effort tied Savannah State for the fewest points scored in an opening half this year. Savannah State was playing Louisville that night in November. A proud program like UCLA .... yeah, this shouldn't happen.
Here's the shot chart:
Kentucky's defense is just unfair
The seven points UK surrendered in the first half is the lowest it has given up in a half since Dec. 28, 1943.— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 20, 2014
That's 71 years for those counting at home. Kentucky has had some incredible teams and tons of dominant performances, but never anything like this.
In that half Kentucky held UCLA to 0.20 points per possession.— John Gasaway (@JohnGasaway) December 20, 2014
John Calipari's team has already had some jaw-dropping efforts this year (that blowout win against No. 5 Kansas comes to mind), but never anything like this.
Even Nick Saban, a college coach who is sometimes involved in major blowouts, couldn't quite believe it:
Nick Saban on the Kentucky-UCLA halftime score: "You're kidding."— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) December 20, 2014
Kentucky couldn't really stop themselves from being great
Even up 40, stuff like this was happening:
Booker buries another three (UK is 9 of 20 from deep) and Dakari slams one home. Largest lead: 44 points.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) December 20, 2014
The lead got as big as 44.