There are five regular season games remaining for the Kentucky Wildcats, and John Calipari's team still hasn't lost a game. Tennessee had its shot at ending Kentucky's undefeated season on Tuesday and kept it close for most of the night, but the Wildcats inevitably turned it on late and came away with a 66-48 victory.
The win moves Kentucky to 26-0, with games against Auburn, at Mississippi, vs. No. 18 Arkansas, at Georgia and vs. Florida left on the schedule. It's gotten to the point that an undefeated regular season almost feels like a given. Calipari knows what really matters starts in about one month.
Credit Tennessee for hanging tough. The Volunteers were only trailing by four points with 10 minutes remaining, but a 10-0 run by Kentucky blew open the game late in the second half.
The Wildcats seem to have a way of doing exactly that throughout this season:
Freshman shooter Devin Booker continues to be a major asset for Kentucky. Booker came off the bench gunning, and finished as the game's leading scorer with 18 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field. Andrew Harrison added 14 points for the Wildcats in the win.
Here's what we learned during Kentucky's win:
1. Karl-Anthony Towns didn't have his A-game
Towns has a chance to be a special player long-term, but Tuesday was a solid reminder that he's still only 19 years old. Towns picked up two quick fouls and sat most of the first half. He didn't attempt his first shot until there were under seven minutes left in the game, when he grabbed an offensive rebound and finished the put-back for the and-one.
Towns still grabbed four rebounds and added two blocks, but this wasn't a game that made a strong case that he should be the first pick in the NBA draft. Don't worry, there's still plenty of time to worry about that.
2. It's a make or miss game ... and Tennessee missed
Tennessee was close! The Volunteers really were. The problem was that no one on Tennessee could hit a jump shot from the perimeter. The Volunteers finished the game 2-of-17 from three-point range, good for a shiny 11.8 field goal percentage from behind the arc.
If a couple of those jumpers fell, this recap could have a much different feel. Alas, they didn't, and Kentucky is still undefeated.
3. Tennessee's offensive rebounding ability was incredible
Tennessee started no one taller than 6'8 on Tuesday night. When you have to match up with Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns, that probably isn't going to work. What's remarkable is that Tennessee was still able to compete on the glass. The Volunteers grabbed 19 offensive rebounds to 17 for Kentucky.
Kentucky is strangely inept at keeping opposing teams off the offensive glass, entering the game No. 239 in the country in terms of limiting offensive rebounds to opponents. It hasn't been a big deal yet, but it's something to watch going forward.