It was tight the entire way today in Lexington, but in the end, the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats proved why they are the best team in the country.
Kentucky held off a scrappy Vanderbilt team by a final of 83-74, and in the process, wrapped up a regular season title by moving to 14-0 in SEC play.
The Commodores led the game by one at the half, but couldn’t make the plays to make the run they needed once they fell behind late in the second half. After trailing 66-56, John Jenkins knocked down a few big shots and Vandy cut the lead to one at 66-65.
But that was as close as they would get, with Jeffery Taylor and Festus Ezeli missing free throws down the stretch that could have made things interesting.
Of course, as has been the case most of the season when talking about Kentucky, the story of the game was Anthony Davis.
Davis scored 26 points (on 10-of-11 shooting), grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked six shots in what was a simply outstanding performance from the big man. Although Ezeli scored 15 points, Davis constantly caused havoc for him inside the paint on both ends of the floor. When Vandy chose to guard Davis tight out top, he chose to drive around them and take it to the paint with ease.
He is without question one of the smoothest players we’ve seen in college basketball in quite some time. Everything he does, he makes it look easy.
After watching the show he put on today, he is in my mind clearly the Player of the Year in college hoops. Thomas Robinson is a great player, but he does not affect the game the way that Anthony Davis does.
Kentucky absolutely dominated the paint today, and Davis was clearly the catalyst for that. If teams can’t stop them from getting the ball deep into the paint, no one is going to beat them.
The Wildcats finish up with a game in Rupp against Georgia and a trip to Gainesville to take on Florida. Obviously, the latter will likely bring the biggest challenge, but it’s hard to see the Gators winning that game.
This team is on a roll of epic proportions, and quite honestly, I have no idea who will stop them.