Looking back to the best, worst moments of the men’s basketball season


The Kentucky men’s basketball team celebrates after the game against Tennessee in the SEC tournament championship on Sunday, March 11, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 77-72. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Usually men’s basketball seasons at UK feature dominant wins and few losses, but this past season was different.

The 2017-2018 campaign saw the highest of highs and the lowest of lows that all accumulated into one of the more interesting but entertaining UK basketball seasons in recent memory.

The season was cut short in a loss to Kansas State in the Sweet 16, but that didn’t erase some of the top moments that took place during the season.

Here are the best and the worst of this season.

Best: 29-point victory over Louisville

When the team defeats its archrival by 29 coming off a bad loss, the feelings towards the game are going to be pretty good.

Not only was the margin of defeat over the opponent worthy of being a top moment, the performances by the players were also something to notice.

This game was the breakout game for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished with 24 points, five rebounds and four assists. Quade Green, PJ Washington and Hamidou Diallo also had big games to help lead the beat-down over the Cardinals

Worst: Four-game losing streak

Head Coach John Calipari had never lost three consecutive games in his time at UK before this season, but the young group of freshmen broke this historic feat and took it a step further by losing four games in a row in early February.

Three of the four losses were at least decided by nine points, with the Cats looking particularly unimpressive in most of them. The best they performed during the losing streak was the home loss to Tennessee, which the Cats gave away at the end with some costly mistakes.

It’s unlikely Calipari will endure many four-game losing streaks while coaching the Cats, but that’s something this year’s team will have etched in the history books.

Best: SEC Tournament championship

UK went into the SEC Tournament as the No. 4 seed and not the favorite to win the title, but by the end of the weekend in St. Louis, the Cats had proven to be the top team in the SEC by being on the winning end of the Sunday confetti shower.

To get to the championship game, they had to defeat feisty teams like Georgia and the Collin Sexton-led Crimson Tide. Then, in the championship game, they had to defeat Tennessee, who was favored to win the whole thing before the tournament started.

During the championship run, the Cats had shown a good balance of pass-friendly offense and excellent defense that had Cats fans excited heading into the NCAA Tournament.

Worst: Sweet 16 loss to Kansas State

After Selection Sunday, not many chose the Cats to make it out of the dreadful South Region that featured many of the countries top teams, but after a first weekend filled with surprising upsets, UK was favored to reach the Final Four during the Sweet 16/Elite 8 weekend.

However, all of that unraveled after Kansas State executed its game plan to perfection and took down UK in the Sweet 16. The upset was a shocking one to Cats fans, who thought their team was Final Four bound before the weekend even started.

Many of UK’s stars, such as Washington and Gilgeous-Alexander, all had off nights that helped sink UK and bring a sudden end to the season.