The 2017-2018 regular season might have been a down year for the Kentucky basketball team, but that doesn’t mean followers of the team went un-entertained.
Mixed in with the wins and losses were some intense, action-packed moments that put fans on the edge of their seats or on their feet. While the losses were disheartening, some of the wins made this season one to remember.
Here are the top five regular season games UK played in during 2017-2018:
1. Dec. 29, 2017: UK versus Louisville
UK beating its rival by 29 points after coming off a disappointing loss to UCLA makes a good day for Kentucky fans.
Many things went right for the Cats that day, but none was more important than the emergence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who had his breakout game, scoring 24 points and dishing four assists against the Cardinals.
This was also the first game Gilgeous-Alexander showcased his new haircut, and can be marked on the calendar as the spot where he became a leader for the team.
2. Jan. 27, 2018: UK versus West Virginia
Not many picked Kentucky to come out of Morgantown with a win, but that’s exactly what the Cats did behind a record-setting performance from Kevin Knox.
Knox’s 34-point performance was the sixth most points a freshman has scored in UK history, and it came in one of the most hostile environments the Cats played in all season.
This win was arguably the best win the Cats got all season, and it showed what the team was capable of doing when firing on all cylinders.
3. Feb. 17, 2018: UK versus Alabama
The 10-point win was a great sight for fans to see coming off the four-game losing streak, but what really made this game great was the entertainment while no basketball was being played on the court.
During one of the timeouts in the second half, a fan swished a half court shot for $10,000, the only time a fan this season has made the big shot. That weekend was also the weekend of the NBA All-Star game, so the former Cats not participating in the All-Star festivities, such as Bam Adebayo and Derek Willis, returned to Rupp to witness their first game in-person since starting their professional careers.
The halftime show also featured the Firecrackers and their jump rope dance routine, which was entertaining. The game was good, but the entertainment made this day one to remember.
4. Jan. 30, 2018: UK versus Vanderbilt
UK’s only overtime game all season, and the only time someone made a game-winner for the Cats makes this game worthy of being remembered.
After forcing overtime off of two clutch free throws from Gilgeous-Alexander, Quade Green made a layup with five seconds left in overtime to give the Cats a two-point win. A dog pile ensued on the court as fans let out a sigh of relief after the stressful but entertaining game to watch.
5. Dec. 16, 2017: UK versus Virginia Tech
This was one of the more entertaining games during the season due to the offensive performances displayed by both teams.
Both squads scored at least 86 points, with Kentucky coming out on top with 93 points. The Cats made 11 threes, four of which came from Hamidou Diallo, en route to a victory over a solid ACC team.