NCAA Tournament Second Round: No. 4 UK vs. No. 5 Indiana Game Breakdown


Jamal Murray during the UK vs. Indiana game on Saturday. UK lost 67-73.

In the impromptu NCAA Tournament-forced renewal of the rivalry, No. 4 UK was unable to best No. 5 Indiana, losing 73-67.

In a game that pit two high-powered offenses against each other, it was the referees who dictated the pace for most of the first half, calling 22 combined fouls. UK was able to build up a lead as large as seven points but ultimately allowed Indiana to close the gap and eventually take the lead going into halftime up 33-32 because of foul trouble to four players. 

The Cats struggled for must of the second half offensively and ended up digging a hole too big to climb out of. Point guard Tyler Ulis would put up a fight in the final minutes but his efforts weren’t enough as UK would go on to lose in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time under John Calipari.

MVP: Tyler Ulis

Ulis gave it his all scoring 27 points in the losing effort. When the offense struggled toward the end of the game, Ulis willed his way inside for some points to keep UK in the game toward the end. His impressive output ended up not being able to compensate for UK’s overall poor shooting.

Game Defining Moment: 8-0 run by UK in the second half

After struggling to start the second half and allowing five straight points from the Hoosiers, UK was down 38-32 and it looked like it might be Indiana that would go on a run to take a commanding lead.

Instead, the Cats were able to take the hit and punch right back with an 8-0 run. Back-to-back threes by Murray and Ulis tied up the game. Then Poythress capped off the run and gave the Cats the lead with a steal and layup on the other end.

From there the game went back and forth, but UK has to credit the run for giving the offense some life to start the second half. 

Trending Up: Dominique Hawkins Rebounding

In a game where UK was getting virtually nothing from its bigs, junior Dominique Hawkins was able to make a big impact off the bench by helping on the glass.

The six-foot guard showed no fearing jumping among the trees inside and was able to come away with some boards to extend UK’s possessions on offense.

Trending Down: Finishing Inside

At one point in the first half UK led by seven and the Cats were in a good position to pull away from Indiana. Instead that Cats let the Hoosiers close the gap and eventually take the lead because they struggled finishing inside.

UK’s big men had the toughest time inside, and it showed as Alex Poythress and Skal Labissiere went a combined 1-for-7 in the first half.

Trending Down: Foul Trouble for the Cats

Midway through the first half UK looked firmly in control of the game and was posied to build a big lead, but that was before foul trouble hit the Cats.

Four UK players were called for two fouls in the first with the two biggest victims being Alex Poythress and Jamal Murray. UK started the game feeding the ball inside to Poythress and he rewarded the team with a lot of misses from close range and two fouls that caused him to sit most of the first half.

Similarly, Murray was also forced to sit because of two fouls as he again registered a slow start on offense. The freshman guard had trouble getting going and picked up two fouls off push-off calls as a result.