3 things we learned: UK 102, IU 90

By David Schuh

1. The Cats led at halftime — without their most important player. Anthony Davis sat for the majority of the first half after picking up his second foul just six minutes into the game. Head coach John Calipari obviously did not want to risk a third before halftime. However, UK held its own. Behind the scoring of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Darius Miller and Doron Lamb, the Cats held a three-point lead at the break. UK’s defense suffered (and it showed from IU’s 47 first-half points), but the rest of the team scored at an efficient enough rate to make up for Davis’ absence.

2. When his team needed him the most, Kidd-Gilchrist starred. After scoring only 11 points over the first two NCAA Tournament games, the freshman stood out from the opening tip. He finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. When the Cats needed a big play, it always seemed like he was the only to make it. Two days after it was reported he would declare for the draft after the season, Kidd-Gilchrist put the distractions behind him and delivered in the most crucial of games.

3. Calipari’s most notorious weakness in tournament losses has been shooting. In Kansas in 2008 it was free-throw shooting. His first year at UK, it was 3-point shooting. At the pace this game was played, either could have done the Cats in. But it didn’t. UK shot 50 percent from the 3-point line and 95 percent from the free-throw line. Neither defense played exceptionally, that was evident by the 192 total points scored. The classic Calipari dig wasn’t the case this time. And consequently, the Cats survived and advanced to the Elite Eight.