Kentucky closed out the final 3:07 on a 15-12 run making all three field goal tries and 9 of 11 free throws.
Kingsley was held scoreless before halftime, and finished the game with 8 points and 6 rebounds. But how could they possibly be expected to earn a top seed in the big dance every year?
"When you smell blood, just keep attacking".
Although Adebayo, Monk and Fox provided a bulk of the scoring, it was Kentucky's senior trio of Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis and Mychal Mulder that provided some big moments in the finale, especially during the first half. "I thought I got some good looks".
Malik Monk, in a bit of a slump, broke out of it in Nashville with 37 points in his final two tournament games, and center Bam Adebayo continued his efficient play with 17 points and nine rebounds in the final.
The Wildcats will face the Razorbacks for the second time in three seasons in pursuit of their third consecutive SEC title. Alabama added to the 11-point win party with a 64-53 win over the Gamecocks.
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The Commodores dominated the extra period in a 72-62 overtime win over No. 2 seed Florida on Friday - their third win over the Gators this season. The Pirates lost to Villanova in the tournament semifinals and have a RPI of No. 44 in the nation.
"Give credit to Arkansas", Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew said following just his team's second loss in the last nine games. The road isn't tough by any stretch - as the Wildcats are looking at a potential second-round matchup against a very risky Wichita State team, and then a Sweet 16 clash with an explosive UCLA squad. "We're not there yet, so we know we have a lot of work to put in and we're going to be patient and we're going to get a lot of rest. They were playing their game in three days, and we had to make the game chaotic for them".
- Arkansas will begin the NCAA Tournament with a game against Seton Hall on Friday in Greenville, S.C. It will play eighth-ranked Kentucky, a 79-74 victor against Alabama, for the second time in three years today.
Semi Ojeleye, the AAC Player of the Year, added 17 points for SMU (29-4), which will meet either CT or No. 15 Cincinnati Sunday for the tournament title and the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The time of the game and the network will be announced later in the week.
"We just had to keep our composure and stay together as a team", Monk said.
Alabama freshman Braxton Key was trying to get a shot up from behind the arc before the buzzer when a foul sent him to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game up with 3:30 left to play in the SEC Tournament Semifinal game against the top seeded Wildcats.