Kentucky Upsets No. 7 West Virginia on the Road | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / July 22.
  • Kentucky Upsets No. 7 West Virginia on the Road

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    When Kentucky trailed by 17 with 3:50 left in the first half, no one could have imagined the young, inconsistent Wildcats would be able to fight back and knock off West Virginia in Morgantown.

    Well, John Calipari’s team did come back, and upset Press Virginia, 83-76, on Saturday night.

    The Mountaineers were 10 points favorites entering the matchup, and it looked like they were going to cover that spread leading by 15 at the break.

    As the second half got underway, the Wildcats started to find their groove, thanks to the efforts of diaper dandy Kevin Knox, who exploded for a career-high and game-high 34 points on 11-of-17 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.

    Kentucky outscored West Virginia 50-28 in the second half as they were able to limit their turnovers to five after coughing up the rock 11 times in the first half.

    “I told them we were fine,” Calipari said. “Just keep playing.”

    The Mountaineers were led by Jevon Carter’s 26 points followed by James Bolden who chipped in 17 points. The duo was a combined 9-of-15 from the 3-point line.

    The Wildcats have had their chances against top-25 opponents this season, but Saturday was the first time they were able to secure a victory over a ranked team.

    Coming into this matchup, the Wildcats had lost two of their last three – at South Carolina on Jan. 16 and at home against Florida on Jan. 20. Many experts were calling this team the worst Kentucky team in the Calipari era, which may hold some truth, but this team sure knows how to compete, and they did so in a hostile road environment.

    “To come on the road and be down (17) … in this environment means we’re growing up. Part of it is we have a full roster,” said Calipari.

    While the Wildcats have experienced recent struggles, the Mountaineers haven’t been much better.  Bobby Huggins‘ team has lost four of their last five. Granted, all their losses have come against teams that were ranked at one point this season, but West Virginia a few weeks back was in the conversation for a No. 1 seed, and now they find themselves in the No. 4-5 range.



    The win over West Virginia (16-5, 5-3 Big 12) was huge, but the Wildcats (16-5, 5-3 SEC) have no time to sit back and relax.

    Of their 10 remaining games, Kentucky will go head to head with eight teams ranked in the current KenPom top-60. The two teams who don’t fall into that category are Vanderbilt – who just beat a talented TCU team – and Mississippi – a middle of the pack team in the conference but has proven this year they can give quality opponents trouble.

    This Kentucky team may not have the most NBA talent like in recent years, but they still have the potential to be a Final Four team and make a run at an SEC title.

    Photo: KentuckyMBB

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