Blog Entry

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 2:16 pm

By Jeff Goodman

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Almost always, these games don't live up to the billing. This didn't -- it exceeded expectations.

It has been hyped all offseason as the No. 1 vs. No. 2. As it turned out, North Carolina came into the game fifth in the nation -- after a road loss to UNLV -- and it was Kentucky that entered with the top billing.

But it didn't matter.

The game was electric from the tip. Kentucky punched North Carolina in the mouth, taking a quick 9-2 lead. However, the Tar Heels responded and wound up taking a 43-38 lead into the break.

However, North Carolina also went into halftime with three fouls on star forward Harrison Barnes - who picked up his third with a little more than six minutes in the first half.

Then it was Doron Lamb who backed up his words in the second half.

Lamb, who less than 24 hours prior said that his team was more talented and the backcourt clearly had superior talent to UNCm had a couple of huge drives midway through the half - and then buried two mammoth 3-pointers to give Kentucky control.

North Carolina, after a missed free throw by Kentucky freshman Marquis Teague with 20 seconds left, had a chance to win the game on the final possession.

The play was designed to go in the post to Tyler Zeller, but ultimately ball wound up in John Henson's hands - who shot what appeared to be an uncontested 12-footer from the right side. Then the only guy in the country who could block Henson's shot, Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis, did just that to seal the win.

Kentucky 73, North Carolina 72.

I'm not sure I've seen a more riveting December game. Two teams loaded with pros -- in a crazy setting at Rupp Arena.

It was so entertaining, I want to see it again.

Maybe April 2.

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Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:33 am

Jumpers and Blocks ?

Basketball IQ differs from person to person. I admit that I am no bobby Knight, but I am pretty sure Henson is overrated and not too productive. This guy logged 33 min and his final stats were unimpressive again. I do not care about per game averages because guys can fill a stat sheet against weaker foes. The production in the big games is what matters most.  The guy was 4-11 from the field and only shot 2 ft's. Who wants a PF/C that specializes in jumpers ? He finished with 8 reb.  Zeller, who has received a lot of criticism, also finished with 8 reb,  but played 5 fewer minutes. He also finished with 14 pts and shot the ball 4-9 from the field , w/ 6-6 ft's.  Henson finished with 1 personal foul as well.  Is this because he blocked a ton of shots and never fouls, or because he is soft and shys away from contact ?  The guy may be special to the adoring fan base, but he is average - admit it.  A freshman outplayed him, and I suspect that this won't change anytime soon. He may be drafted behind every player on UK's starting 5 and behind one or two of his current teammates - if he comes out. Another year of school and a protein shake might help. He lacks the demeanor to dominate. Either he is too light and lacks ability, or he doesn't care enough to play harder.  You pick.

In the end, it appears that UK may be too talented to lose in the round of 64. I hope that OSU is really as good as they looked aginst Duke, or someone can catch UK on a bad night in March. Otherwise, Cal gets his first  with the most talent that he has ever had on one team. Mister no film study/adjustments, and "we do what we do", made a few against UNC, and his team came from behind after struggling from behind the arc again. Ouch.

Since: Nov 4, 2009
Posted on: December 4, 2011 9:29 am

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

YOU obviously don't know much about basketball. Though Henson may not be a great offensive force, he brings a hell of a lot to the defensive end; just ask Jones and Davis about his 3 blocks and the other shots he altered. If you remember, when Jones made a couple of baskets in the first half at their end, Henson responded with jump shots on two straight possessions. It was a one point game that could have one either way. Would the results have been the same in Chapel Hill? I doubt it. UK fans seem to relish he wins and find blame or the losses. No blame being thrown here. Both teams will be favorites to make it to NoLA. Sure hope they do, because I want to see the rematch.

Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:55 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

Kentucky 73 vs North Carolina 72 and it was a one point game that never seen today i was shocked how a one point game was.NC was fifth in the nation and Kentucky was on top of the top 25 in the NCAA Basketball 2011-12 and on the Road to The Final.Surprised

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:24 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

Henson, possibly the most overrated big man in college basketball. Did i call him big ? I'm sorry, I meant tall. Seriously, this guy is as underwhelming as it gets. He is useless. He may get drafted based on height, but he will never play in the NBA. He is light and slow. Zeller is doubled the second half and gets little or no help from his buddy. Maybe a shot fake on that last attempt ? Too bad your 6'11 pf/c decides to shoot a fade away instead. That was an easy block for Davis, and he was diplomatic in his post game interview about it.  Roy should have recruited another big man to help Zeller. Henson's lack of production cost UNC in their tourney exit last against UK. Now UK is even more talented. I am tired of the media making over this guy like he is good. He is tall and that is about it. Sorry, just waiting on this guy to improve during the offseason, but I don't see it.

UNC fans, I want to hear from you. Do you agree or disagree ? How much better would you be if this guy was improving or at least looked like he played hard ?  Or are you happy with your guy ? How far can you get in the tourney with one reliable big ? Just my observations, but I may be wrong.

Since: Dec 3, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:59 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

Just a great game by 2 of the best teams in the country.The difference in the game i thought was UKs defence in the 2nd half...steller.

Since: Sep 2, 2009
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:37 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

Great game today, doesn't matter who you were rooting for. Both teams showed that they were championship material. It's a long way to go until March/April, but I think we saw 2 of the best teams in the nation going toe to toe today.

Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:34 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

LOL!!! Yeah just ask un-ranked UNLV about how "nervous" they were when they stomped a mud hole in the over-rated Tarbabies.
You do however have a point with UK.

Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:27 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

Its always funny when a bunch of freshman come in and TAKE the #1 spot from a team that the media worships year in and year out. UNC was clearly the weaker team, and out played down the strech when it counted, even with the refs trying all they could to give yet another game to UNC. Just ask UNLV about how UNC is waaaaay overrated, and why the media will be wearing egg on its face again this year, when Uk takes the crown.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:10 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

Coach Cal has set a precedent and set the bar high for UK basketball

Since: Mar 31, 2009
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:01 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

I agree and it was the best game since these two hooked up in the tourny last year. I vote that they play every Saturday and I would tune in every time. Smile

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