Kentucky loses at Oakland: 4 facts and postgame chatter  

On Thursday night, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 80-76 in the NCAA Tournament first round. That first half was outstanding. Both teams started slowly, although it was short-lived. Jack Gohlke of Oakland made seven 3-pointers in the first half, as discussed below. Kentucky played well defensively otherwise, but Memphis led 38-35 at halftime

The second half wasn't any better. Kentucky couldn't stop Oakland or score like they have all year. A terrible performance and dismay across the Bluegrass flows.

That was surprising. Tre Mitchell has given Kentucky little following his six-week injury layoff. He opened today with 14 points and 13 rebounds despite not improving since returning. Mitchell kept Kentucky afloat early these season, but many believed the youthful Cats outgrew him. Injuries are important, but Kentucky won without him.

Just because Oakland plays a zone and the midrange is open, he started. Kentucky's best four-man option is Adou Thiero, but I understand the choice. Thiero is better at rim-attacking, whereas Mitchell is best at shooting. Only issue is Mitchell hasn't done anything consistently since returning.

The circumstances make this judgment problematic, yet it wasn't questioned two and a half months ago. Mitchell played brilliantly, disproving me and others.

Reeves redeems In last season's NCAA Tournament loss to Kansas State, Antonio Reeves' 1/15 performance could have ruined his Kentucky career. This game, he scored 27 points on 11/18 shooting, continuing his season-long consistency.

The Cats should not have kept the game close, but Reeves did. The veteran guard did everything he could to save Kentucky's March Madness hopes. He was Kentucky's only hope, which is sad. The finest Calipari scorer redeemed himself, but it was in vain.

Vanishing Sheppard Reed Sheppard has been great this season, but he disappeared when it counted. Sheppard was quiet and Oakland eliminated him. He missed open shots, jumped on ball fakes, and looked off. Sheppard should follow Reeves' lead and redeem himself for March's setback. His regular season was exceptional, but this was a cruel way to finish his Kentucky career.

Gohlke goes nuclear Need I say more? This kid's game performance was unprecedented. Gohlke talked a lot before the game and scored a game-high 32 points off the bench on 10/20 shooting, all 3s.  This kid's play is notorious. He has almost 300 3-point attempts and seven 2-point attempts entering this game. Yes, you read correctly.

Well, he lived up to the shame. Kentucky tried to stop Gohlke, but he just fired 3s and couldn't miss. He set an NCAA Tournament record with seven deep balls in the first half against the Cats! John Calipari was speechless. Perhaps no one could have answered. History was made at the Cats' expense. Today is tragic for BBN. Despite expectations, this may not be John Calipari's last game as Kentucky Wildcats coach.

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