KSR Today: Bowl Selection Sunday after a Shocking Kentucky Basketball Loss

On3 imageby:Nick Roush12/03/23

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The college football regular season culminated with an exciting conference championship weekend. The final game in the history of the PAC-12 delivered electricity. Alabama snapped Georgia’s 29-game winning streak to flip the CFB Playoff conversation upside down. Louisville didn’t do the committee any favors, forcing the group to choose between undefeated Florida State and one-loss Texas and Alabama. Today the dust settles and we learn each team’s postseason fate, including your University of Kentucky Wildcats.

The March iteration of Selection Sunday is the closest thing to perfection. In a 30-minute production we get all of the matchups delivered promptly. College football takes what college basketball does well, then does the exact opposite.

ESPN will have a four-hour CFB Playoff Show. The final four will be unveiled around noon. Instead of rolling out the New Year’s Six right away, we’ll have to wait another hour. Instead of unveiling the rest of the bowl games in an organized fashion, it will be slowly leaked throughout the afternoon by Brett McMurphy until the schools and bowl organizers make official announcements.

College Football’s Selection Sunday is a mess. Luckily, KSR has a mop and broom to make sure you know where the Wildcats are bowling this winter. Download the On3 app and turn on notifications to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

The Most Likely Kentucky Bowl Destination

No sleep till Charlotte. As previously mentioned, college football’s Selection Sunday is a mess. It can create enough chaos to send the Cats to Florida for the Gator Bowl, but if all goes according to plan, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats will be in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at Bank of America Stadium. It’s a 5:30 pm EST kickoff on ESPN.

if Kentucky does return to Charlotte, the sight of Lynn Bowden’s final game as a Cat, an ACC opponent is on deck. The most likely option was Virginia Tech, but that might not necessarily be the case any longer. Clemson and North Carolina are also in the mix. I’ll explain more later this morning.

Yes, Kentucky did lost to UNC-Wilmington

I still can’t believe it either. I tried putting off discussing it for as long as possible, but we must address it.

An offense that scored 80+ points in each of its first seven games didn’t surpass 70 until there was less than a minute on the clock. The team that averaged north of 27 three-point attempts per game only shot 17. The team with the best assist-to-turnover ratio in all college basketball had only 6 assists and 9 turnovers in the first half.

It forced the Wildcats into an 8-point hole they could never dig out of. The Cats made a run at the start of the first half to retake the lead, but they never could completely turn the tide, trailing for the final ten minutes of an 80-73 loss to UNC-Wilmington.

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Bradshaw Debuts in Wagner’s Absence

Kentucky could have used DJ Wagner. The freshman point guard was sidelined with a “lower extremity injury” after he appeared to roll his ankle against Miami. Tre Mitchell could feel Wagner’s absence on the floor.

“You’re talking about a playmaker, a dude that attacks the basket very well, draws a lot of attention off of pick-and-roll situations, as well as he dogs the ball on defense. He pressures the ball,” Mitchell said of Wagner postgame. “DJ just brings another energy to the court. I felt like we were very dead tonight from an energy standpoint.”

The Cats lost a guard but gained a big. Aaron Bradshaw logged 13 minutes in his Kentucky debut. He made his only shot, knocked down 1-of-2 free throws and grabbed two rebounds.

John Calipari’s Postgame Comments

The Kentucky head coach was not pleased with his team’s defense. “We couldn’t stay in front of the ball,” Calipari said after the loss. UNC-Wilmington shot 43% from the field, out-rebounded Kentucky and tallied 28 points in the paint.

Kentucky Women’s Basketball in action

The Wildcats are back in town preparing to win back-to-back games. Fresh off a dramatic win at the buzzer over Boston College, Kyra Elzy’s Cats will take on Tennessee Tech this afternoon at 1 pm EST. You can enjoy all of the action at the Clive Beck Center on the campus of Transylvania University, or stream it all on SECN+.

Watch Future Wildcat Jayden Quaintance in Louisville

You can take a closer look at the future of Kentucky’s frontcourt. Jayden Quaintance is one of a few talented recruits in Louisville this weekend for the Derek Smith Invitational. The No. 8 player in the class of 2024, who just signed with the Wildcats a few weeks ago, will be suiting up for Word of God Academy this afternoon at 3:30 pm. They’ll be taking on Florida’s Southern Coast Academy at 3:30 pm EST at St. X High School. Prior to making the trip, Quaintance hung out with the Sources Say crew.

UPDATE: According to Jacob Polacheck of KSR+, Mr. Quaintance will likely sit out after suffering a laceration to his face. Ouch.

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Quaintance wasn’t the only top-ranked recruit at the event. Jacob Polacheck spoke to AJ Dybansta after the No. 1 player in 2025 scored 28 points in front of a pair of Kentucky assistant coaches. Head on over to KSR+ to see what Dybansta has to say about his interest in the Wildcats.

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2024-03-02