The Cats on the rare Rupp Arena dogpile

Mrs. Tyler Thompsonover 3 years

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It’s not every day we see a dogpile at Rupp Arena, but Quade Green’s game-winner was cause enough for the rare celebration. Once the buzzer sealed Kentucky’s 83-81 overtime win over Vandy, Quade’s teammates swarmed him, collapsing into a giant heap of emotions at midcourt.

It was an awesome moment, but did anyone else freak out when PJ Washington pushed Quade Green, who is recovering from a back injury, to the floor? I sure did. Thankfully, Quade’s smile shined through and he assured reporters afterwards that he’s all good.

“That was my first [dogpile] actually. I wasn’t surprised it just shocked me. I just turned around and saw Jonny [David] running at me then everybody was on me pushing me down to the ground. I was very surprised PJ [Washington] pushed me down to the ground but the blood was running through my body so I didn’t feel it.”

The experience wasn’t quite as fun for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who carried the Cats to victory with 30 points, but took a knee to the face in the pile.

“That was my first dogpile,” Shai said. “It was not as fun as I expected it. I got a knee to the cheek. I didn’t feel it at the moment, but I’ll feel it tomorrow morning.”

Kevin Knox, who is coming off his own big game vs. West Virginia, knew exactly how to congratulate Quade.

“We were just saying, ‘Big shot, big shot.’ Slap him on the head, just kept slapping him on the head, just saying, ‘Big shot.’ I think somebody picked him up. Some big dude just picked him and just walked in. I told him when I hugged him, I said, ‘That’s what you do.’ That’s just a big shot for him. I know he can make it. That’s just his mentality.”

The celebration continued on the way to the locker room:

Overtime was as thrilling as regulation was ugly, and Quade credited those who stayed at Rupp for a wild atmosphere.

“It was a crazy feeling,” Quade said of hitting the game-winner in Rupp. “It was loud in there. Like, loud. That’s probably the loudest I’ve ever heard.”

Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

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2021-09-17

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