SEC Tournament Central
Tournament Central is your place to catch all the action as the men's basketball team plays in the SEC Tournament in new Orleans, La. Tournament Central is proudly presented by Central Bank.
|Kentucky def. LSU, 60-51
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|Kentucky def. Florida, 74-71
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| Vanderbilt def. Kentucky, 71-64
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Finals vs. Vanderbilt - Sunday, Mar. 11, 1 p.m. ET
UK Advances to Championship Game
The Wildcats advanced to the championship game of the SEC Tournament with a 74-71 win overFlorida in the semifinals.
UK got another double-double from freshman Anthony Davis (15 points, 12 rebounds). Davis alsoadded three assists, two blocks and a steal.
The Wildcats outrebounded the Gators 39-25 while grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.
Kentucky advances to the championship game for the third straight season and 39th time in history.
Kentucky owns a 136-44 record in the all-time series, including a 7-3 mark against the Commodoresin neutral site games.
The Wildcats are looking for a season sweep of the 'Dores after posting a 69-63 win against Vandy in Nashville and an 83-74 win against the Commodoresin Lexington.
Kentucky in the Championship Game
The Wildcats own a 28-8 record in the championship game of the SEC Tournament. That includes games played prior to the conference split in 1992 when first round byes were instituted.
Kentucky is 0-1 against Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament championship.
The Wildcats are making their third straight appearance in the SEC Tournament title game.
Semifinals vs. Florida - Saturday, Mar. 10, 1 p.m. ET
UK Advances to SEC Tournament Semifinals
The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on Friday with a 60-51 win over LSU in the quarterfinals.
After coming out slowly in the first half, shooting just 31.8 pct. from the field, Kentucky warmed up in the second frame shooting 55 percent from the field.
Kentucky owns a 92-33 (.736) record in the all-time series, including a 12-3 (.800) mark in netural site games.
The Wildcats have won four straight against the Gators including a win in the SEC Tournament Championship game last season.
Kentucky has won eight of the last 10 meetings after dropping seven straight in a streak that stretched from the 2005 to the 2008 seasons.
Quarterfinals vs. LSU - Friday, Mar. 9, 1 p.m. ET
Kentucky Posts Perfect SEC Season
The Wildcats closed out an historic regular season on Sunday with a 74-59 win at No. 16 Florida to put a cap on a perfect 16-0 run in Southeastern Conference play.
It was the third time in UK and SEC history that a team posted a perfect 16-0 mark in league play. The last time occuring in the 2003 season and both were by Kentucky (1996).
Anthony Davis led the Wildcats with his 14th double-double of the season on a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. He added six blocks as well.
Kentucky shot 52.5 pct. from the field while holding Florida to 38.2 pct. and 16 points below their season average.
Pre-Tournament Media Opportunity - Mar. 6, 2012
Head Coach John Calipari
On the SEC individual awards ...
"I'm happy for all the kids, they deserve all the accolades but I will remind them it really means nothing and let's move on to the next part of our season."
On conference tournaments ...
"Well, you are playing three games in three days; it doesn't prepare you for anything. We just played a whole league schedule and now for our league, especially, it has no bearing on seeding, it proved it last year. So why are we playing? To play three games in three days, no bearing on seeding, maybe one team can play in, they had all season to play in. But, like I said, we have to play it so let's improve our seed and hold our seed. The only thing here that is different is that our fans take their vacation money, rent money, cigarette money and they go to these tournaments. They can't get tickets to our building and this is their chance so you almost feel an obligation to play well. I don't know if we win but you have an obligation, they just made a trek; this is their deal so it's different here. But, my feelings of conference tournaments have not changed, from when I was at Massachusetts, Memphis and now here."
On why his teams have succeeded at conference tournaments ...
"Probably because I don't care about it, I could care less and they know that. We are trying to get better and so they go in and know it's not a big deal and say let's have fun and end up winning. It's not the formula I would say anybody else would use but it's what I've used. Three games in three days is like nothing, it's like playing in Maui, wears you out and now you have to make a 7,000 mile trek back home. What's it give you? TV? We've got all the TV we need but we'll be there."
On Kentucky winning 45 regular season SEC titles...
"You want to win every game you play. What I said to them after and I didn't know this because we had run the table a few different times, I didn't know in (a BCS conference) you aren't supposed to do it. Like seven teams in the modern era and three were Kentucky, I had no idea. The 30 wins, when they said it was a record, I said to the team, 'if a team is going to break your record, what?' Marquis Teague said, 'they are going to have to win them all, coach.' I said good luck to those guys because that is going to be hard. They have established things, winning the regular season, that is great and it's great for our program and shows pride in our state. At the end of the day our job is to get these guys prepared for a run down the stretch. I told you last year I always liked my team, we couldn't win some games on the road, we lost a bunch of close ones, had chances to win just about every one of them, lost them all. We were 2-6 on the road; I kept telling you I like my team. All we did was keep getting better and by the end of the year we were the best basketball team in the country, in my opinion. That's what you are trying to do so all this other stuff is a prelude to that and I've always coached that way. I didn't start coaching that way here in Lexington, I coached that way in Amherst (Massachusetts) and I coached that way in Memphis."
On the defensive mentality of the team ...
"Well you have a little bit of everything. It starts on the ball, Marquis Teague really guards the ball well, he guards pick-and-rolls; he is a pit bull out there. Then you have wing defenders who can stay in front of people, then you have that one defender that can guard every position, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, then you have some size and shot blocking in Terrence (Jones), Eloy (Vargas), Kyle (Wiltjer) and then you have the ultimate shot blocker behind all of what I just told you, in him. That's why we are a good defensive team, that and the fact that they are taking pride in it. To get a young team to do that they have to want to do that, they have to take great pride in that and this team has."
On Anthony Davis' progression ...
"I've coached some really good players; he's playing well and I'm anxious to see how he finishes. When he made the right hook, then he made the left hook, there were a lot of people mad, 'I'm still not voting for him.' The guy on the TV, I had to go back to the TV copy because the guy on TV said, 'Oh my!' That was the comment, 'oh my.' He's just getting better and better and better and he doesn't say anything, doesn't shoot a whole lot of balls. He did what Marquis Teague did, he tried to hold that last ball and get fouled."
On the argument that Anthony Davis has a better surrounding cast than (Kansas') Thomas Robinson ...
"Could you imagine if we went at Davis every possession, could you imagine if he shot 22 times a game? You have to imagine because they are saying it as imagine he doesn't have to because he has all these guys and he doesn't. Could you imagine if he played that way, how good he would be, the shots he would take, the 3s he would have taken well before. The behind the back dribble by a kid that is 6'11... We're letting him shoot 3s because he went in the drill and I said 'if you make 45 I'll let you shoot 3s' and he made 47. He was doing jumping jacks and did a kart wheel so we put a play in to let him shoot 3s. He's a special player; I'm not taking anything away from Thomas Robinson. He is an outstanding player, he is tough, hard-nosed, he wills them to win, I like my guy."
On the SEC being a good league and winning by huge margin ...
"I used to say that about Conference USA. I would get so mad. We were really, really good. And they would say that is because everyone else was not as good. What? UAB, Tulsa, Houston? We had teams that were playing and should have been in the NCAA Tournament and didn't get in because we were so good. The good news is we are really good, but they can't say that about all of these other teams. We have gone out and beaten people. So, now you have again, Florida, Vandy, you have Alabama, Mississippi State. You have Tennessee, and I'll say it again, you can say what you want, they are an NCAA Tournament team. With (Jarnell) Stokes they are not the same team. They won eight of nine. Whoever has got to play them in our tournament, good luck. So, you are talking about us getting close to what we are trying to do, which is half the league in the NCAA Tournament. That's what it should be. If we have 14, it should be seven. If we had 16 it should be eight; or more. We are getting close to that. Think about it. We had to go to Vandy. No one wins at Vandy. We had to go to Florida. They lost one game in there. We had Vandy and Florida home. We had to go to Tennessee and eke out a win. You are talking about Mississippi State. They are up 13 at the half. We didn't walk through the league. If Mississippi State played like they did against us, they are a Sweet 16 team. Just go play that way. This league is solid top to bottom. Auburn gave us a game. Georgia gave us a game down there. South Carolina, we beat up pretty good, but they beat Alabama. There is no walk-away game."
On the possibility of (UK assistant) Orlando Antigua taking a head-coaching position ...
"What I always tell my staff as it starts winding down is you see what's out there, and you tell me what you want me to do. Orlando (Antigua) is ready to be a head coach if that's what he chooses to be. The issue is, we got a pretty good thing going here. So now, you have to be a little choosy on what you do. But, there are going to be schools that will contact him. I talked to Kenny (Payne), and I just said the same thing. I said 'Kenny, if there is anything out there, you let me know.' Just like my players, I want my players, I want everyone around me to have benefits, and move forward and chase their dreams the same way. I don't hold anybody back. If he has an opportunity, we will be for it. But, I'll say it again, this is a unique place to coach, and live and be. You are not anxious like 'Oh, I can't wait to get out of here.' This is a place where people want to coach. They want to be here. People are here, and are in no hurry to leave. Again, if they have an opportunity to chase a dream, then I am all for it."
#1 Darius Miller, G, Sr.
On the SEC tournament preparing the team for the NCAA tournament ...
"It's a tournament so there are a lot of quick turnarounds against very good teams. There is going to be very good competition and the whole tournament atmosphere can hopefully get us ready for the next one."
On this team being consumed with winning ...
"That is all we are focused on. We want to win every game and the national championship. We feel like we have the opportunity to do that. We take every day to try and get better and try to prepare ourselves to win a national championship."
On the possibility of winning the SEC becoming a trap for them in the near future ...
"No. I don't see how it could be a trap. I'm happy we won the SEC and I don't see how you can take anything negative from that."
On playing the role of the sixth man ...
"I just try and do whatever the team needs me to do. Whether it is scoring, playing defense or whatever they need me to do, I try and do that. Coach (John Calipari) gives us a game plan and I try to execute it the best that I can."
On being the MVP of last year's SEC tournament ...
"It meant a lot to me. We played a lot of good teams. There were a lot of talented players in the tournament, just like it's going to be this year. It meant a lot to me and I'm blessed to have been a part of something like that."
#14 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, G, Fr.
On playing in March finally ...
"It's a dream come true for me now. It's March time and I'm ready to work."
On how long he has dreamed of playing in March Madness ...
"Ever since I was like 5 or 6. I really can't wait for it, I really can't wait."
On what losing a game is like ...
"It's hard for me. I can't explain the feeling, it's hard.
"I hate to lose."
On if being named First Team All-SEC or SEC All-Defensive Team means more to him ...
"I love playing defense, that's my game. It means a lot."
On so many UK players winning so many honors ...
"It's an honor for all of us. It's a dream come true for all of us as well."
On if saying this UK team being more consumed by winning than the individual awards is a fair statement ...
"Yeah. It's a really fair statement for all of us on the team. It's a brotherhood. I don't really get into all that stuff."
#20 Doron Lamb, G, So.
On dominating games at home over the past few seasons ...
"It means a lot to me. Since I have been here we haven't lost a home game yet. I am happy to be here for the team and happy to be winning games."
On the SEC tournament possibly being a trap for them ...
"No I don't think so. We just have to take one game at a time. We have nine games left until the last game of the year and we are just trying to get there. The main focus is to make it to the last game."
On the team being consumed with winning ...
"We have a great group of guys here. We all have talent and we all play together, so talent together is unbeatable."
On Coach Calipari winning the SEC Coach of the Year award ...
"It's an honor for him. He coached us very well this year. We had a great season. I had a great year with these guys and I can't wait to finish it off."
On if the team is physically ready to possibly play three games in three days ...
"Yea we can do that. We're not really tired. We did it last year. I think we can do it this year with this group of guys. We have more talent than we did last year so I think we can do it. We're really trying to win nine straight games."