Kentucky's star rookies, who coach John Calipari called "warriors" following their performances, found their strokes together at the right time, as the Wildcats are now a win away from their 30th SEC tournament championship and a game away from elimination season in the NCAA tournament.
Calipari said he didn't see it, but will address it with Monk. It's the first time a team has won three straight SEC Tournament titles since Florida in 2005-2007. "The Florida home game last week, then the A&M game Thursday because we knew what was at stake, and then the overtime game against Florida".
Malik Monk, in a bit of a slump, broke out of it in Nashville with 37 points in his final two tournament games, and center Bam Adebayo continued his efficient play with 17 points and nine rebounds in the final. Against Arkansas Hawkins was more aggressive in shooting 5-for-9 from the floor and 2-for-5 from three for a career-high 14 points, but his impact for United Kingdom was still the same.
"It was great", Monk said of his 20-point performance.
Freshman guard Dazon Ingram paced Alabama (19-14) with 17 points. They were the No. 3 seed that year too. So, I think it's just a combination of guys getting comfortable in what we're doing and trusting one another. So Monk finding that shot and Fox becoming an even more unsafe slicing scorer is critical to Cats' survival in their upcoming games.
The University of Kentucky will enter the NCAA Tournament with a head of steam, and a No. 2 seed in the Big Dance. The Commodores saw a three-game winning streak end after reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2013.
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N Alabama 64, SC 53: Freshman Braxton Key had 18 points and seven rebounds to help the Crimson Tide advance to the semifinals of the SEC tournament for the first time since 2013.
"We're hot and they're playing good, too".
Arkansas senior Manny Watkins had mentioned Saturday the dislike the two teams have for each other. We're used to playing in front of people. Hawkins tallied nine points in the opening frame and his defensive created havoc for the Razorbacks, who never recovered from Kentucky's late run to close the first half.
"We own the paint when Moses Kinglsey comes", Beard said. "After the first couple of games, if you told me we were going to play Kentucky in the semifinal game and lose by four or five points, I would have looked at you insane", said forward Braxton Key. During pregame warmups Sunday, a man whose credentials identified him as Arkansas' Director of Basketball Operations Matt Zimmerman was heard heckling the prize recruit Kentucky signed out of Lepanto, Arkansas. We outscoring people early on.
"We attacked the paint", Anderson said.