No.8 Tennessee Volunteers had to work very hard to reach the win against No.4 Kentucky Wildcats in the semifinals of the SEC men’s tournament.
Rick Barnes’ boys won 82-78 after a tight ending in which they had more nerves.
With 2:58 before the end of the game, Kentucky had everything in their hands, leading 72-64 and controlling the situation on both ends of the floor.
But an 11-2 run of the Volunteers changed all that, and with some minute and a half after that, Tennessee was up one point 75-74.
Kentucky scored from the next possession, and they regained the edge, but the poor control of the defensive rebound cost them dearly.
Admiral Schofield’s three-point miss was picked up by Grant Williams, who instantly called a timeout. After having time to organize well, Volunteers made an action for Lamonte Turner, who hit a downtown dagger which eventually decided the event.
PJ Washinton missed a shot from a nearby and after that could deliver from his putback, and that was pretty much the end of all hopes for the Wildcats.
Jordan Bone was sent to the line four times until the end of the game, and on each occasion, the junior guard had no problems of converting his attempts.
His Tennessee had three players who were pulling the team tonight. Admiral Schofield had a team-high 21 points, and also added 5 assists along with four threes.
Grant Williams scored 20 points, with 7 boards, and was 9 of 11 from the free throw line, while the above-mentioned Bone ended the night with 18 buckets, being perfect from the line 8 of 8.
On the other side, all five starters on the Wildcats crew had double-digit points. PJ Washington had 16 and 5 boards. Keldon Johnson scored 15 and added 6 rebounds, while Adam Hagans posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 assists.
FINAL: TENNESSEE 82, KENTUCKY 78
THE VOLS COME BACK FROM DOWN EIGHT WITH THREE MINUTES TO GO TO BURY THE WILDCATS! WE’RE PLAYING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP TOMORROW! pic.twitter.com/x6pAp6xdVL
— Barstool Rocky Top (@BarstoolTenn) March 16, 2019
Kentucky made just 5 threes from 11 attempts.
They are now waiting for the details about their NCAA Tournament opener, while the Volunteers meet No.22 Auburn Tigers in the finals of the SEC men’s tournament.
The Tigers eliminated Florida, 65-62 after one wild game and are entering this contest as a massive underdog.
The game will be played tomorrow at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee.