Kentucky, led by star guards De'Aaron Fox (18 points) and Malik Monk (17 points), trailed for a total of 70 seconds in this one, all of which came in the first 11 minutes. Monk scored what was for him a casual 20 points, but it was Fox who stole the show.
Alabama sits at 19-14 overall and will now wait to see what their future holds in the postseason.
As it turned out, its past was the one thing it couldn't escape in Kentucky's 79-74 victory.
A frantic late rally by Arkansas cut the lead to nine points with two minutes left before two Arkansas flagrant fouls - a flagrant one on Hannahs at 1:20 and a flagrant two with ejection on Moses Kingsley at 1:02 - enabled United Kingdom to push back on top for a final margin of 17 points. The Razorbacks forced four ties and six lead changes in the first half, but a 9-0 Kentucky run to end the half gave the Wildcats a 42-30 advantage at the break. "A lot of them traveled to Birmingham and we had a really good crowd there". Kentucky has one of the best backcourts in the country playing this season, and Alabama has one of the best backcourts in the country coming next season.
Louisville (24-8), the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, hooks up with surprise Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State, which, on the surface, makes no real impact - until you realize the Gamecocks are coached by Ray Harper. "This tournament proved that he deserves to be on the national stage like that".
The Tar Heels lost in last year's championship game to Villanova on a buzzer-beater, and several key players returned, including Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Justin Jackson.
Semi Ojeleye, the AAC Player of the Year, added 17 points for SMU (29-4), which will meet either CT or No. 15 Cincinnati Sunday for the tournament title and the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. And don't forget about fellow freshman T.J. Leaf, who averages 16.3 points per game. Wildcats center Bam Adebayo added 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Clark was 15 of 16 at the foul line, emblematic of his team's marksmanship. But I think now we're starting to trust each other offensively and that leads to more assists. Senior Dominique Hawkins chipped in a career-high 14 points.
After a long week of waiting, a 21-10 record, a top four finish in conference play, and a trip to the SEC Tournament semifinals, the Kentucky Hoops team found out their destination for the NCAA Tournament earlier this evening. But Georgia coach Mark Fox, who has faced the Wildcats three times this season, says they're getting better.
When Seton Hall left the Pepsi Center in Denver late St. Patrick's Day night a year ago, the Pirates probably could have used a lot of caffeine. Maryland is making its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance and its seventh in a row.