Kentucky, Louisville each suffer historic losses in rough Saturday showing

Ryan Young
·4-min read
Kentucky coach John Calipari
Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats talks to his players in a timeout during the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on December 19, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Tar Heels defeated the Wildcats 75-63. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

For the first time since he arrived in Lexington, John Calipari and Kentucky have now lost five straight games.

No. 22 North Carolina beat the Wildcats 75-63 on Saturday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena, which drops them to a measly 1-5 start — the programs worst start since the 1926-27 season, per ESPN.

“I thought before the game we were going to get this game,” Calipari said, via the Lexington Herald Leader. “We had our chances. Let go of the rope … I’m so disappointed, especially the last 10 minutes of the game.”

Kentucky actually led throughout most of the contest on Saturday, too. The Wildcats got out to a quick 19-8 lead before securing a four-point advantage at the break.

North Carolina, however, surged back in the second half and took the lead with just more than 11 minutes left in the game. Kentucky didn’t make a single field goal for more than eight minutes in the second half, and ended up finishing the game shooting just 3-of-13 from the field and only 39 percent from the field.

Armando Bacot led North Carolina with 14 points, 11 of which came in the second half, and eight rebounds. Kerwin Walton added 13 off the bench while shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc.

Davion Mintz led Kentucky with 17 points and eight rebounds in the loss, and Brandon Boston Jr. added 15 points. Kentucky, which started out the season ranked No. 10 in the country, now hasn’t won since Nov. 25.

“We just continue to make too many mental errors,” said Keion Brooks, who didn’t play while dealing with a calf injury, via the Herald Leader. “They fought more than us, especially in the second half … Our intensity and attention to detail kind of waned a little bit.”

Though it’s their worst start in more than 90 years, the Wildcats may have a good shot to get things back on track next week against a Louisville team that, well, barely showed up themselves on Saturday.

Louisville falls to Wisconsin in worst loss since 1956

No. 23 Louisville was absolutely no match for No. 12 Wisconsin in Madison on Saturday afternoon.

In fact, the Cardinals suffered their worst loss since 1956.

Louisville fell to Wisconsin 85-48 at the Kohl Center in a rescheduled game part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The game marked Louisville’s first since Dec. 1, when they had to suspend activities due to a coronavirus outbreak within the program.

"We were thoroughly out-played, out-manned, out-toughed, out-coached," Louisville coach Chris Mack said, via the Associated Press. "Wisconsin's got a veteran crew. They played like a million bucks and didn't miss a shot from the field. We never really offered resistance the entire way."

David Johnson led Louisville with 12 points in the loss, and Quinn Slazinski added 11. They were the only two to score in double figures for the Cardinals — who only scored 18 points in the first half. They opened the game on a brutal 25-4 run spanning more than 11 minutes, too.

The game was, essentially, over before it could even get started.

Micah Potter led the Badgers with 20 points and seven rebounds in the win, which marked Wisconsin’s third straight, and Aleem Ford added 12 points.

"Obviously really pleased with the way we played," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said, via the Associated Press. "One of the more complete games we've probably played this year. Got a ton of contributions across the board. Everybody that stepped in there, I thought did a good job. I thought we got better, figured some things out as the game went on."

Louisville head coach Chris Mack
Louisville head coach Chris Mack talks to his team during the second half of their game against Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Madison. Wisconsin won 85-48. (AP/Andy Manis)

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