College Basketball Tonight
Kentucky’s pursuit of perfection will continue as John Calipari’s crew rallied on the road late to beat the LSU Tigers 71-69.
The Wildcats were in command for much of the contest, but freshman Karl-Anthony Towns was called for a silly technical foul that sparked a 16-0 run by the Tigers to put the home team up by six with just over seven minutes to play. Instead of calling a timeout as his assistants were pleading for him to do, Calipari decided to let his team fight through it and learn for themselves what it takes to win.
It wasn’t easy for the AP’s unanimously top-ranked team in front of a rowdy Baton Rouge crowd, but just when it looked like the Tigers were about to hand Kentucky their first loss of the season, the Wildcats closed the game on an 11-3 run to move to 24-0.
“What I’ve always tried to do with my teams is I think it’s really important that you get a 10-game win streak at some point in your year,” Calipari said. “You’ve got to get 10 in a row. Do you know why I think that? Because at the end of the year [in the NCAA tournament], you’ve got to get six, and you’ve got to know you can get 10.”
“So my teams, I’m always trying to drive us to go on win streaks. Ten is a good number. Twenty-four’s better.”
Calipari and the Wildcats have seven more regular season games to go, but if Tuesday’s hard-fought victory (Kentucky is 11-0 in the SEC with five victories coming by 10 points or fewer) is any indication, this team will be ready for the challenges and tribulations that inevitably await come tournament time.