Kentucky saw its season end in heartbreaking fashion on Thursday in a 74-73 loss to Mississippi State in the second round of the SEC Tournament. The Cats trailed 44-30 at the half but rallied in the second 20 minutes, eventually leading by five with 4:30 to play. But MSU outscored UK 8-2 down the stretch, including a pair of Iverson Molinar free throws with 7.1 seconds remaining, to beat UK head coach John Calipari for the first time.
Mississippi State dominated the inside in the first half, outscoring Kentucky 36-12 in the paint and outrebounding them 29-15. Six-foot-11 senior Abdul Ado scored 12 first-half points, and forward Tolu Smith had nine points and seven rebounds. Ado made all six of his shots as the Bulldogs shot 57.6% while holding Kentucky to 32.4%.
Kentucky (9-16) will not play in the NCAA Tournament, along with Duke – marking the first time both programs missed it in the same year since 1976. Kentucky ends the season with its first losing record since going 13-19 in 1988-89.
Wildcats head coach John Calipari talked about the game and the season in his postgame presser. Video is courtesy of the SEC.