Kentucky wins fourth straight SEC championship with victory over Tennessee


United Kingdom will be making its 57 NCAA Tournament appearance, extending the NCAA record for most tournament appearances. The championship is the 31st in tournament history for the fourth-seeded Wildcats, who have won seven of their past eight games since a four-game losing streak last month.

The Volunteers swept two regular-season meetings with Kentucky, most recently pulling out a 61-59 victory at Rupp Arena. Tennessee was able to make a few baskets down the stretch but it wasn't enough as Kentucky won yet another SEC Championship, 77-72. It's also their first victory in three tries this season against the No. 2 seed Volunteers (25-8). The Razorbacks defeated the Vols in the first SEC contest of the season back in December in Fayetteville. "We're not a team that that's what we live and die with". That win marked their fifth in a row for a team entering March Madness firing on all cylinders. He posted 17 points and eight rebounds in the half.

That continued after the break as Jordan Bone quickly tied the game with a mid-range jumper.

"I just have to be aggressive", said Bone. The problem is the Vols are one of the youngest teams in the country, and we saw some of that youth spill over in the SEC Championship.

The Vol defense was also stout. "He's really good defensively, and he's playing really well right now".

Five Vols finished in double figures. Mark Hughes is dishing three assists and Jaylon Hall is grabbing 2.6 rebounds. Admiral Schofield added 16 points and seven rebounds.

"I love the fact that we can go on the road and lose a game and not go to the play-in game in Dayton", Calipari said.

Credit Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

"And he makes a lot of plays, two foot plays, and it opens up scoring opportunities for everybody". "They responded. Every situation and experience is new to them, so you don't really know what they're going to do, and we need as many of these kinds of things as we can going into next weekend". That enabled him to match his season's average (13.6 ppg) in the final 3:15 of the half and bring Tennessee within 36-31 at intermission.

The Vols put on a show offensively, shooting 57.1 percent (28-of-49) from the field. Ryan Betley added 17 points for the Quakers (24-8), who will be making their 24th appearance in the NCAAs.

Tennessee would not relinquish its lead, though, converting on 14 of its 16 trips to the free-throw line during the frame to halt any possible comeback by the Razorbacks. Both teams are heading to the NCAA tournament but would love to take down a conference title before.

"They ended up shooting 35 percent, but the rebounding was the difference for us", said Tennessee's Rick Barnes, "I don't think we've outrebounded someone like that all year". "I've been watching them". "I know that it was a big game for us".

Kentucky is 23-10 on the season, 3-2 on a neutral floor and 16-17 against the spread. Grant Williams is averaging 15.3 points and 1.8 assists while Admiral Schofield is averaging 13.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.

HALFTIME - Tennessee 48, Arkansas 29.

Peters made a 3-pointer and sophomore guard Eli Wright made a layup as the Bulldogs cut the lead to four before Schofield made a 3-pointer. The Wildcats are 231-5 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points during a game. Arkansas ranks 153rd in blocks allowed per game (3.6).

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