Kentucky took sole possession of first place in the SEC — momentarily, at least — with a thorough 89-62 beatdown of South Carolina on Saturday afternoon.
Wildcats coach John Calipari was ejected just 146 seconds into the game, and his players didn’t need much longer to begin dominating the Gamecocks.
A pair of SportsCenter-worthy plays — Tyler Ulis’ off-the-backboard alley-oop and Jamal Murray’s poster slam — highlighted a complete performance by Kentucky, which has now outscored its opponents by 80 combined points over the past three games.
Depending on the outcome of Texas A&M vs. LSU on Saturday afternoon, Kentucky will either remain alone atop the standings (Aggies win) or be thrown into another tie (Tigers win).
MVP: Ulis. The sophomore made another strong case for his Naismith candidacy by posting 27 points, 12 assists and a pair of steals.
Starting lineup: Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis and Marcus Lee
Off the bench: Skal Labissiere, Isaac Humphries, Charles Matthews and Dominique Hawkins
Cleaning up the glass: Both of Calipari’s technicals came within moments of each other … Kentucky led 42-27 at halftime, and opened the second frame on an 18-4 run … Lee wore No. 0 instead of his usual No. 00 … Murray was the only starter to shoot worse than .500, but he scored 26 points and collected five rebounds.
Previous game: Kentucky runs UGA out of Rupp Arena
What’s next: Thurs., Feb. 18 at Tennessee (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)