Kentucky takes down Tennessee 66-54 to finish the season sweep of the Volunteers

A week ago, Kentucky was on the verge of another embarrassing loss to potentially eliminate the Wildcats from NCAA Tournament contention. However, a week later and Kentucky picked up two massive resume-boosting wins over Mississippi State and Tennessee to make the argument for Kentucky to the NCAA that much more complicated. Kentucky still has work to do if the Wildcats want to be secure in the NCAA Tournament, but a season sweep of the Volunteers is a great place to start. Tennessee held the advantage over Kentucky last season with one win in the regular season in Lexington and the second in the SEC Tournament on the way to an SEC Tournament Championship for the Tennessee Volunteers.

Many left the Kentucky Wildcats for dead following the loss to Georgia, yet, here we are. Four games remain, and Kentucky, with Coach Cal leading the charge, is still hanging around the conversation. So, what gives? How is Kentucky still in the conversation after deflating losses to South Carolina and Georgia?

The answer? Refusing to lose, Calipari has preached the Refuse To Lose mentality since his days at Umass. Meaning, don’t ever give up. Hustle on every play and never take a second off for anything. Keep your foot on the throttle and impose the will of Kentucky Basketball on your opponent.

As far as the sweep of Tennessee goes, other than Louisville, there is no bigger rival than the Volunteers if you’re the Wildcats. As of late, Tennessee has challenged Kentucky for wins and championships. Coach Barnes has had a good bit of success against Coach Cal. A season sweep of the Volunteers is a massive feat for the Kentucky Basketball program as of late. For generations, Tennessee would often compare its program to Kentucky for relevancy in the SEC. Since Barnes took over, Tennessee has had a good basketball program with a lot of success. However, as we have seen this season, Kentucky will always be there to ruin the parade for the Volunteers.

Tennessee and Kentucky will likely get another game with each other in the SEC Tournament in a few weeks. Both will finish with a double bye and either a rematch in the Semifinals or the Championship within grasp. At this point, who knows what will happen if game three does indeed take place. Anything and everything will happen whenever Tennessee and Kentucky meet again. It could be next season, but in terms of SEC Basketball rivalries, there’s none better than the Volunteers and Wildcats.

On Saturday at Rupp Arena, it was a pissed-off Kentucky team with everything to prove that came out and earned a massive win.

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