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NCAA Basketball Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky Grew Up in SEC Rivalry vs. Tennessee

Andrew Harrison

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the first-half, Kentucky looked like a bunch of lazy recent high school grads struggling to wake up late morning on a Saturday. I mean, that’s basically who they are, and if any other recent high school graduates were doing this at the dorm or at home on a Saturday, we would know the world is still spinning on its axis the proper way.

However, this is Tennessee-Kentucky on Kentucky’s home floor. Last time Tennessee made a statement against Kentucky, and the Wildcats revealed their flaws. It’s time for Kentucky’s young freshmen to wake up, and they did, eventually.

Tennessee had a game plan to go up against Kentucky’s young guns and executed that perfectly in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game. Tennessee’s athleticism is always one of their strong suits, and they showed that ability off well in the first-half. They grabbed big rebounds, caused turnovers and scored in the paint and in transition the way a good, athletic team should.

If it wasn’t for three-point shooting by Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison and the efficient play underneath by Julius Randle, they might not have stayed close enough in the first-half to have a chance to get the win.

With the help of those stars keeping Kentucky in the game early on, the rest of the team dug in, learned from their mistakes and executed a comeback to take the lead at the end of the first-half.

The Harrison twins continued to keep Kentucky up by five to 10 points throughout the second-half with stellar perimeter play, but without the team coming together to overcome the deficit early on, Tennessee could have easily pulled off the win.

Is this another sign that Kentucky could actually be dangerous in the tournament with a little more growth? Guards are always the most important players in March, and the Harrison twins showed they can take over a game. We will see what happens in about a month and a half.

Chris Loud is a beat writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @cfloud, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google