Chris Livingston’s ‘All-Star’ Second Half Keeps Kentucky Afloat in Road Win at Mississippi State!– OnMyWay Mobile App User News

Chris Livingston's 'All-Star' Second Half Keeps Kentucky Afloat in Road Win at Mississippi State

Mississippi State and Kentucky faced off Wednesday night in Starkville, Mississippi, with both teams seeking a key win for their NCAA Tournament chances. The Wildcats came away with a 71-68 victory in what will be a big help for coach John Calipari and company as they look to get off the bubble. Coach Chris Jans and MSU are now in some danger.

Most notably, Kentucky grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and beat the Bulldogs 38-22 on the glass overall. Oscar Tshiebwe had 18 points and 11 rebounds for UK.

In 12 minutes, Livingston didn’t take a shot, failing to notch a point. Even worse, he was unreliable on the defensive end, falling victim to missed assignments as Miss State hung around in the opening period.

Towards the end of the half, he was responsible for a poor turnover that resulted in a bucket for MSU. He very nearly did the same exact thing the next time down the court.

“I had to take him out because he turned one over, almost turned another one over with a minute to go, and I took him out.” Calipari said after the game.

While he had a pair of assists and rebounds, it was one of the worst halves of Livingston’s young UK career. The Wildcats were amidst a must-win game, fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives, and his play was far from being on-par with some of his teammates.

Add that alongside games at Florida and Arkansas, and the Auburn Tigers coming to Lexington, and John Calipari’s team really does control its own destiny.

Go 3-2 over the next five, and you should be in. Flip that to 2-3 and it definitely gets more interesting.

Anything worse very likely means Kentucky won’t be dancing, especially when you factor in the likelihood of several bit stealers knocking at-large teams like Kentucky out of the field.

Frankly, the Wildcats need a strong finish to feel good about making the field of 68. Being one of the last teams in of a projection like this means they probably won’t make it once some of those bids get stolen in the conference tournaments, which happens every year. You want to be in that ‘Last Four Byes’ range or better to feel good about dancing in March.

However, it’s one game at a time for a Kentucky team that clearly cannot overlook anyone and must bring its A-game from here on out. And after a win over No. 1 Alabama on Wednesday, Tennessee will come to Rupp Arena confident that revenge is coming after the earlier loss in Knoxville.


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