ATLANTA – Kentucky head coach John Calipari is never afraid to pick a fight, and he did just that on Tuesday night.
Interviewed on ESPN at halftime, Cal told Andy Katz that “Duke is flopping all over the place and if they were in the NBA they would be getting fined.”
Combining a well-known stereotype with a well-timed pop-culture reference? Cal could have made it as a stand-up comic. I’m sure of it.
Coach K was asked about the comment in the postgame press conference and, safe to say, he was non-plussed.
“I really don’t pay attention, not just to John, but to other coaches. I don’t really care” he said. “He has a right to say whatever he wants. I thought we took some amazing charges and probably could have taken a couple more. There’s a difference between a charge and a flop. A flop means you don’t take any contact, and I hope that anybody who watches the game would say our kids played good defense.”
“And we don’t make any money so we can’t be fined.”
Cal? Well, he tried to play it off as a joke.
“I don’t even remember. What did I say? It was a joke. You guys at Duke can take a joke, right? Sheesh.”
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.