Kentucky Athletics

Kentucky loses final game of Bahamas tour, Jack Martinez hits game-winner for Dominican Republic (VIDEO)

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For the first time on the Big Blue Bahamas Tour, Kentucky was defeated, coughing up a double-digit lead in the final minutes. That lapse set up Jack Martinez’s last-second mid-range jumper to give the Dominican Republic national team a 63-62 win over the Wildcats on Sunday afternoon at the Sir Kendal Isaacs Gym in Nassau.

Martinez caught the ball just above the block with seven seconds remaining. Martinez had be physical up to that point, trying to force his way to the basket against players roughly 13 years his junior. On his initial dribble, it appeared he would look to do the same, but instead took a step-back fadeaway in the middle of the lane for the decisive bucket.

Kentucky had led by double figures for the majority of the half, holding a 59-46 advantage with under seven minutes to play. The Dominican Republic ended the game on a 17-3 run.

This result wasn’t shocking by any means. The Dominican Republic had given the Wildcats a competitive game just two days earlier. Kentucky was also feeling the effects of six games in eight days. In the second half, Alex Poythress, who through five games was the team’s leading scorer, went to the bench and did not return. John Calipari said in a post game interview his junior forward was “exhausted”.

MORE RECAPS: Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5

Poythress resting on the bench shifted the Kentucky lineups. Mostly, the Wildcats had been using hockey-like lines — five guys in, five guys out. To close out the game, for the second day in a row, Kentucky went with a three-guard set with Tyler Ulis and the Harrison twins. Ulis came up big in Saturday’s win with a steal and fast break layup which secured the victory.

Ulis and the second unit — Dominique Hawkins, Marcus Lee, Derek Willis, and Karl-Anthony Towns — outplayed the starters in the first half, giving Kentucky a 36-29 halftime lead.

Kentucky returns to Lexington with a 5-1 record on the summer trip, which is more impressive when you factor in Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles are still working their way back on to the floor.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: