Kentucky basketball suffered its second loss of the season on Wednesday, as a wild college basketball season that has been less-than-kind to top programs rages on. The Wildcats fell to Utah in Las Vegas, 69-66.
In a game that finishes within one possession, controversial individual plays stand out. Last night's game featured one particularly awful flop by the Utes.
Trailing the Utes 58-48, Kentucky's Kahlil Whitney drove to the hoop. Utah's Riley Battin attempted to get set to draw a charge, caught maybe glancing contact, and slopped pretty spectacularly to draw a call.
Kentucky fans were outraged, and rightfully so.
ESPN's Jay Bilas, the network's top college basketball analyst and a pretty vocal critic of things like this, had a pretty comical suggestion for changing the charge rule for referees:
There are definitely some refs that seem way into the "aggressive air punch."
Kentucky, ranked No. 6 entering the game, finished the game on a run. UK finished on an 18-11 run and tied things up at 66 at one point, but Utah managed to shut them out for the last 1:43 and score enough to win the game.
Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans led the way for the Wildcats, with 18 and 16 points a piece. Utah's Timmy Allen led all scorers with 25, but it was a balanced effort, with four of the Utes' five starters going for double digits.
Flop of the Year. How is it possible that officials fall for this? Be better.
This is not defense. pic.twitter.com/bx4sLFuyj7
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) December 19, 2019