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Kentucky-Tennessee: History Goes to Jodie Meeks and Wildcats

Nathan TowlesCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2009

What more evidence does the college basketball world need after Tuesday night?

At the start of the year, Kentucky was pretty much written off by all of college basketball.

Here is what we learned from Tuesday night: Kentucky is Kentucky again.

Kentucky went down to Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville to play the Tennessee Volunteers. What happened next was a historic game that Kentucky won 90-72.

A record that had stood for nearly 39 years, by Kentucky legend Dan Issel, was broken by Jodie Meeks. Meeks also set the scoring record for most three-point shots made in a game at 10.

The junior from Norcross, Georgia scored 54 points on 15-of-22 shots, hitting on 10-of-15 three-point shots and adding another 14 from the free throw line, where he did not miss. He had eight rebounds and four assists.

It was even good enough to be number one on SportsCenter's top 10 plays.

It will be a long time before this record is broken by another Kentucky player. The only person that seems like he can break it is the one who set it.

"'Til he gets 60," UK coach Billy Gillispie said to the Herald-Leader, "it'll probably be at the top of the list. One of the most unbelievable individual achievements I've ever seen."

People couldn't stop talking about Jodie Meeks. Even the Tennessee players. 

Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson said on ESPN.com that Tennessee's players yapped all game, despite the napalming put on them. "I wouldn't be talking at all," Patterson said. "My mouth would be shut. Especially when a guy's got 54 in your own gym. They can talk all they want. Jodie's shots speak for themselves."

Most people thought that the talk would be of Kentucky native Scotty Hopson. Not on Tuesday night, when it was the Meeks show.

Experts were calling Hopson better than Mr. Kentucky basketball and Kentucky player Darius Miller.

Not on Tuesday night. Hopson finished the game with five points. He was one of many players that was standing beside Meeks after a shot when in. Miller ended the game with seven points.

It was a beautiful BLUE night in Kentucky. You can't ask for much more then a dominating victory over a rival opponent. You can't ask a player to be more perfect.

Kentucky gets back into the national eyes, and Jodie Meeks becomes a Kentucky legend.

Most importantly, Kentucky is Kentucky again.

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