The Texas A&M Aggies cooled off the No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday night with 79-77 overtime victory at Reed Arena thanks to a buzzer-beater by freshman Tyler Davis.
SportsCenter captured the final moment:
UPSET! Texas A&M defeats No. 14 Kentucky in OT, 79-77, with lay-in by Tyler Davis at the buzzer. pic.twitter.com/hozYinEtBp— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 21, 2016
A bizarre sequence of events led to the winning shot after Texas A&M missed a jumper and fouled Isaac Humphries with 9.4 seconds left in overtime. Humphries slammed the ball in what looked like a celebration and received a technical foul.
He fouled out of the game because of the call, and Danuel House nailed two free throws to give the Aggies a 77-76 lead. Skal Labissiere made one of two free throws after replacing Humphries, and the Aggies called timeout with 4.1 seconds left.
After House missed a shot, Davis grabbed his team's 18th offensive rebound and dropped the ball through the hoop at the buzzer, as College GameDay shows:
More clutch. Tyler Davis scores at the buzzer to win it for Texas A&M! https://t.co/r5JWDc8rHN— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) February 21, 2016
Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com summed up the final seconds:
Huge win for Texas A&M. Tyler Davis with the game-winning putback. Gotta feel for Isaac Humphries.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) February 21, 2016
Jalen Jones also helped end the Wildcats' four-game winning streak with 24 points and eight rebounds. He was 4-of-8 from three-point range. As shown in this shot from College GameDay, he wasn't just toeing the line:
Jalen Jones is hitting shots from El Paso. pic.twitter.com/pbHbGPEvvT— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) February 21, 2016
While the game ended after an offensive rebound, it started with a bunch of them, as the Aggies dominated the Wildcats on the boards in the first half yet still trailed by one, per Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com:
Kentucky just gave up 15 offensive rebounds in 20 minutes and it’s still winning. Terrifying.— Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) February 21, 2016
Even more bizarre was this halftime stat from ESPN Stats & Info:
Kentucky has already allowed more transition pts (11) & 2nd-chance pts (12) than they allow per GAME (10.6 transition, 11.4 2nd-chance PPG)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 21, 2016
Tyler Thompson of Kentucky Sports Radio stated the obvious when she mentioned the absence of Kentucky's leading rebounder, Alex Poythress (knee):
Kentucky really missing Alex Poythress in this game.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) February 21, 2016
The rebounding eventually caught up with Kentucky, but the team had plenty of highlights, including this one by Marcus Lee, as College GameDay illustrates:
Just throw the ball somewhere near Marcus Lee, he'll do the rest. https://t.co/RocsOvQdMI— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) February 21, 2016
Point guard Tyler Ulis did all he could to keep the Wildcats in the game, recording 22 points to go along with his 11 assists. This clutch shot gave the Wildcats a 76-75 lead late in overtime, as College GameDay shows:
Clutch. https://t.co/dEajUUO9BM— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) February 21, 2016
Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com noted how well Ulis played Saturday and throughout the season:
I don't think I'll feel right if I build a first team All-America squad that doesn't include Tyler Ulis.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) February 21, 2016
Texas A&M was too strong for Kentucky in the end thanks to plays like this by Davis, who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, courtesy of College GameDay:
So the Aggie faithful was happy with that and 1... https://t.co/CZKNds5GOA— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) February 21, 2016
The Aggies won despite shooting just 14-of-24 from the free-throw line, but Jones made up for it with his big night.
Even rapper Lil Wayne noticed how well the senior guard was playing:
Much luv Jalen Jones, Texas A&M!— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) February 21, 2016
While the Wildcats were better on the boards in the second half, even with 15 minutes to go, it seemed as though the early struggles would do Kentucky in, per Jeff Drummond of Fox Sports:
13:01 2H - Texas A&M 55, Kentucky 49. Rebounding now 31-17 in Aggies' favor. 20 of A&M's 55 points via second- and third opportunities.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) February 21, 2016
In addition to the rebounding and Jones' and Davis' play, Alex Caruso and DJ Hogg each chipped in with 10 points. Jamal Murray had 21 in the loss for Kentucky.
The victory created a logjam near the top of the SEC standings. The Wildcats stand alone at 10-4, but the Aggies are now tied with the South Carolina Gamecocks and LSU Tigers, just one game behind at 9-5 in conference play.
Texas A&M is fortunate to still be in the race, considering it had lost four of five games coming into the contest. With four games left, including two against bottom-feeders Missouri and Auburn, the Aggies are in good shape to make a run at the regular-season title.
The Wildcats, on the other hand, have tough matchups against LSU and Florida.
While there was plenty to talk about after a hard-fought game, Humphries' technical was the hot topic. He obviously felt bad, as Ulis relayed via Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated:
Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis: "We can’t blame this on Isaac (Humphries) at all. He’s still in the locker room saying he’s sorry."— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) February 21, 2016
“There was no disrespect anybody,” Calipari said. “If that’s what they choose to call, what are you going to do? It was a heck of a basketball game. I just hated how it was decided. What decided the game, that was disappointing.”
Even Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy didn’t think it or an earlier technical on him were the right calls, per Hamilton: “I thought both technicals weren’t very good,” he said.
Jones didn't give his thoughts on whether it was a technical or not, but he was glad it happened, per ESPN.com: "I was like, 'Thank you. We appreciate the opportunity to try and go win the game,'" he said. "I was shocked and it ended up working in our favor. So thanks to dude on the other team."
Not many blamed Humphries, but Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com didn’t seem to think he should get off so easy:
Texas A&M beats Kentucky in overtime on a Tyler Davis put back. Story of that game is the technical on Isaac Humphries -- INEXCUSABLE.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 21, 2016
Davis was happy he was able to grab that final rebound, per Hamilton: “I kept my guy on my backside and once he put the shot up I had a chance to put it back in.”
While Davis was the hero, Super Bowl 50 MVP and former Aggie defensive lineman and linebacker Von Miller attended the game and gave a pep talk prior to overtime, per Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle:
Video: Von Miller on what he told the A&M basketball team just prior to tip, in OT win over Kentucky: pic.twitter.com/4ffoIcOXm8— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) February 21, 2016
Kentucky has played two physical games in a row and will look to rebound at home Tuesday against the Alabama Crimson Tide before traveling on the road for two contests that will go a long way in determining the SEC champion.