No. 6 Kentucky Upset by Unranked Tennessee Behind John Fulkerson's 27 Points

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2020

Tennessee's John Fulkerson (10) looks for an opening on Kentucky's Nick Richards, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
James Crisp/Associated Press

Tennessee overcame a 17-point second-half deficit to pull off an 81-73 upset over No. 6 Kentucky at Rupp Arena.

John Fulkerson scored a career-high 27 points for the Volunteers on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and a 7-of-7 showing from the free-throw line.

He was part of an efficient offense for the visitors, who shot 52.8 percent overall while scoring 50 points in the second half.

It added up to the biggest win of the year for the 17-13 squad.  

Tyrese Maxey scored 21 points for Kentucky (24-6), which suffered its second home defeat of the season and its first since a November loss to Evansville.

It appeared as though the Wildcats were heading toward an easy win in the first half while building a 42-31 advantage by intermission. The team then scored the first six points of the second half to go up 48-31 with the home crowd behind it.

However, Tennessee stormed back and eventually took the lead on a Josiah-Jordan James three-pointer with under seven minutes remaining. 

Kentucky never led again and suffered one of its most heartbreaking losses in years:

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The Wildcats got a lot of production from the usual suspects as Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards all reached double figures, but the rest of the team only combined for 14 points in the loss.

The role players from the Volunteers provided much more help even with a quiet night from leading scorer Jordan Bowden (11 points on 3-of-8 shooting). Yves Pons was just a 32.5 percent three-point shooter coming in but hit all three of his attempts Tuesday, while James scored 16 points with seven rebounds and five assists.

It was a complete team effort to help Tennessee keep its postseason hopes alive.

Kentucky will now try to bounce back in its final game of the regular season, on the road Saturday at Florida. Tennessee will look for another upset while hosting No. 17 Auburn.