Men's Basketball
Kentucky-North Carolina Postgame Notes

Kentucky-North Carolina Postgame Notes

DEC. 16, 2023


Final Score: No. 14/15 Kentucky 87, No. 9/9 North Carolina 83


Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 8-2 on the season, North Carolina is 7-3.
  • North Carolina leads the series, 25-18, but the Wildcats have won the last two meetings.
    • UNC leads 13-8 in games played at neutral sites.
  • Kentucky is 5-5 all-time in the CBS Sports Classic, including 4-1 against North Carolina in the event.
  • UK is 71-33 all-time in games played in Atlanta, including 1-2 vs. North Carolina.
  • Next for Kentucky: on Thursday, the Wildcats travel to Louisville to take on the in-state rival Cardinals. Game time is 6 p.m. and it will be televised on ESPN.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky is now 2-1 against top-10 ranked opponents this season, with wins over North Carolina and Miami and a loss to Kansas (opponent ranking at time of game).
  • Kentucky won the rebounding, 42-32, going +10 in rebounding for the second straight game. UK is 5-0 this season when leading the boardwork.
    • UK won offensive rebounding 18-6, leading to a 15-6 advantage in second-chance points.
    • Two huge offensive rebounds by Aaron Bradshaw:
      • His rebound and putback erased North Carolina’s only lead of the game when the Tar Heels had gone ahead 72-71.
      • With the shot clock expiring, Bradshaw rebounded Tre Mitchell’s desperation 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, was fouled, and made two free throws to give UK an 85-81 cushion.
  • Sparked by Rob Dillingham’s 17 points and 11 from Reed Sheppard, UK won bench points 36-14.
  • Led by Adou Thiero’s career-high four blocked shots, UK had a season-high nine blocks.
  • Kentucky led by as many as 12 points. UK is 336-15 (95.7%) in the Calipari era when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.
  • All nine Wildcats who played scored at least one point.


Player Notes

  • Rob Dillingham led UK with 17 points. He has scored in double figures in every game but one this season.
  • D.J. Wagner had 14 points, tied for the team lead in rebounds with six, and had a game-high five assists.
    • UK is 8-0 this season when he scores at least five points.
  • Making his first collegiate start, Aaron Bradshaw had 12 points, his second straight game in double figures. He led Kentucky in plus/minus with a +9 total.
  • Reed Sheppard notched 11 points, tied for the team high with six rebounds, and had two steals – extending his streak of at least two steals in every game this season.
  • Antonio Reeves had nine points, the first game this season he did not hit double figures.
    • He extended his streak of 21 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, longest UK streak since Kellan Grady had a 21-game stretch in the 2021-22 season.
  • Tre Mitchell had eight points and five rebounds. He has had at least four boards in every game this season.
  • Adou Thiero had seven points and a career-best four blocked shots.
  • Ugonna Onyenso saw his first action of the season, totaling one point, one rebound and three blocked shots in 10 minutes.


Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has an 840-255 (76.7%) all-time on-court record, including 395-115 (77.5%) at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 71-50 (58.7%) at UK against ranked competition.
  • Calipari is 9-4 vs. North Carolina.


In the First Half

  • Kentucky started D.J. Wagner, Antonio Reeves, Justin Edwards, Aaron Bradshaw and Tre Mitchell for the first time this season.
  • Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard were UK’s first substitutions with 16:58 remaining.
  • UK never trailed in the first half, lengthening the lead to as many as 11 points at 24-13.
  • Kentucky led 40-30 with 2:45 remaining, but North Carolina closed the half with an 8-0 run to make it 40-38 at halftime.
  • Bradshaw, Wagner, Sheppard and Adou Thiero led UK with seven points each.


In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
  • North Carolina scored on the opening possession, extending the run to 10-0 and tying the game at 40.
  • Kentucky responded with a 15-3 spurt, claiming the largest lead at 55-43.
  • North Carolina rallied steadily, taking its first (and only) lead, 72-71, with 5:15 left.
  • The Wildcats roared back with three straight baskets, forcing a UNC timeout with 3:45 remaining.
  • Clinging to an 83-81 lead, Bradshaw made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 45 seconds left.
  • After two UNC free throws, Dillingham made the second of two free throws with 11.9 seconds remaining to make it 86-83.
  • With 4.7 seconds left, Bradshaw made the second of two free throws to provide the final score of 87-83.


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