Historic Upset: Evansville Tops No. 1 UK at Rupp Arena
Sometimes, top-ranked teams have bad games. But sometimes they win those games anyway.
On Tuesday night in Lexington, Kentucky at a legendary venue known to be overwhelming for visiting opponents, the nation's top-ranked team had a bad game...and went ahead and lost it.
The Evansville Purple Aces waltzed into Rupp Arena never having played the Kentucky Wildcats before.
They waltzed out with a historic 67-64 victory.
I'm gonna go ahead and call it. This will be the season's biggest upset. Of course, the LAST time I "called" something, it didn't work out too well.
There's a lot to unpack here.
First of all, this snaps Kentucky's 52-game home winning streak against unranked non-league opponents.
Secondly, Big Blue Nation's most reviled enemy, the Duke Blue Devils (currently ranked #2), will almost certainly rise to number one in the polls come Monday.
And thirdly, the Evansville Purple Aces now have a winning record against the Wildcats at 1-0.
Of course, you could look at it this way:
Evansville is coached by UK legend Walter McCarty, a member of the 1996 Untouchables that won the national title and went 34-2.
McCarty knows a thing or three about winning in Rupp Arena.
Also, the Evansville Purple Aces are trending nationally thanks to the shocking upset.
I really could go on...and on and on and on.
This is enormous.
Kentucky never looked ready to play the whole night.
Lots of turnovers. An absent EJ Montgomery (hardly an excuse), the one solid big guy--Nick Richards--in foul trouble.
But credit where credit is due.
McCarty drew up a great game plan and his Purple Aces executed it beautifully.
Congrats to Evansville on its first-ever victory over a number one team.