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This Kentucky team had an answer few teams can provide. Great defense.
"We huddled up, and at that moment we just wanted to get stops," said Doron Lamb, who led Kentucky with 22 points. "Told ourselves we got to get stops to win the game. At the end of the game, we got stops."
Terrence Jones told the same story.
"That was pretty much it," he said. "We just huddled up and said we wanted to get stops; that this was the time to do it. We got them, and we just executed on offense."
Davis, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, came into the game with 180 blocks. Besides the six he had Monday night to match the record set by Joakim Noah of Florida in 2006, he also altered several others. None of those was bigger than what he did with 3:22 left.
Kansas was within 59-52, and the Jayhawks were on the break after a missed 3-pointer by Lamb. Elijah Johnson was ahead of the field and on his way to making it a five-point game when Davis came out of nowhere and forced him into a traveling call that was followed 30 seconds later by a 3-pointer by Marquis Teague that made it a 10-point game.
"I knew I was struggling," Davis said of his offense, "so I told them, I'm going to defend and rebound, you make all the points. That's what they did tonight."
And it was enough to overcome a woeful offensive performance over the final 20 minutes.
"We guarded in the second half about as well as we could," Self said.
So did Kentucky. Only the Wildcats did it in the first half and the second. Kansas All-America Thomas Robinson had 18 points on 6-of-17 shooting. No Jayhawk shot better than 50 percent.
It was another great defensive effort from a team that stops everybody. You don't match the record for wins in a season with 38 without doing that.
"This team deserves all the accolades that they've been getting," Calipari said. "And what I wanted them to show today is that we were not just a talented team, we were a defensive team."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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