How a Marvel movie performance saved Kentucky basketball’s teetering season

There comes a moment in every college basketball team’s season in which the boat is rocking. It’s either going to capsize, throwing everyone into the water, or it’s going to find its way upright and into smoother sailing ahead.

faced such a moment Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. A week earlier, the Big Blue battleship had been torpedoed by lowly South Carolina. Four days after that, ’s crew had emerged from the drink to execute a total turnaround with a 63-56 upset of archrival and fifth-ranked in Knoxville. Now, here at halftime, the dark skies of regression had reappeared. trailed 42-34.

It was then that, just in the nick of time, up stepped the captain of the Good Ship Wildcat, a sweet smile of a fellow named Oscar Tshiebwe.

“Oscar was a game,” said Calipari after his 6-foot-9 star put on a performance reminiscent of his national player of the year season of a year ago, scoring a ridiculous 37 points and grabbing a ridiculous 24 rebounds in the Cats’ come-from-behind 85-71 victory over the Bulldogs.

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