Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn., March 15, 2015
Team records: Kentucky is 34-0, Arkansas is 26-8.
Kentucky leads the series 27-11. Earlier this season, UK defeated Arkansas 84-67 in Lexington
With 34 consecutive victories …
It extends the longest win streak in Kentucky history.
It extended the longest season-opening win streak for any team in SEC history.
It extended the longest win streak for a John Calipari-coached team.
Kentucky is 211-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 56 of the last 58 games as The Associated Press top-ranked team.
Calipari has led three schools to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has a 100-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 59-4 at UK.
Calipari is now 186-37 (.834) as head coach at Kentucky, the best winning percentage of any coach in UK history.
Next for the Wildcats: UK awaits its NCAA Tournament destination, which will be announced Sunday night.
In the SEC Tournament:
Kentucky has an all-time record of 124-25 (.839) in SEC Tournament games.
UK has won 28 tourney titles with a 28-10 record in championship games.
Willie Cauley-Stein was named the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player after totaling 42 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocked shots over the three days. His averages for the three games were 14 points, seven rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
The Most Valuable Player Award was instituted in 1979 at the tourney renewal. A Kentucky player has won the MVP 16 times, most recently Darius Miller in 2011.
Today’s attendance was 20,315, most ever for an SEC Tournament game in this arena. This was the fifth time the event has been held in this building.
UK shot 51 percent from the field (25 of 49). It is the 11th time this season, and the second game in a row, that the Wildcats have made at least 50 percent.
UK shot 58.3 percent from three-point land, 7 of 12. It is the fourth game this season, and second in a row, that the Wildcats made at least half their shots from long range.
Kentucky shot 77.8 percent from the foul line, 21 of 27. The Wildcats have made 77.9 percent at the charity stripe over the last 10 games (187 of 240).
UK was never behind today. The Wildcats have trailed for only 178:56 of a possible 1,375 minutes this season.
Arkansas won bench points today, 27-20. This was the first game this season that UK did not win the bench points.
Kentucky’s streak of 934 consecutive games with a 3-pointer was extended when Andrew Harrison connected on the first possession of the game.
Kentucky’s opening lineup featured Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Trey Lyles, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein for the 15th time this season.
On the first three possessions, UK got threes from Andrew Harrison sandwiched around two Cauley-Stein foul shots, giving the Wildcats an 8-0 lead and prompting an Arkansas timeout at 18:21.
Arkansas rallied to tie it at 10, 12, 14 and finally at 19 with 10 minutes to go in the half.
From that point, UK closed the half on a 22-6 run, making seven straight field goal attempts at one stretch and all six free throws.
Halftime score was 41-25 and the 25 points scored by Arkansas tied their lowest half of the season.
Kentucky started the second half with Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Andrew Harrison, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein.
Arkansas steadily ate into the UK advantage, getting within nine points on four occasions, the last at 54-45 with 9:47 to go.
At that point, UK put the game away with an 11-2 run, bulging the lead to 65-47 with 6:23 to play.
UK led by as many as 21 points before coasting to the 78-63 win.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 15 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the season.
He was named the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player after totaling 42 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocked shots over the three days. His averages for the three games were 14 points, seven rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
Andrew Harrison also led the Wildcats in scoring with 15 points. It is his 14th double-figure scoring game of the season.
Aaron Harrison sparked the first half performance with eight points and six assists in the opening stanza. He finished with 11 points and six assists, his team-leading 21st double-figure game of the season.
Trey Lyles scored nine points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.
Tyler Ulis played another solid game with eight points and six assists in a career-high 34 minutes. He has become more of a scoring presence recently, averaging 6.7 points over the last nine games. He has averaged 4.1 assists over the last nine games, leading UK in that category in six of the last seven games.