Kentucky's Brutal Season Ends With One-Point Loss to Mississippi State in SEC Tournament

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One of the worst seasons in Kentucky men's basketball history has come to an end.

The Wildcats failed to overcome a 15-point deficit as Dontaie Allen's three on the final possession bounced off the rim and sealed their 74–73 loss to Mississippi State in the second round of the SEC tournament.

Trailing by 14 with 15:40 left in the game, Allen hit a free throw to start a personal run. He scored 15 of the team's 21 points as the Wildcats attempted to mount a comeback and tie the game at 62 with less than eight minutes remaining. Kentucky took the lead and briefly stretched it to five with 4:30 remaining, but two Mississippi State threes put the Bulldogs ahead.

The Wildcats were outscored 8–2 in the final four minutes, bringing an end to the worst UK season since 1926–27. The team finished the 2020–21 campaign with a 9–16 record after starting the year ranked No. 10 in the preseason AP poll.

Thursday's loss marks the first time Kentucky is not among the last eight teams in the tournament, according to ESPN Stats & Info. This year will also be the first season since 1976 that the Wildcats and Duke will not reach the NCAA tournament. 

The Blue Devils will not play their ACC quarterfinal game against Florida State on Thursday after a positive COVID-19 test within the program. As a result of the game being canceled, Florida State advances to the semifinals and Duke is out of the tournament and almost certainly on the outside looking in at the Big Dance.

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