Kentucky committed 19 turnovers and 25 fouls and the Tar Heels used those miscues to their advantage, scoring 33 points off the turnovers and cashing in on 27 points from the free throw line.
"We played as hard as we have played all season," said Crawford, "We had some costly turnovers, and that's what cost us. I think we saw today where we can make progress and improve. We can learn from this experience."
The Wildcats were also out rebounded 45-31 and were out executed in transition, "Coach said they would play 40 minutes," said Sophomore Michael Porter, "If we miss 10 seconds then they were not going to stop coming at us. They did play a tough 40 minutes today, and North Carolina executed really well. I don't think they are better at running plays or defensively, but they did beat us running the court and rebounding." The Wildcats opened the game playing a very aggressive, physical game against North Carolina, and the early result paid dividends, and Kentucky opened an early 9-7 lead, "Kentucky's team took us out of a lot of things that we wanted to do with their defensive pressure," said North Carolina coach Roy Williams.
But the Tar Heels used their depth and superior talent to open a lead that they would never relinquish, "I think from the 18-minute mark of the second half down to the 10-minute mark of the second half we were really good," Williams added, "We were moving the ball. We were passing. We were doing a decent job defensively. We weren't giving them many shots and we were making a bunch of shots ourselves."
"We just have to do a better job of taking care of the ball, being strong with it and understanding how to play against pressure," said first year Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie, "All the mistakes we made today were errors of commission and those are correctable mistakes. That's a starting point for us. I thought they tried extremely hard and, for the most part, I thought they tried extremely hard together. We just have a lot of little discipline things to correct. All those things are correctable."
The Wildcats have a week off, next traveling to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers next Saturday. The Hoosiers, ranked #15 in the country, are 6-1, coming off a nice win against #22 Southern Illinois.