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Are these the "Payback Cats"?

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Are these the "Payback Cats"?

Post  BestdamnUKfanperiod on Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:15 am

Are these the "Payback Cats"?

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Fabolous Five. The Fiddlin' Five. Rupp's Runts. The Unforgettables. The Untouchables. The Comeback Cats. Some of Kentucky's most popular and beloved basketball teams over the years have earned memorable monikers. What nickname should be given to this 2010-'11 edition of the Kentucky Wildcats? Senior Josh Harrellson and junior DeAndre Liggins are partial to "The Payback Cats." These Cats have been on a payback tour since late February, avenging earlier season losses to every team that has beaten them except for Arkansas and - Saturday's Final Four opponent - Connecticut. UK has also settled a few other scores along the way.

It all began following a one-point overtime loss to the Razorbacks on Feb. 23. UK bounced back a few days later with a 76-68 win over Florida in Rupp Arena. The Gators beat the Cats 70-68 in Gainesville on Feb. 5.

On March 1, UK got revenge for an 81-77 loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville on Feb. 12. The Cats beat the Commodores on senior night 68-66.

Ole Miss handed Kentucky a 71-69 loss on Feb. 1 in Oxford. UK tipped off the SEC tournament with a 75-66 win over the Rebels on March 11.

The next day the Cats rolled the Crimson Tide with a 72-58 win to even the score for a 68-66 loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 18.

Kentucky then claimed its 27th SEC tournament title with another win over Florida, 70-54 on March 13 in Atlanta.

After topping Princeton on a last-second lay-up from freshman Brandon Knight, Kentucky got a rematch with the team which had kept it from advancing to the Final Four the previous year - West Virginia. This time, the Cats ended the Mountaineers season 71-63.

Next up was Ohio State, an historic NCAA tournament nemesis. The Buckeyes entered the East Regional semifinal with a 5-0 all-time mark against UK in the Big Dance. Knight nailed a late jumper to top the tourney's number one overall seed 62-60.

The victory set up an Elite Eight showdown with North Carolina, which had defeated Kentucky 75-73 in Chapel Hill early in the season (Dec. 4). UK exacted revenge with a 76-69 win to send the program to its 14th Final Four in school history.

Now, Kentucky meets Connecticut in the national semifinals in Houston Saturday night. The Huskies thumped the Cats in the Maui Invitational championship game on Nov. 24, 84-67.

The matchup with UConn gives UK an opportunity to avenge every loss its had this season except for the one in Fayetteville against Unforgettable John Pelphrey, the Arkansas coach who was fired following the Razorbacks season-ending loss to Tennessee in the SEC tournament.
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