Kentucky arrived in Lubbock as a four-point underdog, with United Supermarkets Arena filled to the brim with students who had camped out for days to see the Red Raiders knock off a perennial powerhouse like the Wildcats. Buzzing off free beers, the Texas Tech crowd did everything they could to help their team win. Instead, they were silenced by Nick Richards, whose free throws with ten seconds left clinched Kentucky’s 76-74 overtime victory.
Richards’ performance tonight was the culmination of two and a half years of patience and perseverance. Once a project, the junior big man has blossomed into the team’s most reliable — and arguably, most important — player.