Top-ranked Kentucky falls at home to Evansville

College basketball has its first big upset of the season. The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats fell to Evansville on Tuesday by a score of 67-64.

The game ended with an airball on a game-trying 3-point attempt from star freshman Tyrese Maxey, directly after Evansville guard Sam Cunliffe iced two free throws to keep Kentucky at bay.

Evansville was predictably amped in the locker room after the game. The man in the middle of the celebration: head coach Walter McCarty, an All-SEC member of Kentucky’s 1996 championship team.

The Wildcats’ troubles began when Evansville went on a 9-0 run to take a 24-16 early in the game. That lead held through halftime, but a Kentucky comeback gave the Wildcats a lead midway through the second half. Evansville rallied from there though as Kentucky went flat on offense, dooming them to a shocking loss.

Overall, Kentucky went a rough 20-of-54 from the field and 4-of-17 from 3-point range. The team’s top scorers, Maxey and sophomore Immanuel Quickly, combined for 31 points but went only 10-of-24 from the field.

This was an enormous, costly upset for Kentucky

Kentucky had been a 25-point favorite heading into the game. The price the program paid Evansville for what it thought was going to be an easy, early-season win? $90,000, according to the Evansville Courier-Press.

The preseason No. 2 in the AP Poll, Kentucky ascended to No. 1 with a 69-62 win over Michigan State to open the season. And then they ran into an Evansville team that out-shot, out-assisted and out-rebounded them.

Through just a week of college basketball, all three teams to get first-place votes in the preseason AP Poll — Kentucky, Michigan State and Kansas — have lost, though Kentucky’s loss is by far the most inexcusable.

Tuesday’s loss likely opens the door for Duke to take No. 1 in the next poll, but the Blue Devils’ less than impressive win over a sloppy Kansas team (the Blue Devils had 16 turnovers and 35.9 percent shooting) means that we might be in for a season without a truly dominant No. 1.

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Kentucky breaks historic streak in win over Davidson
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Kentucky breaks historic streak in win over Davidson
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats dribbles against Peyton Aldridge #23 of the Davidson Wildcats in the second half during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: The Davidson Wildcats bench celebrates a three point basket against the Kentucky Wildcats in the second half during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Kevin Knox #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats dribbles against Rusty Reigel #32 of the Davidson Wildcats in the second half during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Sacha Killeya-Jones #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates after dunking the ball in the second half against the Davidson Wildcats during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Kentucky's Quade Green pulls up for a 3-pointer against Davidson during the first round of the NCAA Tournament West Regional at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/TNS via Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Hamidou Diallo #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats dunks the ball in the first half against the Davidson Wildcats during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Kevin Knox #5 of the University of Kentucky shoots a free throw during the First Round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Jon Axel Gudmundsson #3 of the Davidson College dribbles the ball during the First Round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Sacha Killeya-Jones #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats dunks the ball against the Davidson Wildcats during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Kentucky's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander throws down a dunk in the second half against Davidson during the first round of the NCAA Tournament West Regional at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, March 15, 2018. Kentucky advanced, 78-73. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/TNS via Getty Images)
Mar 15, 2018; Boise, ID, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Sacha Killeya-Jones (1) reacts after a dunk in the second half against the Davidson Wildcats during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at Taco Bell Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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