LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Revenge. Redemption. Re-oriented toward a strong finish to the regular season. Much was on the line for Kentucky against Tennessee on Tuesday night.
UK coach John Calipari repeatedly appealed to fans and students to support his young squad with full-throated cheering.
Ultimately, it would be up to UK, which claims the dubious distinction of being the least-experienced team in college basketball history, to excite the fans.
However excited during 40 minutes of nip-and-tuck basketball, UK fans left Rupp Arena disappointed. Tennessee outplayed UK in the final minute to win, 61-59.
With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the way with his patented drives to the basket, Kentucky led 58-56 late.
But Gilgeous-Alexander's turnover gave Tennessee a chance. Lamonte Turner's 3-pointer with 25.1 seconds left put the Vols ahead, 59-58.
Gilgeous-Alexander turned it over again on the next possession. This miscue fueled a fast-break dunk by Admiral Schofield that set the final score with 4.1 seconds left.
Tennessee fouled to prevent a 3-point shot. Gilgeous-Alexander, who was everywhere down the stretch, made the first free throw with eight-tenths of a second left. He intentionally missed the second, but Tennessee got the rebound.
Gilgeous-Alexander and Quade Green led UK with 15 points each. Kevin Knox added 10.
Turner led Tennessee with 16 points. Jordan Bowen added 13, Schofield 12 and Grant Williams 10.