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By LARRY VAUGHT
Tennessee had used a 6-0 run to break a 7-7 tie and take a 13-7 lead when a play that eventually led to associate coach John Robic’s ejection happened Saturday. A ball was pinned against the rim on Tennessee’s end and the possession arrow showed the ball went to Tennessee even though it should have pointed to Kentucky because the Vols won the opening tip and there had not been a jump ball since then.
Calipari and Robic both tried to point that out to officials, but to no avail. Tennessee guard Skylar McBee hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 19-10 and it grew to 24-12 when there was a TV timeout at 11:17 of the first half. Calipari again pleaded his case to official Doug Shows and assistant Orlando Antigua stepped between the two. That’s when Robic said something to Shows as he was walking away. Shows immediately turned and not only called a technical foul, but ejected Robic from the game.
“They (the officials) got the call wrong. John was disappointed about it. I don’t think that he said enough to get tossed, but they did it,” Calipari said.
Shows later called a technical foul on Willie Cauley-Stein for something he said on the court in the second half and Archie Goodwin was called for a technical foul for shoving a Tennessee player in the back after he was shoved first.
Calipari would not elaborate any more on the officiating.
“You can never blame it on the refs. This is all on us,” Kentucky’s Kyle Wiltjer, who scored a team-high 15 points, said.