With his Kentucky team unraveling in the second half for the second game in a row, John Calipari was ejected from Saturday's eventual 73-66 win at Arkansas after vociferously challenging a crucial call.
With the game tied at 44 with 8:19 left, after the Razorbacks had recovered from a 36-27 deficit at halftime, Calipari was angered by a call against EJ Montgomery.
The call that bothered Calipari was an illegal screen that was called against Montgomery. On the replay, Montgomery appeared to be standing still when he was bumped by Arkansas guard Desi Sills. Calipari, who'd been challenging calls throughout the game, was visibly angry and bewildered.
He stepped onto the court and made sure the officiating crew of Anthony Jordan, Patrick Evans and Brian Shey knew it. His players tried to hold him back, but Calipari continued to complain.
Jordan signaled the ejection and Calipari was escorted off the floor amid boos from Arkansas fans. The Razorbacks took the lead on the ensuing free throws, but the Wildcats then went on a 17-2 run.
A happy Calipari tweeted about the outcome.
Couldn't be more proud of the players and the staff and their will to win. As I walked off the court, @H23Ash said "We got this," so I felt good walking off the court. Great win!!! pic.twitter.com/gnK5W91GcC— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 18, 2020
Associate head coach Kenny Payne said he wasn't surprised how the Wildcats responded with Calipari in the locker room.
"These kids are resilient. They deserve all the credit," Payne said. "When you come to a school like Kentucky, it's not talked about a lot, but you have to overcome adversity. ... Things aren't gonna go your way in a game, just like life. How are you gonna handle it? Who are you? What are you about? You may get a bad whistle, you may not.
Kentucky was coming off an 81-78 loss to South Carolina, a game in which the Wildcats surrendered 56 points in the second half..
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.