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Kentucky (25-10) vs. Wichita State (35-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 23, 2:45 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Scottrade Center (19,260) -- St. Louis, Missouri. Television: CBS. NCAA Tournament Record: Kentucky 112-46, Wichita State 13-11. Series Record: First meeting.

GAME NOTES: The NCAA Tournament rolls on with a round of 32 matchup in St. Louis featuring the eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats taking on the top-seeded Wichita State Shockers in a Midwest Region battle at Scottrade Center.

The winner of this contest will advance to the Sweet 16 and will play the fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals next Friday.

Kentucky had a second-round matchup against a tough defensive-minded Kansas State team this past Friday, but the Wildcats made sure their defense was just as good. Kentucky held Kansas State to 49 points in a 56-49 victory.

Wichita State had no issues taking care of the Cal Poly Mustangs on Friday. The unbeaten Shockers ran to a quick double-digit lead and never let up, and defeated the Mustangs, 64-37, to advance and become the first 35-0 team in NCAA history.

This contest between Kentucky and Wichita State will represent the first time these teams have met on the court in their program histories.

Kansas State had a lot of trouble getting its offense going in the first half, as the Wildcats connected on just 33.3 percent of their shots in the frame against Kentucky, including 0-of-7 from 3-point distance. Kentucky took a 29-23 lead into the intermission, which was enough to hang on for the eventual win. Freshman star Julius Randle came up big to help his young Wildcats. Randle scored a team-high 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds for the double-double. Aaron Harrison netted 18 points to help Kentucky shake off Kansas State.

Randle leads the youthful Kentucky lineup in scoring this season with a 15.1 ppg average, also contributing a team-best in rebounds with 10.7 boards per outing. James Young is second on the squad in scoring, tallying 14.3 ppg, with Aaron Harrison next at 13.9 ppg and Andrew Harrison fourth with 10.7 ppg. Willie Cauley-Stein has blocked an incredible 105 shots this season, and Andrew Harrison tops the team with 134 assists. Kentucky's scoring defense allows just 66.1 ppg to opponents.

Cal Poly opened the game against Wichita State with a 3-0 lead over the Shockers, but that was the only time the Mustangs would enjoy the advantage in the game. Wichita State, with five minutes to play in the first half, held a 30-8 lead that only continued to grow. Cleanthony Early was the only Shocker to score a double-digit point total in the contest, as the forward netted 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor, adding seven rebounds to his stat line. The Shockers' tough-as-nails defense held Cal Poly to 20.7 percent shooting in the game, and didn't allow a single player to score in double figures.

Early added on to his already team-leading scoring average with the 23-point outburst. Early tops the Shockers with a 16 ppg mark on 47.6 percent shooting, and leads the team in rebounding at 5.9 boards per game. Ron Baker scores an average of 12.9 ppg, followed by Fred VanVleet at 11.8 ppg, and then Tekele Cotton at 10.5 ppg. VanVleet leads the Shockers with 187 assists on the year, and adds 67 steals to his resume. Wichita State will need another strong defensive performance against Kentucky, and will try to utilize its 58.9 ppg scoring defense in the contest.

The top-seeded Shockers are in for a much tougher test against the preseason's No. 1-ranked team in Kentucky. Although young, the Wildcats are extremely talented and have a frontcourt that could dominate underneath the basket against a guard-heavy Wichita State team. This contest should be a great measuring stick to see how the unbeaten Shockers match up against a true national power.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wichita State 72, Kentucky 69

03/23 10:32:19 ET

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TV
  • NCAA: Division II Championship: Indiana (Pa.) vs. Florida Southern

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Teams TBD

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
2nd
DUKE 60
UTAH 55
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
5th
SDP 2
COL 5
 
6th
CIN 5
MIL 7
 
6th
LOS 3
SFG 6
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
4th
PHO 74
POR 75
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
 
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
2nd
DUKE 60
UTAH 55
 
3rd
NARZ 61
KSU 61
 
2nd
OKLA 51
MSU 54
 
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
 
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
 
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
3rd
EDM 4
DAL 0
 
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
 
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
 
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
 
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
 
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL