Kentucky will open NCAA Tournament play Friday night when they face North Kentucky in Indianapolis.
The Wildcats earned the No. 2 seed in the South Region and will be making the school’s nation-leading 56th NCAA Tournament trip. Kentucky is 19-6 as the No. 2 seed, 45-10 in NCAA openers and 23-5 overall under John Calipari in the tournament.
But the Cats have never played NKU in the tournament and just once overall, which UK won. The Norse will be making their first trip to the Big Dance, having compiled a 24-10 overall record and winning their first Horizon League Tournament Championship by downing Milwaukee, 59-53.
With the victory, Northern Kentucky earned the automatic NCAA Tournament bid in their first year eligible to do so after being granted full Division I status in August.
Here is everything you’ll need for Wildcats vs Norse:
Northern Kentucky Norse vs Kentucky Wildcats
When: Friday, March 17
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Time: 9:40 p.m. EST
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson.
Odds: Kentucky opened as a 19-point favorite. Kentucky is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games in March.
Prediction: KenPom projects Kentucky to win 86-68 and gives the Cats a 95-percent chance of winning this matchup.