The Kentucky Wildcats are back in the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in nine seasons under John Calipari.
UK made it this far after racing past Davidson and Buffalo in the first weekend of NCAA Tournament action. Up next for the Cats will be the Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia for a South Region semifinals affair.
This will be the late game Thursday night on CBS. It follows Loyola-Chicago vs Nevada, which tips at 7:07 pm, so game time will be arounds 9:50 pm EST with Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington on the call.
Kansas State edged UMBC in Sunday’s action after beating Creighton on Thursday. The Cats from Lexington opened as a 5.5-point favorite.
KenPom currently projects UK to be a 3.5-point favorite on a neutral court. However, they also project UK to be a 7.5-point favorite if the game were at home. It won’t be, but Catlanta is about as close to a second home as it gets.
The Cats have gotten a much easier path than expected thus far. That came thanks to 12-seeded Buffalo upsetting 4-seeded Arizona in Thursday’s action. While the Bulls proved to be a tough out, the Cats were able to run past them en route to a 95-75 on Saturday.
The Cats also won’t be facing No. 1 overall-seeded Virginia in the Sweet 16. That’s because the Cavaliers got bounced in the first game by 16-seeded UMBC, marking the first time in tournament history that a 16 beat a 1.
On the other side of the South Region bracket, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will take on the Nevada Wolf Pack. Both teams needed last-minutes shots to make it to Atlanta. The Ramblers did so after hitting a jumper in the closing second against 3-seeded Tennessee on Saturday.
The Wolf Pack did the same against 2 seeded Cincinnati in Sunday’s action. This will make for a rare 11 vs 7 matchup in the Sweet 16.
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