The No. 2 seed Kentucky Wildcats will take on the No. 15 seed Abilene Christian Wildcats in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The other Wildcats might not sound familiar because they haven’t been in Division I for very long. The Cats recently made the jump from Division II in 2013.
Once a team moves moves up, they have a four-year probationary period before they’re able to compete in the postseason. Therefore, last season was their first time being eligible for the NCAA Tournament.
Well, this newfound success is already paying dividends for ACU head coach Joe Golding. According to the Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, Golding ripped his suit while celebrating his team’s first ever NCAA Tournament bid.
So, how does ripping one’s suit mean that their success is already paying dividends? Check out the rest of Goodman’s tweet.
Abilene Christian Coach Joe Golding told me he ripped his suit in celebration when made NCAA tourney. Will use his $1,000 bonus (or at least some of it) to buy a new suit for matchup with Kentucky.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 18, 2019
Golding received a $1,000 bonus for his team’s success on the court this season. And he’s already planning to buy a new suit with the money. He’ll also be rocking it on the sidelines Thursday night.
In addition, Golding shared some thoughts with Abilene Reporter News about facing Kentucky in the Big Dance.
“I think it’s awesome,” Golding said of the team’s draw. “The first time we’re ever going to the tournament, to play one of the blue bloods, one of the best there is. It’s just an incredible opportunity for our kids, our university.
”We’re going to get a ton of exposure just because we’re playing Kentucky. We’re playing one of the best coaches of all time, a Hall of Famer, the best players in the country. So, what a great opportunity for our guys.
Golding acknowledged this is going to be a major challenge for his program in what will be your typical Round of 64 David vs. Goliath game.
“We’ve obviously got a lot of work to do to try and get them prepared and ready. We’ve got a tough challenge. We’re going to be a huge underdog. We’re just little ol’ Abilene Christian; they’re big bad Kentucky.”
Watch the team celebrate when they heard their name called for the first time on Selection Sunday.