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Highlights, box score & MVP from Kentucky rolling over Abilene Christian

One down, five to go.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The No. 2 seed Kentucky Wildcats rocked the No. 15 seed Abilene Christian Wildcats 79-44 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Cats didn’t miss a beat in this one without PJ Washington. Tyler Herro and Reid Travis outscored the other Wildcats by double digits in the first half by themselves.

UK looked locked in against a far inferior opponent. They didn’t let the moment get to them or let the other team hang around. They stepped on the gas and never let up.

Everyone on the team contributed in their own way. Herro couldn’t miss a shot from inside the arc, while Travis absolutely dominated the paint.

Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley didn’t do much scoring wise, but they ran the offense extremely well.

Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery also didn’t score well, but they both rebounded and defended well. EJ has become a magnet for the ball.

And Jemarl Baker was really fun to watch tonight. He defended and scored in a variety of ways. He did a lot of good things and has me super excited for what he can provide moving forward.

The other Cats were not very good, but UK played at an extremely high level. The fact this team came out so focused with PJ on the bench is huge. And as much as I hate seeing PJ out, I actually think UK is better with PJ out than with Reid out.

Next up, the Cats will face the winner of the No. 7 seed Wofford Terriers and No. 10 seed Seton Hall Pirates.

Box Score

Game MVP

This was an easy pick. Tyler Herro and Reid Travis played great, but Keldon Johnson was absolutely unstoppable.

Keldon is a matchup problem for a lot of teams, but especially so against teams like this. That goes for the Cats’ second round game as well. He did whatever he wanted to tonight.

However, Keldon didn’t just dominate the lane by attacking the rim, he finally found his shot again. He hit an extremely hot streak in the middle of the year but seemed to flame out at times. Hopefully, he’s found that shot and hot streak again because when he’s hitting outside shots, he’s the best player on this team.

Johnson finished with 25 points and six rebounds, while shooting 10-16 from the floor and 3-5 from deep. He looked like a man possessed tonight. If he continues this level of play, no one can stop Kentucky from getting to Minneapolis and PJ’s absence is sustainable for at least one more game.

One down, five to go. Go Cats!


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