The Kentucky Wildcats, playing without leading scorer and rebounder PJ Washington, wasted little time in getting ahead of the Abilene Christian Wildcats, starting the game on an 18-3 run while cruising to a 79-44 victory to open up their 2019 NCAA Tournament run.
Keldon Johnson had one of his best performances of the season, scoring 25 points on 10/16 shooting and six rebounds while Reid Travis took care of business in the paint, finishing just shy of a double-double with 18 points and 9 rebounds.
Kentucky now advances to the Round of 32 where they will take on hot-shooting Wofford, and it doesn’t seem like Washington will be available for that game, meaning Kentucky will once again need big performances from Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro and Reid Travis to punch their ticket to Kansas City for the regional.
The Wildcats better be prepared to defend the perimeter. Wofford showed just how dangerous they are by knocking down 13-28 three pointers including seven made threes from Fletcher Magee.
While a mid-major school, Wofford looked nothing like a mid-major last night in defeating Seton Hall and will likely be a major problem for Kentucky on Saturday.
Guard the three and leave Jacksonville victorious!
Tweets of the Day
This is what Coach Cal told me about the status of PJ Washington for the rest of the weekend: pic.twitter.com/sHtCDGWC1z— Alyssa Lang (@AlyssaLang) March 22, 2019
Cal doesn’t seem confident PJ will play on Saturday, so Reid, EJ, and Nick better be ready to step their games up.
Fletcher Magee pic.twitter.com/go77FVtbm9— Jeff Greer (@jeffgreer_) March 22, 2019
This is accurate. Hopefully he goes cold on Saturday.
Kentucky’s opener nearly perfect, minus Washington’s absence - Courier Journal
It’s hard to keep focus on how well Kentucky played with PJ’s status up in the air.
Stanford Reid dominated in tourney debut - KSR
Reid was able to take advantage and almost finished with a double-double.
Can Kentucky advance to Kansas City without PJ? - Herald Leader
They’ll have their hands full with Wofford on Saturday.
Nick Richards avoids late injury scare - Cats Pause
It was a scary moment for the sophomore big man, but Richards seems to be fine.
With Keion Brooks in the fold, Kentucky turning attention to big man prospects - KSR
Kentucky is still hoping to land Jaden McDaniels or Matthew Hurt.
Kentucky’s pass rush adjusting to life without Josh Allen - Herald Leader
Several guys will have to step up, led by Josh Paschal.
Ja Morant has first NCAA Tournament triple-double since 2012 - ESPN
The Murray State star had himself a day while upsetting Marquette.
Inside Ja Morant’s NCAA Tournament star turn - ESPN
Those who didn’t know him before are certainly starting to now.
Avery Johnson, Alabama reportedly discussing buyout - Bleacher Report
Looks like Alabama will soon be searching for a new coach.
Richard Pitino talks about awkward matchup with Louisville - Yahoo
And they say the selection committee doesn’t care about storylines...
Winners and losers from the NCAA Tourney opening day - CBS
Kentucky listed as a loser due to PJ’s injury status.
NFL Competition Committee calling for expanded replay - Yahoo
Of course they are using the Saints-Rams game.
Has Tiger Woods actually been underpaid? - CBS
This report seems to think so.