Following a blowout win in the first round over Abilene Christian, and a gutsy win in the round of 32 over Wofford, the Kentucky Wildcats are heading to their third straight Sweet 16, where they will take on the Houston Cougars.
It will be the fifth all-time meeting between the two schools. Kentucky enters this match-up 3-1 all-time.
The game is slated to tip off at 9:59 p.m. on Friday, March 29th. It will be broadcasted on TBS with Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel and Jamie Erdahl on the call.
Kentucky opened as a 2.5-point favorite. They covered the spread n each of their first two games, all without PJ Washington, who remains sidelined with a foot sprain.
Despite Washington being out and Reid Travis, not 100%, the Cats were able to find a way back to the Sweet 16. On Thursday night the Cats took down Abilene Christian by 35 points led by Keldon Johnson’s 25 point performance.
In the Round of 32 Kentucky pulled out a six-point win over Wofford thanks to a breakout performance from Jemarl Baker and outstanding defense from Tyler Herro who held the NCAA’s all-time three-point scoring leader scoreless from beyond the arc.
As for Houston, they started their NCAA tournament run on Friday with a dominating performance against Georgia State thanks to a 26-point performance from Corey Davis Jr. In the round of 32 against Ohio State, the third-seeded Cougars dispatched of the Buckeyes with a strong defensive effort.
Despite not being from a Power 5 conference, the Cougars are among the most dangerous teams in the country. No one has more wins in the entire nation than Houston’s 33. Houston entered the tournament ranked 13th in the nation by KenPom but faced the 83rd-ranked schedule.
In addition, they have one of the most underrated players in the entire country in Davis Jr. The senior is averaging an outstanding 16.2 points per game and shoots well over 40% from the field.
Houston, similarly to Wofford, may not have the attention of many, but they are as dangerous as anyone in the entire country. Thus, Kentucky must be prepared and do everything they can to get PJ Washington healthy, as they’ll need all the help they can get to take down the Cougars.