For the first time in three years, the Kentucky Wildcats are going dancing.
After earning the 2 seed in the East region, the Cats will head to Indianapolis to face off against the 15 seed Saint Peter’s Peacocks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
With the news coming out this evening, Vegas is getting their opening lines set, and Kentucky starts out as heavy favorites at 17 points, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
For Kentucky, this invitation to the big dance is their 59th appearance which is the most in NCAA history, and will be the eighth time the Cats have earned a 2 seed.
For the Peacocks, this will be the first matchup against Kentucky in school history. Saint Peter’s comes into the tournament at 19-11 on the season, and posted a 14-6 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
After defeating Monmouth in the MAAC Championship 60-54, the Peacocks will be riding a seven-game win streak into Indianapolis.
This will be Saint Peter’s fourth overall tournament appearance, and the first time since 2011. They are 0-3 in their previous three games.
The Peacocks are led by Daryl Banks III who is averaging 11 points per game on 36% shooting from the field, and 37% from three. He is also accompanied by KC Ndefo who averages 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
For what it’s worth, Rick Pitino’s Iona team beat Saint Peter’s
For Kentucky this will be the start of what many across the BBN are hoping, is another magical run to an NCAA title.
After a poor offensive performance against Tennessee in the SEC semis on Saturday, the Cats will look to retake shape as one of the top offenses in the country. That will be put to the test some, as the Peacocks are the 34th-best defense, according to KenPom.
But what they do well on defense, it appears they struggle on offense as they are 259th in the country in offense by the same metric.
The madness is back folks. Should be a fun ride starting this coming week.
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Date: Thursday, March 17th, 2022
Time: 7:10 pm ET
TV Channel: CBS
Odds: Kentucky is favored by 17 points at DraftKings.
Early prediction: KenPom has the Wildcats coming away with a 74-59 win.