The Kentucky Wildcats found out their fate this Sunday night, and they will be headed to Greensboro, NC for their first round draw. The opponent? None other than the Providence Friars and former Kentucky forward Bryce Hopkins.
It’s a storyline that some people saw coming once the projections started getting more frequent throughout the season, but now, it’s a reality that John Calipari will have to face his former player, one of went off for the Friars and was named to the First-Team All Big-East.
The pressure for that game will assuredly be weighing on Kentucky and John Calipari after last season’s shocking loss to Saint Peter’s. Kentucky has not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2019, in a win over Houston in the Sweet 16.
Now, Kentucky takes this one game at a time. Win, and you move on. Lose, and your season is over.
Welcome to March.
6️⃣ Kentucky vs. 1️⃣1️⃣ Providence#BlueGetsIn x #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/LkrDajzSga— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 12, 2023
Kentucky’s reaction to finding out their seed and opponent. pic.twitter.com/shkNMeBP0r— Steven Peake (@StevenPeakeKSR) March 12, 2023
The threat of losing to Kentucky transfer Bryce Hopkins in the first round and then needing to beat a nasty Kansas State team if you reach the second round? Woof.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 12, 2023
Need to know on Providence, UK's first round opponent:— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 12, 2023
56th on NET
4-8 vs Q1 teams
0-3 at neutral sites
Lost 3 in a row
44th on KenPom
**16th KenPom offense**
Kentucky is 7-7 this season vs. the NCAA Tournament field, including 2-1 vs. teams in the East Region.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) March 12, 2023
How Jacob Toppin is gonna do Bryce Hopkins— KG (@__NotKG) March 12, 2023
haha Kentucky's about to lose to Bryce Hopkins, aren't they?— Brent Wainscott (@BrentWainscott_) March 12, 2023
Jacob Toppin walking to team meeting saying “I like it. I like it.”— Steven Peake (@StevenPeakeKSR) March 12, 2023
He’s excited for match up with Hopkins.
Kentucky gets PROVIDENCE. Bryce Hopkins revenge game oh my god— morrisoncrying (@morrisoncrying) March 12, 2023
Providence ranks No. 16 in offensive efficiency, plays 3 guards, stretch 4, small 5-man. Doesn't shoot a lot of 3s. Fairly bad on defense.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) March 12, 2023
Don't get sliced off the bounce (easier said than done) and this feels like a favorable matchup for Kentucky.
Kansas State ranks No. 52 in adjusted offensive efficiency and is a poor DReb team. I think Kentucky could very well be a betting favorite if that matchup arises.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) March 12, 2023
Terrific, terrific draw all things considered. https://t.co/Ywp3p6Ariy
Cal seeing Bryce Hopkins in the first round: pic.twitter.com/ekaUQm3tzZ— Barstool Kentucky (@BarstoolUK) March 12, 2023
Obviously the Bryce Hopkins factor is huge but overall the bracket Kentucky is in gives them a chance to make a run— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 12, 2023
That’s all I wanted
If you're a Kentucky fan I really don't think you can complain about that draw. But if you're a Kentucky fan, you may be cynical and paranoid enough to believe they gave them a good draw in a year when they think it won't matter.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) March 12, 2023
Bryce Hopkins gets a chance at the coach/school who didn't play him.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 12, 2023
Also we as Kentucky fans can’t really complain about where the NCAA put us…when they lost to Vandy, it is what it is— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 12, 2023
But I do like our draw
Greensboro here we come!!!!
The East Region. pic.twitter.com/fJ2pA0Mrw0— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 12, 2023
Jay Wright had this to say about Kentucky’s success this season and their fans. I’m sure y’all will love this one. #BBN pic.twitter.com/s6acVj5xHn— Buddy (@BigBlueBud) March 12, 2023
Feels like that was about as good of a draw as UK could have hoped for. Floored they got a higher seed than Texas A&M.— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) March 12, 2023
Even in the weakest bracket, Kentucky got an unbelievably good first weekend draw. https://t.co/KXD2rDcs8H— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) March 12, 2023
Kentucky opens as 3 point favorites on @DKSportsbook pic.twitter.com/kJ9Qr9ueDR— Jesse Riffe (@JesseRiffe) March 12, 2023
Friars vs. Coach Cal and Kentucky pic.twitter.com/z2WRaEkfxD— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) March 12, 2023
THE BRACKET #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/HZYnwD3s3x— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 12, 2023
There’s only one thing left to do pic.twitter.com/3x21Unwy2j— Matt Sak (@MattSakBBN) March 12, 2023
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