Sunday, March 15, 2015

Kentucky Plays a Late Game on Thursday Night

Work productivity in the state of Kentucky will likely be at an all-time low Friday morning.

It has just been announced that UK will play either Hampton or Manhattan at 9:40 p.m. ET Thursday night.

Here is a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the 12th time in program history, the Kentucky men’s basketball team earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats earned the top seed in the Midwest Region and will open tournament action on Thursday in the second round against the winner of the first-round matchup between Manhattan/Hampton at approximately 9:40 p.m. ET. The game will air live on CBS.

Kentucky enters NCAA play with a perfect 34-0 record after the Wildcats claimed their 28th Southeastern Conference Tournament title Sunday with a 78-63 win over Arkansas.

The UK-Manhattan/Hampton matchup in the Second Round will take place Thursday, March 19 in Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center. Kentucky’s game will be the last of the evening session, scheduled to tip 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Cincinnati-Purdue game, which will start at 7:10 p.m. The UK game is tentatively scheduled to begin at 9:40 p.m.

The game will air on CBS with Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce on the call.

“It’s a good bracket,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “I didn’t get to see it all and I haven’t really studied it but you kind of wanted to know who those four were with us … My concern right now is making sure we’re in a great frame of mind. And this team right now is.”

Tickets for the second and third round games in Louisville are sold out with the exception of a very limited number of All-Session packages available through Ticketmaster. Fans may also check the NCAA Ticket Exchange, the official secondary marketplace for authentic NCAA Tournament tickets. Complete ticket information for all NCAA sites can be found on the NCAA website.

UK will hold a student lottery on Monday, March 16 at 5:00 pm at Memorial Coliseum for the second and third round games in Louisville. Students should refer to the student basketball website for complete details.

“Our fans would still travel even if we played in California,” SEC Tournament most valuable player Willie Cauley-Stein said of playing UK’s opening game in Louisville. “They would still be there. It just makes it a lot easier on them, I guess. It’s good.

“We’re still in the state of Kentucky and everything like that. Being an hour away is good too. Like I said, it really doesn’t matter where we play. You’ve still got to throw the ball up.”

Should Kentucky win its opening contest vs. Manhattan or Hampton, UK will face the winner of the No. 8 Cincinnati – No. 9 Purdue Second Round game.

The Wildcats earned their record 54th NCAA Tournament berth in program history. They own the No. 1 seed for the first time since 2012, when Kentucky won its eighth national title. The 2012 title run also saw UK open the tournament in the Derby City, with wins over WKU and Iowa State.

Kentucky is 43-10 in tournament openers and has won 21 of its last 22 second round (previously first-round) tournament games. UK owns a 116-47 record all-time in NCAA action, with its .712 winning percentage the fourth-best in NCAA history.

The Wildcats have never played Hampton or Manhattan, while UK leads the all-time series vs. Purdue, 6-2. Kentucky is 27-10 vs. Cincinnati, and UK owns a 1-0 mark vs. the Bearcats in the NCAA Tournament, with a 69-60 win in 2005’s Round of 32.

Manhattan enters the tournament with a 19-13 record and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after it claimed the MAAC title with a 79-69 win over Iona on March 9. Hampton is 16-17 and earned an automatic bid after beating Delaware State in the MEAC Tournament, 82-61. The Jaspers and Pirates square off in the First Round on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter and on the web at

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