Cats head to St. Louis with 8 seed

Kansas State guard Marcus Foster.

Kentucky did not get the kind of seeding it had hoped from the NCAA Tournament selection committee, but the Wildcats will begin the road to the Final Four relatively close to home with an opening game in St. Louis against Kansas State.

Coming off a one-point loss to Florida in the SEC Tournament championship game, Kentucky did not get the kind of seeding it had hoped from the NCAA Tournament selection committee, but the Wildcats will begin the road to the Final Four playing relatively close to home with an opening game in St. Louis.

Kentucky (24-10, 12-6 SEC) drew an 8 seed and will take on 9 seed Kansas State (20-12, 10-8 Big 12) on Friday. Game time and broadcast details have yet to be announced.

UK head coach John Calipari was clearly frustrated with the seeding coming off his team's showing this weekend at the SEC Tournament in Atlanta.

"They made their minds up that that's what this team was," Calipari said. "The only way you can prove them wrong is go play ball. And we played today, and I'm proud of the guys. We'll go play. We'll go to St. Louis and play."

Asked how his players reacted to the perceived seeding slight, Calipari said: ""They were kind of like, ‘What?! ... OK.' I think they're still disappointed we lost this game (to Florida)."

The UK bosss said he has yet to see Kansas State play this season. He added that he'll begin preparation for the purple-clad Wildcats on the trip back to Lexington.

Kansas State enters the tourney having lost three consecutive games (77-61 to Oklahoma State, 76-74 to Baylor and 91-85 to Iowa State) and four of their last six. But the Wildcats do own a pair of impressive RPI Top 10 wins this season, having defeated Kansas and Iowa State.

Bruce Weber's club is led by Marcus Foster, a freshman guard averaging 15.6 points per game. He's a 40-percent shooter from 3-point range. Junior forward Thomas Gipson (6-7, 265) provides inside presence at 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Kansas State ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring at 69.7 points per game and last in free throw percentage (.658), but is No. 1 in scoring defense (65.7) and held opponents to just 41 percent shooting on the season.

CLICK HERE to review complete Big 12 statistics.

Kentucky leads the all-time series against Kansas State 8-0 with two postseason matchups. The Cats downed KSU 68-58 in the 1951 national championship game to claim the program's third NCAA title. The two schools also met in the 1976 NIT, where UK pulled out an 81-78 win.

The winner of the UK-KSU matchup likely faces a second-round game against top-seeded Wichita State, which brings a 34-0 mark into the tournament. The No. 2 Shockers open against the winner of a play-in game featuring Texas Southern and Cal Poly.

The Midwest Region is filled with potential storylines for UK fans. It also features Louisville as a 4 seed, Calipari's old UMass program as a 6 seed, Tennessee as an 11 seed in another play-in matchup with Iowa, and Duke as the 2 seed.

AllWildcats.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets