The Kentucky Wildcats were rewarded for a tremendous regular season with a No. 2 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. They'll take on No. 15 Abilene Christian in their first game. Let's take a look at the matchup.
Preview: Kentucky opened its season with a crushing loss to Duke, but eventually emerged as one of the true national title contenders in the country. The Wildcats finished with a 27-6 record that included a 15-3 mark in the SEC. They didn’t win their conference tournament (Auburn did) but they’re still one of the scariest teams in the field. The combination of PJ Washington, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson and Reid Travis should prove to be too much for most teams to overcome.
Abilene Christian scored the Southland’s automatic bid by winning the conference tournament with victories over Southeastern Louisiana and New Orleans. The Wildcats finished 27-6 overall with a 14-4 mark in the league - good for second in the regular season. They’re led by senior forward Jaren Lewis and junior guard Payten Ricks. Two of their starters - Jalone Friday and B.J. Maxwell - were kicked off the team just a few weeks back.
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Time: 7:10 PM ET
TV Channel: CBS
Location: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
Announcers: Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl
Prediction: Kentucky is young, per usual, and that's always a little worrying come NCAA Tournament time, but their first game shouldn't be much of a contest. Abilene Christian was a solid regular season team, and they did win the Southland Conference Tournament, but they lost two starters to suspension just a few weeks back. We'll take the Wildcats to win by double digits. PJ Washington puts together a huge game.