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No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas State Preview: Game Time, Channel, Betting Line, Announcers, Prediction

Bruce Weber celebrates with Barry Brown.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Barry Brown #5 of the Kansas State Wildcats celebrates with head coach Bruce Weber after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kansas State defeated Kentucky 61-58. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

No. 5 Kentucky and No. 9 Kansas State square off in a Sweet 16 matchup that pits the Wildcats against... the Wildcats. As of Monday afternoon, UK's all-freshman starting five are a six-point favorite over KSU.

Preview: This Thursday, No. 5 Kentucky takes on No. 9 Kansas State with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line. Kentucky is coming off of wins over both Davidson and Buffalo, while Kansas State got past Creighton and UMBC. ESPN's Basketball Power Index matchup predictor gives Kentucky a solid 71.6% to walk away with the "W."

After it appeared Kentucky got no love from the selection committee, the Wildcats are now the highest-seeded team left in the South. No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 3 Tennessee and No. 4 Arizona have all lost. Led by a 27-point performance by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky dominated Buffal0 95-75 Saturday night to put any upset rumors to rest.

As for Kansas State, while it wasn't pretty, Bruce Weber's squad managed to top UMBC 50-43. The Wildcats shot 18-of-44 from the field and 1-of-12 from beyond the arc. The tournament is all about surviving and advancing, but that stat line isn't going to cut in it the Sweet 16 against UK.

Date: Thursday, March 22

Game Time: 9:37 PM ET

Channel: CBS

Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA

Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington

Opening Betting Line: Kentucky by 6 via 5Dimes

Prediction: Coach Cal has been adamant this season that his inexperienced squad just needed a little more time to gel and it looks like everything is coming together at just the right time. While his teams aren't known for shooting, Kentucky has really struggled from downtown this season. But against Buffalo, the Wildcats made 46.7% of their 3-pointers on 7-of-15 shooting.

Kansas State put up a pretty lackluster offensive performance against the tournament darlings and they turned the ball over 18 times.

If Kentucky applies pressure and lets it fly, they should have no problem taking out Kansas State. While UK's squad is young - experience is always on Coach Cal's side.

The winner will take on on either No. 7 Nevada or No. 11 Loyola-Chicago in the Elite Eight.

Kentucky by 10.