Kentucky leads the series, 4-0. UK has a 21-2 record against teams currently comprising the Mountain West Conference.
Tonight's game marked UK 's first NIT appearance since 1979. UK is making its eighth appearance in the NIT and has an all-time record of 12-5.
The home of Kentucky basketball from 1950-51 through the 1975-76 season, this was Kentucky 's first official game in Memorial Coliseum since March 8, 1976. It also marked the first time UK played an NIT contest in Memorial. UK has an all-time record of 307-38 in the Coliseum.
Kentucky plays the winner of Wednesday night's Bowling Green at Creighton game at a date and time to be determined. Creighton will be the host team if they win, Kentucky will host if Bowling Green is victorious.
UK 's second basket of the game was a three-pointer by DeAndre Liggins, extending UK 's streak of 709 games making at least one three-pointer.
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively. UK was the first team to catch fire. The Wildcats took a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the half when Jodie Meeks popped in a three-pointer from the right wing with 8:57 on the clock, putting the Cats ahead 17-15.
Leading 19-18, UK opened the gap to 27-18 with an 8-0 run.
Patrick Patterson got a follow-up dunk at the buzzer to give UK a 36-24 halftime advantage.
All nine Wildcats who played in the first half scored. Meeks led the way with seven points.
UK opened the second half with the same starting lineup.
UK scored the first six points of the second half to go ahead 42-24 and UNLV called timeout with 18:24 remaining.
UK pushed the lead to 20 at 50-30 and 52-32.
Trailing 56-38 with 11:38 to go, UNLV stormed back with a rain of three-pointers. The Rebels steadily narrowed the lead with a 19-5 run, coming to within 60-57 at the 4:05 mark.
Kentucky held UNLV scoreless for the next 3:38 while scoring the next 10 points, including two foul shots by Stevenson, six points by Meeks, and a thunder-dunk by Patterson with 27 seconds remaining.
UNLV got a three with 16 seconds left to make the final score 70-60.
Kentucky 's 70 points ranks fifth all-time in its NIT history.
The Wildcats shot 50% (26-of-52) from the field, tying the third-best shooting percentage in the NIT.
UK 's defense held UNLV to 38.9 percent from the field, the second-lowest opponent shooting percentage in NIT history, only behind CCNY's 23% in 1950.
The Wildcats' +8 rebound margin tonight is their best in NIT history.
UK 's 20 assists is tied for second all-time in their tourney history.
UK shot 50 percent from the field, the 16 th time this season that the Wildcats have accomplished that feat. UK is 13-3 in those games.
UK held UNLV to 60 points. The Wildcats are 11-0 this season when keeping the opponents to 60 or less.
Kentucky had excellent ball movement tonight, getting 20 assists on the 26 baskets. It was the seventh time this season that UK has had 20 or more assists and the Wildcats have won all seven of those games.