Kentucky Makes 51st Appearance in NCAA Tournament
March 13, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After claiming its 27th Southeastern Conference Tournament title the University of Kentucky men's basketball team (25-8) will make its NCAA-leading 51st appearance in the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 seed in the East Region. Kentucky will play Princeton (25-6) Thursday, March 17 in Tampa, Fla.
Kentucky holds a 1-0 record against Princeton in the NCAA Tournament and is 2-1 all-time against the Tigers. The last meeting in the NCAA Tournament took place in 1997, with UK winning 72-58. Princeton won the 2011 Ivy League Championship to claim its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance. UK is 12-3 all-time against the Ivy League.
The Wildcats will play their second and third round games in Tampa, Fla. The game with the Tigers will mark the second time the Wildcats have played a NCAA Tournament game in Tampa, with UK holding a 1-0 record in past tournaments. The Wildcats last played a NCAA Tournament game in Tampa in 1983, a 57-40 victory over 11th-seeded Ohio in the second round.
If UK prevails over Princeton, it will face the winner of fifth-seeded West Virginia (20-11) and either 12th-seeded Clemson (21-11) or UAB (22-8) on Saturday, March 19. Kentucky has a 0-1 record against West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament after the Mountaineers defeated the Wildcats 73-67 in the Elite 8 last season. UK holds a 13-5 all-time record against West Virginia with that Elite 8 matchup the last meeting between the two schools.
UK has never played Clemson in the NCAA Tournament but holds a 12-4 record all-time against the Tigers. Kentucky's last meeting against Clemson came on Nov. 29, 1997, UK won 76-61. UAB plays Clemson in the First Four with the opportunity of advancing against West Virginia in the second round. The Cats are 1-2 against the Blazers in the NCAA Tournament with UK winning the last meeting in 2006, 69-64. Kentucky is 2-3 all-time against UAB, losing the last matchup 79-76 on Dec. 15, 2007.
If the Wildcats advance past the second and third rounds, they will play in Newark, N.J. in the East Regional Semifinals on March 25. If UK continues to win, it will play in the East Regional Finals on March 27 with a victory moving the Wildcats to the National Semifinals on April 2 in Houston, Texas. The National Championship game is scheduled for April 4.
UK, Clemson, Princeton, UAB and West Virginia will join four teams from the 2011 NCAA Tournament's Southeast Region in Tampa for the second and third round, including second-seeded Florida, 15th-seeded UC Santa Barbara, seventh-seeded UCLA and 10th-seeded Michigan St.
Tickets for first and second round games in Tampa are still available online at ticketmaster.com or available through the host site. Those wishing to purchase tickets that are not season-ticket holders or donors need to call the host site for ticket information.
Game times and the ensuing schedule of events will be available from the NCAA at a later date.