No. 7/5 Kentucky Wildcats (26-5, 14-2 SEC)
No. 23/21 Cincinnati Bearcats (25-7, 12-4 C-USA)
2005 NCAA Tournament - Second Round
March 19, 2005 - 8:10 p.m.
Indianapolis, Ind. • RCA Dome (37,565)
Wildcats Survive First-Round; Advance to Face Cincinnati
Following a 72-64 win over nearby Eastern Kentucky in Thursday’s first round of the NCAA Tournament, No. 2-seeded Kentucky takes on another regional opponent, No. 7-seeded Cincinnati, in Saturday’s second round.
The Cats were in front almost the entire game against EKU and led by as many as 16 before the Colonels began hitting their three-pointers. Chuck Hayes and Kelenna Azubuike both had a team-high 16 points, while Hayes added nine boards.
Kentucky faces Cincinnati for the first time since the 1990-91 season. The Wildcats will be attempting to earn their 41st trip to the regional semifinals and their 11th Sweet 16 trip in the last 14 seasons.
NCAA Cat Scratches
Kentucky earned an at-large bid to the 2005 NCAA Tournament ... The Cats are appearing in their 46th NCAA Tournament and own a 94-40 (.701) record ... The Wildcats earned a No. 2 seed for the sixth time since seeding began in 1979. UK was also a No. 2 in 1981, 1988, 1992, 1998 and 2001 ... UK is 14-4 as a No. 2 seed, winning the title from that spot in 1998 ... Kentucky has been a No. 1 seed nine times, including 2003 and 2004 ... This is UK’s 14th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, which is the third-longest current streak (Arizona, 21, and Kansas, 16) ... Kentucky has appeared in 13 Final Fours, 27 Elite Eights and 40 Sweet 16s ... UK has advanced to 10 of the last 13 Sweet 16s.
Tourney ReportUK is 10-3 in second-round action since 1992. UK is 37-9 in opening round games all-time and has reached the second round for the 14th consecutive year. Since 1992, UK is 75-15 (.833) in post-season play (SEC and NCAA). The SEC landed five teams in this year’s tournament, including Florida, LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State and Kentucky. Tubby Smith is 25-10 in NCAA Tournament play, 19-6 while at Kentucky. As the higher-seeded coach in the tourney, he’s 19-4.
Scouting Cincinnati ....
The 23rd-ranked Bearcats advanced to the NCAA Second Round with a 76-64 victory over Iowa Thursday. Cincinnati is 25-7 overall and went 12-4 in Conference USA action this year, finishing tied for second in the league. UC is led by Jason Maxiell, who averages nearly 15 points a game. Three other Bearcat starters average double figures.
Bob Huggins is in his 17th season at UC, holding a 399-126 record at the school.
KENTUCKY Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Cl. PPG RPG Notes F 44 Chuck Hayes 6-6 242 Sr. 10.7 7.9 16 pts, 9 rebs in NCAA 1st Round F 24 Kelenna Azubuike 6-5 208 Jr. 14.9 4.7 14-of-24 (.583) in last two games C 33 Randolph Morris 6-10 266 Fr. 8.5 4.1 8 pts, 5 rebs, 3-of-4 FGs vs. EKU G 4 Rajon Rondo 6-1 171 Fr. 7.8 *3.4 Owns UK season steals record (80) G 22 Patrick Sparks 6-0 180 Jr. 11.1 *3.8 0-for-8 from 3FG in last two games *assists per game