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UK, VU Advance; Remaining SEC Teams Start Tourney Runs Today

Day One of the NCAA Tournament — sorry, we don’t count those ridiculous play-in games — was a dud if you’re a fan of upsets and true March Madness.  But if you’re a fan of higher seeds like Kentucky and Vanderbilt, it was just fine.


The Commodores toppled Harvard 79-70 and wrapped up their first tourney win since 2007.  The victory snapped a streak of three first-game losses for Kevin Stallings.

John Jenkins poured in 27 points as Vandy built a double-digit lead.  When the Crimson — who were no doubt jinxed by wearing black instead of their actual school color — cut the lead to 70-65, VU got tough on the defensive end and pulled away at the charity stripe.

The #5 seed Dores will next face #4 Wisconsin tomorrow in Albuquerque at 6:10pm ET on TNT.


Kentucky — the tournament’s overall #1 seed — dispatched cross-state rival Western Kentucky with ease, 81-66 in Louisville.  UK shot 61.5% in the first half and coasted — almost literally — to the finish line. 

The Cats allowed the Hilltoppers to close the game on a 16-1 run.  Whether that’s a bad sign or meaningless garbage time sloppiness depends on the beholder.

On Saturday, the Wildcats will face #8 seed Iowa State who knocked off defending champ UConn and blocked another John Calipari-Jim Calhoun bout.  The Cats and Cyclones will tip at 7:45pm ET on CBS.


Today’s SEC action tips off at 1:40pm ET on TBS as #9 seed Alabama tangles with #8 seed Creighton in Greensboro.  Anthony Grant’s athletic, defense-first squad should be tested mightily by the Blue Jay’s high-scoring, up-tempo style.

At 2:10pm ET on TNT, #7 Florida will try to kickstart its frontcourt game when it faces #10 Virginia in Omaha.  Experience could play a role as the Gators make their third-straight NCAA tourney appearance while the Cavaliers are going dancing for the first time since 2007.


Earlier this week we took a stats-based look at each SEC squad’s path to the Sweet Sixteen.  We had Vandy and Kentucky advancing, Florida and Bama coming up short.  So far, so good.

 


3 comments
Dynamite fan
Dynamite fan

So Harvard lost to Vandy because they were wearing Black?? I thought it was because Vandy had better players and was a better team!!!

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

Dynamite fan...

 

Glad to see you still see the world through the eyes of a 5-years-old.  

 

I was clearly just making an aside to point out that I don't like the overdone trend of wearing black.

 

Wow.

 

John

Dynamite fan
Dynamite fan

 @John at MrSEC

 I was only joking!! I was agreeing with you!!! Sometimes I think you take comments too seriously, and don't get the humor behind them. I don't understand the black uni's either it's never helped Vandy over the years. Let me clarify: Harvard deicided to wear black in an attempt to make it's player as atheltic and good as Vandy's.

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