Everything you need to know about Kentucky vs Abilene Christian

Who: #2 seed Kentucky 27-6 vs #15 seed Abilene Christian 27-6

When: Thursday at 7:10 pm

Where: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville Florida. Seating capacity 15,000

Televison: CBS

The spread in Vegas: Kentucky opened as a 22.5 point favorite

Abilene Christian’s roster:

NAME
Jaren Lewis F
Jalone Friday C
Payten Ricks G
Jaylen Franklin G
B.J. Maxwell G
Hayden Farquhar F
Joe Pleasant F
Damien Daniels G
Trey Lenox G
Clay Gayman F
Kolton Kohl C
Chase Cobb G
Tobias Cameron G
Paul Hiepler G
Total
GP MPG PTS REB AST STL BLK TO FG% FT% 3P%
33 30.9 13.7 6.2 2.7 1.6 0.6 1.7 46.2 74.0 32.5
23 21.9 13.1 4.7 1.0 0.7 1.0 2.0 47.3 78.0 37.7
33 32.2 11.7 2.8 2.0 1.6 0.0 1.4 42.7 83.8 40.8
33 32.0 10.2 3.8 4.9 1.8 0.2 2.1 54.0 60.0 44.4
24 26.8 9.2 4.7 1.7 1.1 0.4 0.8 49.1 85.3 40.5
33 14.0 6.5 2.6 0.8 0.7 0.2 0.7 50.3 64.7 39.0
33 14.7 5.8 2.6 0.3 0.3 0.2 1.1 55.3 65.4 28.6
33 14.7 3.5 1.5 1.8 0.5 0.0 0.9 37.0 83.3 30.0
33 15.2 2.3 1.2 0.7 0.4 0.0 0.6 41.7 100.0 44.4
30 5.1 2.1 1.0 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.6 45.8 61.1 42.1
30 4.3 2.0 1.6 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.4 50.0 65.7 0.0
17 2.6 0.9 0.2 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 62.5 50.0 50.0
23 3.7 0.8 0.8 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.3 41.2 66.7 27.3
15 1.7 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1 33.3 66.7 25.0
33 74.5 33.1 15.6 8.7 2.7 12.0 47.4 71.5 38.6

About Abilene Christian: They are in the Southland Conference, where they finished second with a 14-4 league record. They did not play anyone that Kentucky has played this season. They played Texas Tech in the non-conference and lost 82-48. They are located in Abilene Texas and they are also the Wildcats. This is their first appearance in the NCAA tournament in school history. They shoot the ball well from beyond the 3pt line but they do not typically take a high number of shots from beyond the arc. They may change that approach against the size of Kentucky. They seem to be a defensive oriented team that could look to slow the game down on Thursday. They seem like a solid team that knows how to win games. They will certainly put up a good fight against Kentucky but there is probably too big of a talent and size deficit for them to be able to overcome.

What’s at stake for Kentucky: Obviously we have come to the win or go home portion of the season, so the stakes are as high as they can get. The big question that has arose the last two days is in regards to the health of PJ Washington. He has a slight foot injury that he has been nursing since the Tennessee game. He may play limited minutes tomorrow night so he can rest it a bit more. Beyond that Kentucky needs to use this game to get out the bad taste in their mouth from the loss to Tennessee. They could use this game as a confidence builder if they could get a big blow out win. It also may be one of the last chances for Jonny David to score his first point of his senior season. If all goes well, he could get a few minutes of action to close out this game.

What will happen: Abilene Christian will be fired up to face the greatest program in college basketball history. That will help them keep the game close for at least the first 10 minutes of the first half. Eventually, reality will begin to set in and Kentucky will begin to extend a lead. I think Kentucky will get a fairly comfortable win 82-64.

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