Coach Calipari praises ‘dangerous’ Wofford as Kentucky advances to Sweet 16
Instant analysis from NCAA Tournament Midwest Region No. 2 seed Kentucky’s 62-56 win over No. 7 Wofford on Saturday:
How the game was won
Reid Travis produced a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) hit two crucial foul shots with 17.8 second left and Kentucky held Wofford star Fletcher McGee to 0-of-12 three-point shooting as the Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region round of 16 with a tense victory over No. 7 Wofford.
1. Kentucky perimeter defenders. Held Wofford’s high-octane three-point attack to 8-of-27
2. UK foul shooters. Just as you expect of a John Calipari-coached team, UK’s foul-shooting under tournament pressure (17-of-20, 85 percent) was impeccable.
3. Reid Travis. The graduate transfer from Stanford is making the most of his first NCAA tourney.
4. Ashton Hagans. The UK freshman point guard (12 points, five rebounds, four assists) figured out Wofford could not stop him on the drive and made the Terriers pay.
5. Jemarl Baker. In a game when Kentucky really needed it, the redshirt freshman produced the best game (eight points, two rebounds, tough defense) of his UK career to date.
Reasons for worry
1. PJ Washington. Still had a cast on his sprained left foot and was still riding a scooter. The round of 16 may be the point where UK can no longer withstand not having its best player.
2. UK’s first-half offense. As you get deeper in the tourney, halves like Kentucky’s 11-of-27 shooting first half may become fatal.
3. Kentucky’s ability to close out games. As it did against Tennessee in the SEC Tournament semifinals, UK struggled to “close the door” on Wofford in the final minutes and almost paid.
Twenty-two and six. Since the NCAA Tournament bracket expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985, Kentucky is 22-6 in round-of-32 games.
1. Former Kentucky Colonels star Artis Gilmore — all 7-foot-2 of him — was in attendance. Gilmore, of course, was a college star at Jacksonville University.
2. Both Kentucky and Wofford had ample fan presence in the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
3. For second straight session, fan in Duke jersey shown on giant video screens during “Air Guitar Cam” unified the entire crowd in boos.
Midwest Region No. 2 seed Kentucky (29-6) will face the winner of Sunday night’s (8:40 tip-off on TNT) game between No. 3 seed Houston (32-3) and No. 11 Ohio State (20-14) on Friday night at a time to be determined at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.