Kentucky is advancing to the Round of 32!

The Wildcats, thanks to strong outings from Antonio Reeves and Jacob Toppin, downed the Friars 61-53 for their first NCAA Tournament win since 2019. The Wildcats have run into some tournament woes the past few seasons, and now seem to be back on track with one of Kansas State or Montana State awaiting them on Sunday.

Reeves and Toppin combined to score 40 points. That combined with Kentucky’s suffocating defense and ridiculous rebounding margin (48-31 in favor of the Cats) presented an impossible challenge for the Friars. It wasn’t always the prettiest, but as they say in March — Survive and Advance.

Here comes the part where we talk about Oscar Tshiebwe. He’s had his shares of struggles this year, but the Tshiebwe that took the court Friday is what Kentucky needs if it is to make a deep run. The 2022 National Player of the Year grabbed an incredible 25 rebounds, just 6 less than Providence’s entire team. When he’s on as he was Friday, Tshiebwe is one of the better rebounders in recent college basketball history.

Tip times for Sunday’s slate of games have not yet been released.