For the first time in program history, Kentucky has been selected to host the First and Second Rounds of the 2014 NCAA Tournament in the storied Memorial Coliseum. The games will be held Saturday, March 22 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ET and Monday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The No. 3 seed is the second in school history for the Wildcats, and first since 1983. The other first-round matchup in Lexington features No. 6 seed Syracuse (22-9) and No. 11 seed Chattanooga (29-3).
"It's great to be back in the tournament and I'm really proud of our team for earning a bid in the NCAA Tournament," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "It's hard to do. It's hard to go through a long season and play the kind of schedule that we played and get to this point, so I'm really proud of them. We obviously overcame some adversity throughout the season that has us prepared for the tournament. I'm really proud of our players, and really, really excited about the opportunity to play in another NCAA Tournament."
UK is 14-10 all-time in the Big Dance, including 10-4 under Mitchell. The best finishes for UK came in 2013, 2012, 2010 and 1982 when the Wildcats fell one win shy of the Final Four. Last season UK advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over Navy (61-41), No. 18/15 Dayton (84-70) and No. 15/16 Delaware (69-62). The Cats fell to top-seeded Connecticut in the NCAA Regional finals.
Wright State (26-8), located in Dayton, Ohio, and coached by Mike Bradbury, claimed the 2014 Horizon League Tournament Championship with an 88-69 win over Green Bay. It marked the Raiders' first Horizon League tournament title to book Wright State's first trip to the NCAA Tournament in school history. Wright State will come to Lexington riding a six-game winning streak.
This will mark the first meeting vs. Wright State in school history. However, UK is 11-0 against teams from the Horizon League. Kentucky is 8-0 vs. Detroit and 1-0 vs. Cleveland State, Illinois-Chicago and Oakland.
Kentucky was one of eight Southeastern Conference teams to be awarded a bid to the NCAA Tournament on Monday evening. Tennessee (27-5) earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the conference tournament, and is a No. 1 seed in the Louisville Regional. South Carolina (27-4) received the No. 1 seed in the Stanford Regional after winning the regular season SEC title. Texas A&M (No. 3 seed), LSU (No. 7 seed), Georgia (No. 8 seed), Vanderbilt (No. 8 seed) and Florida (No. 11 seed) also made the field.
Also earning No. 1 seeds are Connecticut (33-0) and Notre Dame (32-0). Connecticut and Notre Dame each won its respective conference regular season and tournament titles in the American and Atlantic Coast Conferences, respectively. The Final Four will be played April 6 and 8 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.