LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team extended its national record for most NCAA Tournament appearances to 58 on Sunday, as the team was selected as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. The Wildcats will play Abilene Christian, the region’s No. 15 seed, at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 21 in Jacksonville, Florida.
This is the seventh time in program history Kentucky has earned a No. 2 seed in the annual event. Most recently, the Cats participated as the No. 2 seed in the South Region of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, falling 75-73 to eventual national champion No. 1 North Carolina in the regional final after defeating the Tar Heels 103-100 in the regular season.
The Wildcats finished the 2018-19 regular season winning six of seven to cap off a 15-3 Southeastern Conference slate and a share of second place in the league standings. UK’s 27-6 overall record entering the NCAA Tournament includes winning streaks of 10, seven and four games, as well as two streaks of three.
Kentucky is 47-10 in NCAA Tournament openers and has won 24 of its last 25 opening-round games. The Cats own a 126-51 all-time record in NCAA action, with their .712 winning percentage the fifth-best in NCAA history. UK is making its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky is set for its first all-time matchup with Abilene Christian. ACU is coming off a 77-60 win over New Orleans in the championship of the Southland Conference Tournament on Saturday. Abilene Christian will be making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament after making the jump to Division I in 2013-14. ACU is 27-6 on the year and has won eight of its last nine games. Abilene Christian is averaging 74.4 points per game this season and is paced by senior forward Jaren Lewis, who is averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
With a win over Abilene Christian, Kentucky would face the winner of No. 7 Wofford (29-4) and No. 10 Seton Hall (20-13). UK has never faced Wofford, while the Wildcats and Pirates met last December at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Seton Hall claimed an 84-83 decision in overtime for a 2-1 lead in the all-time head-to-head series.
Tickets for the first and second round games in Jacksonville can be purchased by visiting NCAA.com/MBBTickets. Fans will find complete ticket information for all NCAA sites, including information on the NCAA Ticket Exchange (NCAA.com/Exchange), the official secondary marketplace for authentic NCAA Tournament tickets. Preliminary student ticket information is posted online at UKStudentTix.com and will be updated with specifics later this evening.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.