UK-ETSU tip set for 7:15 p.m. Thursday

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The second-ranked University of Kentucky men’s basketball team will kick off its 50th NCAA Tournament vs. East Tennessee State on Thursday, March 18 at 6:15 P.M. CST at the New Orleans Arena, the NCAA has announced.

Kentucky (32-2) is seeded No. 1 in the East Regional and will face 16th-seeded East Tennessee State (20-14) in the first round. If UK advances, it will take on the winner of Texas and Wake Forest. All NCAA tournament games can be seen on CBS national telecasts.

UK and ETSU will be the first game in the afternoon session on Thursday with Texas and Wake Forest tipping it off 30 minutes after the conclusion of UK’s game. Second round game times have not been released.

The Wildcats hold an all-time opening round NCAA Tournament record of 39-10, but lost its last tournament opener in 2008 to Marquette 74-66. Before losing to Marquette, Kentucky had advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for 16 consecutive seasons. UK head coach John Calipari has only lost one NCAA Tournament first round game.

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