JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WKYT) - Abilene Christian head coach Joe Golding embraced his team's underdog status as the 15 seed has a tough test against 2 seed Kentucky.
15-seed Abilene Christian is more than a 20-point underdog against Kentucky, and Golding jokingly said there is a way his team can pull off the massive upset, as it was announced Tuesday that Kentucky's top scorer and rebounder PJ Washington was in a walking boot.
"If he shows up to play in the walking boot, and Coach Cal lets him play in the walking boot, we might have a chance," Golding said. "If he takes the walking boot off we have a problem."
If Washington is healthy, Golding said his team's goal is to force him away from the rim as much as possible.
Thursday's primetime matchup is a big opportunity for Abilene Christian, as the team makes its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Golding said the team's draw was beneficial for the program's exposure.
"We couldn't have gotten a better draw," Golding said. "We are playing the University of Kentucky...one of the most historic blue bloods -- maybe the most historic blue blood college basketball program in the country."
The 15 seed has only won five percent of its games over 2 seeds. The last to do it was Middle Tennessee State over Michigan State. Kentucky has never lost to a 15 seed as a 2 seed.
Abilene Christian made it to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Southland Conference Tournament.
The game airs at 7:10 p.m. on WKYT.