LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 15 Kentucky (12-4-3, 4-2-1 Conference USA) will host Loyola Chicago (11-4-4, 5-2-3 Missouri Valley Conference) on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
The Wildcats' at-large berth marks the 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and the sixth bid of head coach Johan Cedergren's eight-year tenure. Kentucky hosted three straight NCAA Tournament matches last season en route to the school's first Elite Eight run.
Kentucky finished fourth in the C-USA regular season standings before falling 1-0 in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship to eventual champion No. 13 Marshall last Friday. Loyola Chicago finished second to No. 9 Missouri State in the MVC regular season but captured its first MVC Tournament crown via penalty kick shootout in a 1-1 rematch with the Bears last Sunday.
Thursday will mark the first all-time meeting between Kentucky and Loyola Chicago. The winner will advance to a second-round tilt at No. 8 Indiana (14-2-4, 7-1 Big Ten Conference) on Sunday at noon. The Cats played to a scoreless draw versus the Hoosiers on Oct. 9 in Bloomington, Indiana.