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CATS Selected for Record 60th NCAA Tourney, Head to Tobacco Road

photo by Danny Vaughn - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Wildcats have earned the No. 6 seed in the East Region, playing Providence in first round


LEXINGTON – March 12, 2023

The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team extended its national record for most NCAA Tournament appearances to 60 on Sunday, as the Wildcats were selected as the No. 6 seed in the East Region. The Wildcats will play Providence, the region’s No. 11 seed, on Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Game time and television assignment are to be determined.  

This is the second time that Kentucky has earned a 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the first time since 1982. That year, Kentucky played Middle Tennessee in the first round, falling to the Blue Raiders 50-44 in Nashville.

Kentucky finished the 2022-23 regular season with a 21-11 record, marking the 13th time in head coach John Calipari’s 14 seasons that the Wildcats have won 20 or more games. UK finished third in the Southeastern Conference with a 12-6 mark.

In addition to most appearances, Kentucky holds the NCAA Tournament records for most games played (182), while it ranks second all-time in NCAA Tournament wins with 129. The Cats own a 129-53 all-time record in NCAA action, with their .709 winning percentage the fourth-best in NCAA history (min. 20 games).

Looking ahead to Friday’s matchup, Kentucky is 48-11 in NCAA Tournament openers and has won 25 of its last 27 opening-round games.

Kentucky is set to play Providence for the fourth time in program history and the first time ever in NCAA Tournament action. Providence is coming off a 21-11 regular season, finishing 13-7 in Big East action. The Friars earned the fifth seed in the Big East Tournament, falling to No. 4 seed UConn in the quarterfinals 73-66.

Providence has been led this season by Kentucky transfer Byrce Hopkins, who is averaging 16.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, hitting 46 percent from the field. Ed Croswell is averaging 13.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. Noah Locke leads the team from the perimeter, hitting 70 3-pointers this season while averaging 13.1 points per game.

As a team, the Friars are averaging 78.1 points per game, hitting 46 percent from the field and 35 percent from long range. Providence is out-rebounding its opponents by six rebounds per game this season, averaging 6.7 3-pointers per game. Providence started the season 14-3, but has lost eight of its last 15 games, including three straight to end the regular season. The Friars did not play a Southeastern Conference opponent this season.

If Kentucky defeats Providence, the Wildcats will face the winner of No. 3 seed Kansas State (23-9) and No. 14 seed Montana State (25-9). UK leads the all-time series with Kansas State 9-1 with the lone loss coming in the Sweet 16 of the 2018 NCAA Tournament in Atlanta, 61-58. UK and Montana State have met once, with UK earning an 86-28 win in Lexington in 2015.

Ticket information:

  • Public tickets for the first and second round games in Greensboro, N.C. can be purchased by visiting Fans will find complete ticket information for all NCAA sites, including information on the NCAA Ticket Exchange (, the official secondary marketplace for authentic NCAA Tournament tickets.
  • Kentucky receives a limited allotment of tickets from the NCAA. Eligible K Fund members who requested first and second round tickets in advance of Selection Sunday will receive a confirmation email on Monday evening, March 14 from the UK Ticket Office with information on whether or not their request has been fulfilled.
  • More information about requesting tickets for all possible rounds of the NCAA Tournament is available here and will be updated as Kentucky advances. Those who are eligible to request NCAA tickets will be notified by email from the UK Ticket Office.
  • Student tickets are not available for first and second round games, and information for later rounds will be available at as Kentucky advances.

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