No. 1 Kentucky (25-4) vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary's (17-12) NCAA TOURNAMENT THE ROAD STARTS HERE


What: First round, NCAA Southeast Regional

Where: Memphis, Tenn.

When: Tonight, 7:50

TV/Radio: Channel 13/WQSI (820 AM)

How they got here: Kentucky won the Southeastern Conference tournament, beating Arkansas in the title game, 95-93, in overtime. Mount St. Mary's won the Northeast Conference tournament and automatic bid, beating Rider in the final, 69-62.

Conference: Kentucky 14-2 in SEC East; Mount 12-6 in NEC

Ranking: Kentucky second; Mount unranked

NCAA tournament record: In a record 35 previous appearances, Kentucky has a 61-32 record and five titles, the most recent in 1978. This is the Mount's first Division I appearance. The Mountaineers were 26-17 in NCAA Division II and College Division tournaments and won the 1962 College Division title.

Coach: Rick Pitino is in his sixth year at Kentucky (147-42) and is 280-116 overall in 13 years. Jim Phelan has coached 41 years, all at the Mount (737-391).

Outlook: Kentucky is one of the favorites to win the national title. The Wildcats are hot, coming off the SEC title game in which they rallied from nine down in overtime to beat defending national champ Arkansas. Kentucky rotates 10 players and everyone from the guards to the centers can shoot three-pointers. The Mount is the longest shot in the 64-team field, rated 10,000-to-1 according to one odds service. With 6-9 Matt Meakin out with a fractured hand, a big burden will fall on 7-footer Randy Edney. Mount St. Mary's needs to beat Kentucky's full-court defensive pressure and get its three-point shooters going. The Mountaineers' goal is to provide more competition than NEC champion Rider did two years ago in the NCAA first round, when Kentucky romped, 96-52.

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