KENTUCKY 59, PRINCETON 57
This game played out exactly how you'd imagine it would. Princeton was the smarter team, allowing Kentucky's young guys to make some mistakes and not be able to pull away. It was close throughout, with the Tigers taking leads for considerable stretches. Brandon Knight made a large, scooping layup with a couple seconds to go to win the game for the Wildcats.
It wasn't the kind of win that inspires confidence for later in the tournament. UK made just six of 11 free throws, and if not for Princeton shooting an uncharacteristic 3-14 (21.3%) from three, the outcome could have been very different. Of course, Kentucky's defense played a big factor in holding the Tigers to that low percentage from deep. They're going to need all of that defense going forward.
Kentucky plays West Virginia in the next round, who beat Clemson in the opening game of the day and who knocked UK out of last year's bracket.
RICHMOND 69, VANDERBILT 66
For a while, it looked like the Commodores weren't quite the likely upset victim that a lot of the country pegged them to be. They led, sometimes comfortably, for the whole first half and even into the second. Vandy won the rebounding battle 36-24 and shot a better percentage from the floor. They stunk it up from the line, making just 14 of 23, but Richmond went, perhaps symbolically, 5-12 from the charity stripe.
There was just a point in the second half where Richmond's defense clamped down, and Vandy's offense just couldn't get back to the same level. The Spiders went on a 12-0 run at one point, and they could have put it away late if they made their free throws. They didn't make enough, leaving Vandy with a chance to send it to overtime. Unfortunately, they ran a terrible play out of a timeout leading to a futile heave from reserve Rod Odom.
FLORIDA 79, UC-SANTA BARBARA 51
While Florida probably didn't earn its 2-seed, it looked the part in dismissing UCSB with ease. The Gators ran up a 43-19 lead at halftime, and they coasted for the remainder of the game. It was exactly what you'd hope for as a 2-seed, as the team was barely pushed and no one played more than 28 minutes.
Florida plays UCLA on Saturday.