When Kentucky and Kent State started the first NCAA regional game in Gary, Ind., South Carolina and Manhattan were still waiting for Clemson and Coastal Carolina to finish their game so that the Gamecocks and the Jaspers could get underway. Florida was three hours away from taking the field against Bethune-Cookman; it would be four hours before LSU and Louisiana-Monroe would see the first pitch.
By the time Kentucky and Kent State were done, South Carolina had beaten Jasper in game that featured a one hour and 24 minute weather delay. Florida had beaten Bethune-Cookman on Jonathon Crawford's no-hitter. LSU and ULM were just wrapping up a Tigers win. And the Wildcats and the Flashes had just finished the second-longest game in NCAA tournament history, clocking in at 21 innings.
The bad news for the Wildcats is that it was a game that they lost, 7-6, making Kentucky one of two SEC teams that will start in the losers' bracket tomorrow. The teams combined for 38 hits in 154 at-bats. The Wildcats will play whoever wins the game between Valparaiso and Purdue, set to begin play around 11:30 p.m. ET -- or nearly three and a half hours after that game was to supposed to start.
The only other team to lose on Friday was Mississippi State, which was blanked by Samford, 5-0, to open the Tallahassee Regional. They face UAB on Saturday to see who goes home.
Florida was making history of its own, backing up Crawford's no hitter. It was the first postseason no-hitter for the Gators in more than 20 years. Crawford walked one and needed just 98 pitches to get through the entire game. He struck out five. And that historic game had the bonus of being a win for Florida. You would like both if you can have them, and much prefer the win if you can just choose one, an option Kentucky didn't have.