Every NCAA Tournament champion has a game where it gets challenged, but if the Kentucky Wildcats are to be the eventual winners, the first round game against 13-seed Stony Brook wasn't it. UK pulled away in an 85-57 demolition of the Seawolves.
Stony Brook didn't exactly help its cause early. The Seawolves hit just three of their first 27 field goal attempts, and they missed 14 in a row at one point in that span. UK isn't bad at defense, certainly, but the Wildcats aren't that good either. They weren't that good at offense early, actually, as a disjointed attack and some Stony Brook free throws kept the Kentucky lead under ten points until the 4:46 mark in the first half when it got to 24-13. UK extended the margin to 33-19 at the half, and the team blew it out from there.
All five Wildcat starters hit double digits. Jamal Murray led the way with 19, while Isaiah Briscoe had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Poythress and Skai Labissiere each had 12 points, with the latter also registering six blocks, while Tyler Ulis rounded things out with ten points. Stony Brook's Jameel Warney was as good as advertised, leading all players with 23 points and 15 rebounds. It wasn't enough, though, as all Seawolves other than Warney shot a ghastly 18% from the field.
Kentucky advanced and on Saturday will take on the 5-seed Indiana, which ran away from 12-seed Chattanooga 99-74.