Bat Cats To Open NCAA Tourney Friday in Gary, Indiana
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky baseball team has little time to dwell on not being selected to host a regional round of the the NCAA Tournament. On Monday, Coach Gary Henderson learned his number two seed Wildcats will take on third seed Kent State Friday in an opening round matchup in Gary, Indiana.
Should the Bat Cats prevail, they will take on the winner between top seed Purdue and number four Valparaiso.
Kentucky (43-16) will be making its seventh all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, owning a 10-12 overall record. UK’s last appearance in the NCAA Tournament came in 2008, when the Wildcats tied the best finish in school history with a regional runner-up finish.
Purdue (44-12) will be playing in its second NCAA Tournament in school history, after winning the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships.
Kent State (41-17) will be playing in its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament after breezing through the Mid-American Conference and running its winning streak to a NCAA-leading 17 consecutive games.
Valparaiso (35-23) won the Horizon League Tournament and the regular season to clinch a berth in the NCAA 64-team field. Valpo has tied a school record for wins in a season and will be making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1968.
UK owns a 5-0 all-time record against Kent State, a 5-1 all-time mark against Purdue and has never played Valpo in school history.
Because Purdue does not have a home field capable of hosting the NCAA Regional round, the games will be played at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Indiana.
The NCAA Regional features a double-elimination format with a schedule that has two games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Game times have tentatively been set for 4 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET. The if-necessary game would be played on Monday at 8 p.m. ET.