No. 5 seed Kentucky basketball plays No. 9 seed Kansas State at 9:37 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 22, 2018, in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in Atlanta. Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.
Kentucky-Kansas State score, live updates, stats
FINAL: Kansas State 61, Kentucky 58
They drank the poison. The ninth-seeded Wildcats from Kansas handed the fifth-seeded Wildcats from Kentucky their first Sweet 16 loss in seven tries under John Calipari. PJ Washington — who missed a dozen free throws — delivered a monster block with 48.9 to go, but KSU got the rebound and Barry Brown hit a driving layup over Washington with 19 seconds left.
Quade Green forced a bad shot on the other end, KSU hit 1 of 2 free throws and Gilgeous-Alexander missed a tying 3-point try at the buzzer. Just like that, what looked like a gift-wrapped trip to the Final Four turns into a bitter, sudden, stunning end for Kentucky.
Kentucky 58, Kansas State 58, 1:14 2H: Washington drew Sneed’s fifth foul with 1:14 to go, missed the first and made the second free throw to tie it. Washington has 18 and 14 … but has made only 8 of 20 free throws. Insane.
Kansas State 58, Kentucky 57, 1:31 2H: Down one with under two minutes to go, PJ attacked, got blocked, gathered it, bucket and the foul. “Let’s (bleeping) go, baby!” to the crowd. But missed the free throw (now 7 of 18 from the line but has 17 points and 14 rebounds). Kentucky led 57-56 but committed a foul on the free-throw miss. KSU sank a pair to take back the lead.
Kansas State 56, Kentucky 55, 3:01 2H: Let me just leave you my running notes here:
Washington misses front of 1-and-1 (now 4 of 11 FT), but Diallo offensive rebound, bucket. Then defensive rebound for Diallo. Washington returns favor, skies to grab missed Diallo three. Cats can get within three … PJ 0-2 FT (4 of 13) … PJ again at 6:18, 1-1 FT, 2-2 FT 52-49 … Bell Jr. a jumper 54-49 KSU … Knox pump fake THREE from left wing, 54-52, 5-plus to play, Rupp South ROAR … offensive foul on KSU … Washington at 4:43 0-1 FT, 1-2 FT (54-53 and he’s 7 of 17) … Knox huge leaping defensive rebound in traffic, SGA drive and scoop shot for the LEAD at 55-54, 4:04 … SGA drive, nowhere to go, threw it away, KSU bucket and Knox fourth foul at 3:01.
Kansas State 52, Kentucky 45, 7:50 2H: The Wildcats got within 47-44 with 11 minutes to go on a Knox baseline jumper and then nearly imploded: Gabriel’s fourth foul, SGA turnover, KSU layup, SKJ offensive foul, KSU layup and the deficit was 52-44 in a blink. Sneed had a chance to stretch the margin to double digits, but he missed the front of a 1-and-1, then committed his fourth foul on Washington at the other end with 8:24 to go. Cats down seven and Washington is headed back to the line.
Kansas State 47, Kentucky 42, 11:30 2H: Kevin Knox has done a lot more of the little things lately. He just hit a jumper, then chased down a loose ball on a defensive rebound, leading to a PJ Washington post-up bucket to cut the deficit to five. Knox has 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block and a steal. Kentucky 5 of 7 shooting this half after a miserable start to the game.
Kansas State 47, Kentucky 38, 13:16 2H: The purple Wildcats have reeled off a 9-0 run in a blink. Knox hit a deep tying 2-pointer, KSU hit a go-ahead three, then Knox with a tough contested bucket inside — but a charge was called. The UK bench was hit with a technical, then KSU (Sneed again) with a 3-pointer, followed by a Cats turnover and purple Cats layup. Calipari needed a timeout.
Kansas State 38, Kentucky 36, 15:23 2H: Sneed has made four 3-pointers in this game, and he held the follow-through on the last one, over leaping Diallo, that gave KSU back the lead. Gabriel picked up his third foul with 16:22 to go. SKJ in for him and Diallo subbed in for Green, who has given the Cats a lift on offense but struggled some defensively.
Kentucky 36, Kansas State 35, 17:01 2H: PJ Washington opened the half with a post-up, turnaround bank shot, then an offensive rebound that led to a pair of Kevin Knox free throws for the first tie (at 18:50 2H) since it was 0-0. Then a Quade Green 3-pointer with 17:21 to go gave the blue Cats their first lead of the game. Rupp South is rocking. Green is 2 of 2 from deep and Washington already has 9 points, 9 rebounds. Much better start for UK this half than the last.
HALFTIME: Kansas State 33, Kentucky 29
The Cats trailed by nine late in the half before a huge sequence: SGA layup, Washington steal, SGA 2-2 FT, Washington offensive rebound and 1 of 2 FT, Gabriel offensive rebound, bucket, foul and free throw. Rupp Arena South was ROARING as UK cut it to 30-29 in the final minute of the half. KSU answered with a 3-pointer, but John Calipari and Co. are within striking distance after a miserable offensive half.
And some good news: While Kentucky has four guys in foul trouble — Diallo has 3 and Green, Knox and Gabriel have 2 apiece — Kansas State has five: Diarra and Mawian with 2 each; Sneed, Wainwright and Stockton 3 each. Plus star Dean Wade clearly gimpy. The Cats aren’t in bad position for the final 20 minutes, but it’s gonna be a battle to avoid upset and meet Cinderella in the Elite Eight.
Kansas State 26, Kentucky 19, 3:17 1H: Kentucky lost Hamidou Diallo, got him back and now has lost him (for a while) again. Diallo skied for a defensive rebound, hurt an ankle as he slipped on the landing, and jogged to the locker room. He was right back out, though, and immediately attacked the bucket. He missed, tried to get his own rebound and was whistled for a questionable offensive foul — his third of the game. Kentucky has four guys with at least two fouls (Green, Gabriel, Knox the others) and is 4 of 19 shooting, 10 of 16 at the line. KSU has three guys in foul trouble. The box score so far:
Kansas State 22, Kentucky 15, 7:43 1H: PJ Washington delivered a three-point play and a spin move (on Wade) and super dunk to get Uk within 17-15. But UK’s cold shooting continues (4 of 15) and fouls are piling up. Diallo, Green and Knox have two apiece. KSU has Stockard and Mawien in foul trouble, too, and both sides have eight fouls. SGA has yet to make a shot (on four tries) but keeps battling to draw fouls. He’s headed to the line for his fifth and sixth free throws after this timeout.
Kansas State 13, Kentucky 10, 12:09 1H: Cats got off to a brutal offensive start — 1 for 7 shooting, 4 turnovers in the first six minutes — but got back into this thing with defense. SGA steal, Knox block, some great interior D by Killeya-Jones. The purple Wildcats have gone four-plus minutes without a point. And another SGA drive, foul, free throws, plus a Quade Green 3-pointer made it a 9-0 Cats run to get this thing back close to a reset. Box score so far:
Kansas State 13, Kentucky 1, 16:33 1H: Did Kentucky drink the poison. If they didn’t, they’re guzzling it right now, force fed by KSU. The underdogs wanted to harass UK star point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and have early, forcing him to take two contested shots (both misses). And the purple Wildcats buried back-to-back 3-pointers to open an early 7-0 lead. KSU star Dean Wade did not start but is already into the game. And Hamidou Diallo is already out of it, picking up two fouls in the first three minutes. Quade Green came into the game and immediately gave up a three-point play. KSU is 4 of 5 shooting, 3 of 4 from three — and UK is 0 for 4 from the field.
BREAKING: Jarred Vanderbilt will not play tonight. He’s not even dressed out.
STARTING FIVE: Calipari sticking with the postseason starters so far — SGA, Diallo, Knox, Washington, Richards.
POSTSEASON RECAP: Have you missed any of SEC Country’s postseason coverage of Kentucky? We’ve compiled the best of our stories from St. Louis, Boise and Atlanta so far.
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) March 22, 2018
Kentucky-Kansas State game time, details
- Time: 9:37 p.m. ET
- Date: March 22, 2018
- Location: Philips Arena (21,000)
- Records: Kentucky 26-10; Kansas State 24-11
- Favorite: Kentucky by 5
What TV channel is Kentucky-Kansas State on?
You can watch Kentucky vs. Kansas State on CBS. Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington will be on the call.
How can I watch Kentucky-Kansas State online?
Stream Kentucky vs. Kansas State (and all NCAA Tournament games) online with March Madness Live.
How can I listen to Kentucky-Kansas State on the radio?
Kentucky and Kansas State will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel TBA and Sirius channel TBA.
Kentucky-Kansas State preview
- Don’t drink the poison. That has been John Calipari’s message all week after so much national buzz about how easy Kentucky’s path to the Final Four could be. Believe that, he says, and you’re going home early. The players talk like they’re buying what the coach is selling.
- Kansas State will have something to say about that easy path, too. “They still have to lace up their shoes and see us.” This is a team picked eighth in the Big 12 but finished fourth and is playing on the second weekend in the NCAA Tournament, so being written off is its fuel.
- Will Jarred Vanderbilt play Thursday night? It seems unlikely, but he was at least in a practice uniform and sneakers on Wednesday and will try to give Kentucky whatever he can. Perhaps he’ll be an emergency-only option for the Cats with eyes on playing later in the tournament if UK keeps dancing.
- Will KSU star Dean Wade play against Kentucky? That seems far more likely than Vanderbilt playing. The purple-clad Wildcats scratched out two NCAA wins without him, but it would be a tall order to beat the blue Cats unless he’s available and productive.