DES MOINES — Basketball traditionalists are getting a dream matchup this weekend.
Both Indiana and Kentucky advanced in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, so the Hoosiers and Wildcats will meet for the first time since their annual rivalry was called off in 2012.
The schools have 13 national titles between them, and Saturday’s winner will earn a Sweet 16 berth.
No. 5-seeded Indiana dispatched of Chattanooga easily Thursday night, but No. 4-seeded Kentucky had early trouble with Stony Brook. The teams combined to shoot a horrid 25.3 percent in the first half and a combined 0-for-12 from 3-point range.
A quick second-half start wiped away any doubts, as Kentucky came away with an 85-57 win at Wells Fargo Center.
MVP: Alex Poythress. The senior forward helped shut down Stony Brook star Jameel Warney on defense, and he was one of the few Wildcats to play an efficient first half. Poythress finished with 12 points (4-for-6 shooting) and four rebounds.
Kentucky starters: Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Alex Poythress and Skal Labissiere
Off the bench: Marcus Lee, Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, Isaac Humphries, Charles Matthews, EJ Floreal (late) and Jonny David (late)
Cleaning up the glass: Kentucky was up, 33-19, at halftime … Ulis broke John Wall’s single-season assist record in the second half … Isaiah Briscoe led the Wildcats with 11 rebounds … While at Kentucky, John Calipari has never lost in the first, second or third (Sweet 16) rounds of the NCAA tournament.
Previous game: Kentucky defeats Texas A&M in overtime for SEC crown
What’s next: Kentucky vs. Indiana on Saturday