Learning more about UK’s NCAA first weekend opponents


University of Kentucky freshman guard John Wall celebrates with senior guard Ramon Harris after UK’s 68-66 win over UNC on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 in Rupp Arena. Photo by Ed Matthews

No. 16 East Tennessee State Buccaneers (20-14)

  • Game time: Thursday, 7:15 p.m.

  • Location of school: Johnson City, Tenn.
  • Conference: Atlantic Sun
  • Common opponents: at Louisville (L, 69-56), at Arkansas (W, 94-85), at Tennessee (L, 78-66).
  • Players to watch: Forward Tommy Hubbard (14.1 points, 8. 3 rebounds a game), guard Micah Williams (12.5, 3.3.) and guard Justin Tubbs (12.0, 3.8)
  • Tournament record: Eight appearances, 2-9 record overall
  • Other notes: The Buccaneers average ten less points than UK a game, ESTU made the tournament in 2009, but hasn’t advanced past the first round since 1992. Won conference tournament to get to NCAAs.

No. 8 Texas Longhorns (24-9)

  • Game time (if they advance): Saturday, TBA.

  • Location of school: Austin, Texas
  • Conference: Big 12
  • Common opponents: Long Beach State (W, 107-74), North Carolina (W, 103-90), at Arkansas (W, 96-85), Connecticut (L, 88-74)
  • Players to watch: Guard-forward Damion James (18.0 points, 10.4 rebounds a game), guard Avery Bradley (11.7, 2.9), center Dexter Pittman (10.6, 5.8)
  • Tournament record: 27 appearances, 3 Final Fours, no titles, 33-30 overall record.
  • Other notes: Texas was bounced in the second round of the 2009 tournament. Made the Elite Eight in 2008 before losing to John Calipari’s Memphis squad. Was ranked No. 1 for a few weeks during the season before losing to Kansas State. Lost to Baylor in Big 12 tournament semifinals.

No. 9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (19-10)

  • Game time (if they advance): Saturday, TBA.

  • Location of school: Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Conference: ACC
  • Common opponents: North Carolina (W, 82-69/ L, 77-68)
  • Players to watch: Forward Al-Farouq Aminu (15.7 points, 10.7 rebounds a game), guard Ishmael Smith (13.3, 4.7), guard C.J. Harris (10.0, 1.8)
  • Tournament record: 21 appearances, 1 Final Four, no titles, 27-21 overall record.
  • Other notes: Was upset by Cleveland State in the first round of the 2009 tournament. Last made the Elite Eight in 1996, losing to eventual national champion UK in that round. Also lost to UK in Sweet Sixteen in 1993. College home of NBA Star Tim Duncan. Lost to Miami in ACC Tournament first round.