About 1:45 p.m. Sunday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis
CBS (Chs. 5, 13); WHB (810 AM)
• ABOUT WICHITA STATE (35-0) :
This is Wichita State’s first meeting with Kentucky. Shockers coach Gregg Marshall is 0-1 against the Wildcats, losing Winthrop’s season opener 65-44 in 2003-04 at Rupp Arena. Some high-profile teams, aren’t convinced Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet can handle pressure defense. His teammates won’t be surprised if Kentucky shows a similar lack of respect for VanVleet, who will be the smallest player on the court by several inches. “Everyone’s been trying to come at him all year,” Shockers center Chadrack Lufile said. “What do you think’s going to happen? He’s going to come out there and do what he does.”
• ABOUT KENTUCKY (25-10):
Kentucky freshman point guard Andrew Harrison injured his right arm in Friday’s win over Kansas State. Before Saturday’s practice, he said he expects to play. “It is in some pain,” he said. “I have just been icing it.” The Wildcats led the SEC in blocked shots with 6.3 per game but only shot 44.9 percent from the field, not great for a team with such size. Kentucky is 710 of 1,041 (68.2 percent) from the line this season. No other SEC team shot more than 918 free throws and eight didn’t shoot more than 800. The Wildcats last played a Missouri Valley Conference team in the 2009 NIT, a 65-63 Kentucky win over Creighton in Omaha.
• BOTTOM LINE: Wichita State’s coaches enter any tournament believing that their offense gets stronger as the tournament goes on. That theory gets tested again on Sunday. “Having so many sets and quicks, as we do, it’s going to be hard for any team to prepare for,” Shockers guard Ron Baker said.