Indiana and Kentucky just can’t escape each other.
The pair of storied programs may have stopped playing their intense head-to-head rivalry during the regular season, but the college basketball Gods have had enough. After their first-round wins on Thursday, the Hoosiers and Wildcats will meet for the first time in four years.
Here’s an early look at the highly-anticipated Round of 32 battle:
Kentucky vs. Indiana Viewing Info
Date: Saturday, March 19, 2016
Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Um, are we sure this a Round of 32 game?
Indiana won the always difficult Big Ten regular season title by two games. Kentucky shared the SEC regular season title then proceeded to bulldoze its way through the conference tournament. Per Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency rankings, the Wildcats are No. 7 in the country. The Hoosiers No. 15.
Tom Crean’s squad is one of the most deadly offensive teams in the country, ranking second in effective field-goal percentage, sixth in three-point percentage and sixth in two-point percentage. John Calipari’s squad is first in Pomeroy’s offensive rankings and has poured in at least 80 points in each of its last six games.
The guard matchup–Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell vs. Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray–is one of the best you’ll find all season, while a couple of the most talented frontcourt players in America–Indiana’s Thomas Bryant vs. Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere–will go to battle down low.
Oh yeah, then there’s a little bit of history here, too. These teams, who have combined for 13 national championships and 25 Final Four appearances, have played 56 times but haven’t met since the 2012 Sweet 16.
This is the perfect time to renew what is one of the most heated, storied rivalries in college basketball.