It's the "rematch" that really isn't a rematch on Sunday as Kentucky plays Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 32 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The second-seeded Wildcats will face the 10th-seeded Shockers in a game that will undoubtedly stir memories of the schools' epic 2014 tourney matchup but features almost completely different personnel.
"I don't know if it's a coincidence or not," Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall said. "They've got quite a sense of humor, then, don't they, those guys in that room?
"The bottom line is the only two guys that remember that game, other than you media people, are Coach Cal and I. Everyone else is new. There might have been a couple of my guys that were freshmen at that point, but can't think of too many that played in that game that
Kentucky head coach John Calipari says he doesn't put much stock into three-year-old
"They're talented. They're big. They're physical. They're strong. They're veterans. Good team," the UK boss said of the Shockers, 31-4 and winners of 16 consecutive games.
The No. 5 Wildcats (30-5) are riding their own 12-game winning streak, but Wichita State is a much tougher challenge than the one UK faced in the first round against Northern Kentucky.
It marks only the second time in NCAA Tournament history that two 30-win clubs have met on the first weekend.
"I've watched four tapes of theirs,"
That's just one of many positive attributes for the Missouri Valley champs. During the regular season, Wichita State ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring margin (+19.6), field goal percentage defense (.378), rebounding margin (+8.9), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.45) and 3-point field goal percentage (.408).
Two Shockers, freshman point guard Landry Shamet and junior guard Conner Frankamp, both shot over 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in conference play. Junior center Shaquille Morris averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds during WSU's current win streak.
Wichita State also has the depth to compete with
In other words, they are very much equipped to end UK's season on the first weekend.
"It's the kind of game that's just a competitive... " Calipari said before pausing. "You know what it's going to be, and you love walking into
"So I'm looking forward to it just because I know how good they are. It's going to be a hard game, and I want to see how my young guys respond."