Take away the sluggish start and ragged finish, and the Wildcats opened the NCAA Tournament just the way they wanted against 16th-seeded Hampton.
The Pirates enter their matchup with 34-0 Kentucky in Thursday night’s game as heavy underdogs — but they’re playing with house money. They weren’t even expected to be here.
It was possible that Jaspers coach Steve Masiello would end up taking on his alma mater, Kentucky, on Thursday night. But Hampton had other plans.
Reginald Johnson scored 15 points and added two late critical defensive plays to lead Hampton to a 74-64 victory over Manhattan in the First Four on Tuesday night.
Maybe the Wildcats should take either team seriously. After all, each has been a part of some memorable NCAA headlines over the years.
Steve Masiello knew the Jaspers’ return to the NCAA Tournament would mean he would have to revisit what happened last year with USF and his resume scandal. And that’s OK.
The winner of a First Four matchup between the Jaspers and Pirates will get unbeaten and top-ranked Kentucky in Louisville on Thursday.
The body of a woman was recovered from the ruins of a home destroyed apparently by an early Wednesday morning blast in New Jersey.
In the Hunterdon County borough of Hampton, you see rocking chairs on the front porch, American flags flying, and mailboxes mounted on old milk cans.