Six games were played on Thursday as South Regional action in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament commenced.
At Louisville, Kentucky:
In the first of two games at the KFC Yum! Center, Terrence Jones scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (33-2) took care of the #16-seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (16-19).
In the nightcap, Chris Allen scored 20 points as the eighth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones (23-10), with four players in double-figures ended Connecticut's one-year reign as national champions with a 77-64 win over the ninth-seeded Huskies for the right to face top-seeded (both region and overall) Kentucky on Saturday.
At Portland, Oregon:
In the first of two Rose Garden contests, Bradford Burgess, who scored 16 points, hit a three-pointer with 93 seconds remaining as the 12th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth Rams (29-6) defeated the #5-seeded Wichita State Shockers (26-6) 62-59.
In the nightcap, Jordan Hulls scored 22 points as the fourth-seeded Indiana Hoosiers (26-8) set up a Saturday showdown with VCU with a 79-66 win over the #13-seeded New Mexico State Aggies (26-10).
At Albuquerque, New Mexico:
In the first of two games contested at The Pit, Pierre Jackson scored 18 points while Brady Heslip added 17 as the third-seeded Baylor Bears (27-7) held off the fourteenth-seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits (27-7) 68-60.
In the nightcap, Askia Booker scored 16 points while Andre Roberson added 12 (to go with his 16 rebounds) as the #11-seeded Colorado Buffaloes (24-11) outlasted the #6-seeded UNLV Runnin' Rebels (26-9) 68-64 to set up a Saturday encounter with Baylor.