SEC: Jodie Meeks scored 25 points, and Patrick Patterson had 15 points and 14 rebounds to help Kentucky (20-12) stop a four-game losing streak with a 71-58 victory over Ole Miss (16-15) in the tournament opener at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. The Wildcats advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 20 LSU and kept alive their hopes of extending their streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament to 18. Ole Miss was outscored 35-20 in the second half, when Meeks had 15 points and Kentucky shot 54% from the field and played stifling defense that forced the Rebels into 11 turnovers.
In other tournament games today, Mississippi State plays Georgia at 2:15 p.m., Alabama plays Vanderbilt at 6:30 p.m., and Florida plays Arkansas at 8:45 p.m.
Southland: Ryan Bathie and Anatoly Bose scored 20 points each to lead Nicholls State (20-10) to an 80-75 comeback victory over Texas State (14-16) at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. Bose made three free throws in the final 38 seconds for the Colonels (20-10), who rallied from a 34-26 halftime deficit. Bose put them ahead to stay at 57-55 on a 3-pointer with 7:12 left.
In other tournament games today, Sam Houston State plays Texas-San Antonio at 2:30 p.m., Stephen F. Austin plays Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m., and Texas-Corpus Christi plays Texas-Arlington at 8:30 p.m.
Big 12: LaceDarius Dunn hit six 3-pointers and scored 24 points, leading a late surge as Baylor (19-13) rallied after blowing a 17-point lead to stun No. 11 Kansas (25-7) 71-64 in the quarterfinals at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. The three-time defending champion Jayhawks led by five before Dunn fueled a decisive 12-0 run for the Bears.