FINAL: Kentucky 95, Buffalo 75: NCAA Tournament recap, box score (March 17, 2018)

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No. 5 seed Kentucky basketball plays No. 13 seed Buffalo at 5:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 17, 2018, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Boise, Idaho. Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.

Kentucky-Buffalo score, live updates, stats

FINAL: Kentucky 95, Buffalo 75

Pack your bags for Atlanta and the Sweet 16, where UK will face the Kansas State-UMBC winner. Gilgeous-Alexander had 27 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and Hamidou Diallo delivered a stunning 22 points and 8 rebounds, while Wenyen Gabriel went for 16 and 12. Full box score:

Kentucky 93, Buffalo 73, 1:41 2H: WOWZA. Gabriel three (he has 16 and 13), PJ putback dunk and a Diallo mega-slam, lefty windmill, to punctuate a really, really impressive victory for the Cats. They’re on their way to a seventh Sweet 16 in nine years under Calipari. They’re 6-0 in that round under him. Diallo has 20 and 7. What. A. Game.

Kentucky 82, Buffalo 69, 5:50 2H: This is Hamidou Diallo’s best game since, what December? Jumper swish, driving layup. He has 16 points (7-10 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal. Terrific day for him. With a powerful PJ Washington and-one (and flex) in between. Box score:

Kentucky 75, Buffalo 67, 7:36 2H: Kentucky ballooned the lead to 10, then Buffalo cut it to five and had a 3-pointer in the air to get within two — and this Boise crowd buzzed, praying it would go down, then groaned when it missed. SGA answered on the other end with another drive, layup and the foul. He has 27 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers and a steal.

Kentucky 72, Buffalo 64, 8:35 2H: Good grief, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Drive and layup. Then Buffalo hits a three to get within five — and he answers with a three. That’s 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting for SGA, plus 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.

Kentucky 63, Buffalo 58, 11:38 2H: Two charges and two other UK turnovers ignited a 9-0 Buffalo run to get within four — at which point SKJ picked up his fourth foul with 15 minutes remaining — but then spark plugs Diallo and Gabriel did work. Diallo snagged an offensive rebound and hit 1 of 2 FT, then found Gabriel for a corner three, then hit a corner three of his own to put the Cats ahead 63-54 with 13:42 remaining. But Diallo also missed two free throws, up seven with 12 minutes left, and Buffalo scored on the other end — a big swing. Diallo is overall having a great day: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist. But Kentucky is going to have to hang on for dear life here.

Kentucky 56, Buffalo 50, 16:47 2H: The Cats led 56-43 with 18:04 to go, then Buffalo hit a three, SGA charge, Buffalo bucket, Kentucky turnover, Buffalo bucket … it’s a 7-0 run and John Calipari needs a timeout. This very anti-UK crowd (or pro-Bulls) is roaring. The updated box score:

Strong second-half start: UK opened the second half with Wenyen Gabriel (starting in place of Nick Richards) taking a charge, PJ Washington firing a nice pass to Hamidou Diallo for a layup and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander driving straight to the rack for another easy layup to make it a 13-point lead and give SGA 19 points (on 7-of-7 shooting) just a minute after intermission. Washington drew Ikenna Smart’s fourth foul in three minutes of action today. Not a great contribution from Buffalo’s 6-10 starting big man.

HALFTIME: Kentucky 51, Buffalo 42

The Wildcats ended the half with a whimper, but they’re still in solid control of this game and have been pretty much throughout, thanks to aggressive defense and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in complete control (6-6 FG, 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers). You should read today’s story on how SGA turned himself into the dominant point guard you’re seeing now. And here’s your full halftime box score:

Kentucky 51, Buffalo 38, 1:29 1H: The good news for UK is that SGA has poured in 17 points and Wenyen Gabriel is scrapping — 8 points and 6 rebounds in 11 minutes off the bench — so the lead is comfortable. The bad news: fouls are piling up. There are 24 in this game and many on the Cats’ big men. Richards and Washington have two apiece and Knox and SKJ have three each. That Knox foul count is particularly alarming if Buffalo starts banging in threes again. Wes Clark, the former Mizzou guard, is doing his thing as he hoped: 15 for the Bulls.

Kentucky 42, Buffalo 34, 3:59 1H: Bombs away in Boise. That 0-for-7 start from 3-point range has turned into 5 of 7 makes for Buffalo. Wes Clark, former Mizzou point guard who said he wanted a piece of Kentucky, has buried three of them and has 11 points. But Hamidou Diallo is still putting on a high-jumping clinic — climbing the ladder for an insane putback dunk. He has 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal already. Oh, and still now answer for SGA, who is 6 of 6 shooting with 16 points in the first half. Your full box score so far:

SGA Shhhhhh: Well then. Buffalo heating up, nailing its third three in the last five attempts to pull within 32-27 … and then SGA pulled up to nail a three of his own and then ran back on defense with a finger to his lips to hush this anti-Cats crowd. That’s very much not in his quiet character. But he seems to know he’s the man for Kentucky and is growing into that role. Already 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting.

Kentucky 32, Buffalo 23, 7:42 1H: Buffalo stared 0 for 7 from three and has hit 2 of 4 since to keep from getting run off the floor. The Bulls have no answer for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, whose and-one gave him 11 points and the Cats a 29-18 lead at one point. Quade Green answered a Buffalo 3-pointer with one of his own and a night after snapping the nation’s longest streak of games with a made three (1,047), Kentucky has begun a new one.

Kentucky 18, Buffalo 11, 11:56 1H: Quade Green defending aggressively, throwing dimes — including a slick long-range lob to SKJ — and Gilgeous-Alexander continuing to attack. His slick spin move, layup and foul gave him six quick points. Then a nasty drive and slam by Diallo pushed the lead to seven. Buffalo is taking terrible shots and is now 4 of 16 shooting (o for 6 from three after hitting 15 of 30 vs. Arizona) — plus starting forward Ikenna Smart (6-10, 241) already has three fouls. Yikes. The box score so far:

Kentucky 10, Buffalo 7, 15:46, 1H: Maybe after ending the nation’s longest streak of games with a made 3-pointer, UK is starting a new streak of games without. Once again, the game plan appears to be attack, attack, attack the rack. Two SGA driving layups and slams by both Washington and Richards staked the Cats to an early 8-4 lead. Also: Holy Hami blocks. After three blocks and a steal in the first 10 minutes against Davidson, Diallo just mega-blocked Buffalo on a chasedown swat, then swiped a steal and drew a foul. He’s been showing off his elite athleticism and coming out dialed in defensively the last two games.

STARTING FIVE: Calipari sticks with SGA, Diallo, Knox, Washington and Richards. It’s about that time. The Bulls look like some grown men (particularly 6-8, 250-pound Nick Perkins, an NFL defensive end-looking fella) and shoot the three really well. Dangerous matchup for UK.

Kentucky-Buffalo game time, details

  • Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
  • Date: March 17, 2018
  • Location: Taco Bell Arena (12,644)
  • Records: Kentucky 25-10; Buffalo 27-8
  • Favorite: Kentucky by 6

What TV channel is Kentucky-Buffalo on? 

You can watch Kentucky vs. Buffalo on CBS. Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington will be on the call.

How can I watch Kentucky-Buffalo online?

Stream Kentucky vs. Buffalo online (if you are an eligible subscriber) via the CBS Sports Network site.

How can I listen to Kentucky-Buffalo on the radio? 

Kentucky and Buffalo will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel TBA and Sirius channel TBA.

Kentucky-Buffalo preview

  • Did John Calipari and Buffalo’s coach, Nate Oats, have beef on Friday? Oats first called Calipari a whiner for always bringing up how young his team is — then walked it back a bit. Calipari took exception to the idea he is “whining” when it’s just telling the truth.
  • Good Calipari, Bad Calipari: Kentucky players share with us the moment that Calipari was proudest of them and the moment he was maddest at them this season. This is a good look at all sides of the Hall of Fame coach and includes some hilarious descriptions.
  • You’ve heard about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s now-famous 7 a.m. workouts. This is the story behind them — and a good look at the kind of individual coaching attention that attracts top players to Calipari’s program. Kentucky made SGA, and now he’s made the Cats a title contender.
  • Will Jarred Vanderbilt play against Buffalo? Not looking good, guys. But he has an updated percentage of health on his injured left ankle.
  • Don’t know much about Buffalo? Never fear: Joe Mussatto got familiar with the Bulls so you can do so in a hurry. Five things to know about Buffalo.
  • Wes Clark played Kentucky four times as a point guard at Missouri. He went 0-4. He plays for Buffalo now, dropped 25 points in an upset of Arizona, and wants revenge on the Cats. He explains the Bulls’ chip-on-the-shoulder mentality.

The post FINAL: Kentucky 95, Buffalo 75: NCAA Tournament recap, box score (March 17, 2018) appeared first on SEC Country.

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