Freshman guard Brandon Knight scored a collegiate-best 30 points to help the No. 4-seeded Kentucky Wildcats sneak past the No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers, 71-63, in a third-round contest of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in Tampa, FL. The Wildcats (27-8) advance to the round of 16 to play the winner of No. 1 Ohio St. Buckeyes and No. 8 George Mason in the East Regional semifinals in Newark, NJ.
Senior guard guard Joe Mazzulla scored a team-best 20 points for West Virginia, which led by eight points, 41-33, at halftime. However, Kentucky used a 9-0 run, led by five point from Knight, to take a 44-41 advantage in the first five and a half minutes of the second half. From there, both teams traded leads until about five and half minutes to go when the Wildcats took a 60-55 advantage and never looked back.
West Virginia's loss drops the Big East Conference's overall record to 7-5 during March Madness. Here are the other Big East basketball teams in action today:
- (1) Pittsburgh vs. (8) Butler (7:10 p.m. on TBS)
- (3) UConn vs. (6) Cincinnati (9:40 p.m. on TBS)
-- Want more Big East Conference coverage? Check out the SB Nation New York's special NCAA Tournament page, which will bring you live updates throughout Friday's contests. If you'd like a national scope, check out SB Nation's NCAA Tournament page.