NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Top-seeded Kentucky can stretch its winning streak to 24 games Friday when it makes its 45th NCAA Tournament appearance and faces No. 16 IUPUI in the first round of the Midwest Region.
Kentucky (29-3) has not lost since an 81-63 defeat at Louisville on December 28. The Wildcats also have won 11 straight first-round games and earned a top seed for the eighth time.
Keith Bogans scored 22 points Sunday as Kentucky captured its 24th Southeastern Conference crown with a 64-57 victory over Mississippi State. The Wildcats became the first team to sweep the SEC regular-season and tournament titles since accomplishing the feat in 1951-52.
This the fourth time Kentucky has been placed in the Midwest Region. It is 10-3 all-time in the Midwest, including a 6-0 sweep en route to the 1996 national championship.
Bogans leads the Wildcats at 16.0 points per game and was named MVP of the SEC tournament. Marquis Estill is the leading post player and scores 10.9 points per contest.
Kentucky has done it with defense, holding opponents to 41 percent shooting from the floor. The Wildcats also register 7.8 steals per game and have outrebounded opponents by nearly six per game.
The last first-round loss for Kentucky came in 1987 to Ohio State.
IUPUI (20-13) is making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in its sixth season of Division I basketball.
Matt Crenshaw's jumper with one second left gave the Jaguars a 66-64 victory over Valparaiso in the Mid-Continent Conference title game.
IUPUI boasts five starters who score in double figures, led by Odell Bradley's 14.7 points per game. At 6-7, Josh Murray provides size up front and averages 12.7 points and 7.9 rebounds.
The Jaguars' lineup may be the oldest in the tournament, with players averaging 23 years. Crenshaw, who spent five years in the army, is 26.
Kentucky and IUPUI have never met. The Wildcats defeated Mid-Continent representative Valparaiso in last year's first round.
The winner will face Oregon or Utah in Sunday's second round.