NCAA Tournament: No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Houston

No. 2 Kentucky, already playing in its record 44th Sweet 16, will try to add to its other record of 37 Elite Eight berths when it faces No. 3 Houston Friday night.

The matchup between the Wildcats (29-6) and the Cougars (33-3) will wrap up the night’s games in Midwest Region play at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Kentucky-Houston winner will next get the winner of Friday night’s early game between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 5 Auburn in the Elite Eight on Sunday.

The Wildcats finished tied for second in the SEC standings and then lost to Tennessee in the semifinals of the SEC tournament.

Kentucky routed No. 16 Abilene Christian 79-44 to open the NCAA Tournament and then beat No. 7 Wofford 62-56 in the second round.

Houston has been dominant so far in the NCAA Tournament, opening with an 84-55 victory over No. 14 Georgia State followed by a 74-59 win over No. 11 Ohio State.

The Cougars finished the regular season atop the American Athletic Conference standings and won 31 regular-season games for just the fourth time in school history. They entered the tournament coming off a 12-point loss to Cincinnati in the AAC tournament championship game.

While Kentucky has won the national title eight times, second only to UCLA’s 11 championships, Houston is seeking its first national title.

Houston is playing in the Sweet 16 for the 11th time in program history and first time since back-to-back national title game losses by the Phi Slama Jama teams led by Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in 1983 and 1984.