Karl-Anthony Towns bounced back from a mini-slump with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Harrison added 14 points and No. 1 Kentucky rolled to a 79-56 win over 16th-seeded Hampton Thursday night in its NCAA Tournament opener.
Limited by foul trouble the past two games, the 6-foot-11 Towns was forceful all night in helping the unbeaten Wildcats (35-0) roll to the site’s most lopsided outcome of the day after three one-point finishes at the KFC Yum! Center.
Trey Lyles added 10 points and six rebounds, Tyler Ulis scored 11 and Willie Cauley-Stein grabbed 11 rebounds for the Wildcats, who face Cincinnati on Saturday.
Hampton’s Quinton Chievous shook off an ankle injury sustained in Tuesday’s First Four upset of Manhattan to score 22 points with 10 rebounds, but the Pirates (17-18) were no match for Kentucky after the first 10 minutes and trailed by as many as 35 with 12:43 left.