At the half: Kentucky 54, ETSU 26

NEW ORLEANS -- Upset Thursday won’t be wreaking havoc with No. 1 seed Kentucky’s weekend plans.

The Wildcats were on top of their game in the first half, running, dunking and tossing in 3-pointers at a dizzying pace on their way to a 54-26 halftime lead over East Tennessee State.

This one is a total mismatch, especially with Kentucky deciding to come out and play from the outset. There was no toying around.

The only upset is that there aren’t more Kentucky fans in New Orleans Arena. After taking over Nashville last week for the SEC tournament, the Kentucky fans haven’t converged on the Big Easy like they usually do anywhere the Cats play.

The upper deck is barely a fourth of the way full, and the place isn’t painted blue.

That’s OK, because the Kentucky team did the painting in the first half. The Wildcats had three straight dunks on three straight possessions at one point, two of them alley-oops, and they also were 7-of-14 from 3-point range.

You know what Kentucky coach John Calipari said happens when they’re hitting their 3s.

They bury people.

Freshman guard Eric Bledsoe and junior forward Patrick Patterson combined to make 11-of-13 shots in the first half.