LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Jodie Meeks scored 19 points and Patrick Patterson added 16 as Kentucky got past UNLV 70-60 Tuesday night in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament, the first NIT appearance in three decades for a Wildcats team accustomed to bigger stages in March.
If there was lingering disappointment after the Wildcats snapped a 17-year streak of appearing in the NCAA tournament, it didn't show on the court.
Kentucky (21-13) scrambled for every loose ball, building a 20-point lead midway through the second half then weathering a late surge by UNLV (21-11) to advance to the next round against the winnner of Creighton and Bowling Green.
With Rupp Arena unavailable due to a scheduling conflict, Kentucky played a game at Memorial Coliseum for the first time since 1976.
Wink Adams led the Rebels with 14 points.