St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Freshman Julius Randle registered 19 points and 15 rebounds in his NCAA Tournament debut as Kentucky claimed a 56- 49 victory over Kansas State in second-round action from the Midwest Region.
Aaron Harrison supplied 18 points for ninth-seeded Kentucky (25-10), which will take on Wichita State, the region's top seed, in the third round on Sunday. The undefeated Shockers advanced with a win over Cal Poly on Friday.
"They play really hard. They have really good players," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said of Wichita State. "You don't go 35 or 36-0 or whatever they are without having really good players."
Marcus Foster finished with 15 points on just 7-of-18 shooting from the floor for Kansas State (20-13), which fell to 0-9 all-time against Kentucky.
Foster's layup found KSU leading 8-5 six minutes into the game before Kentucky used a 14-2 flurry to take the lead for good.
Andrew and Aaron Harrison combined for 11 points during the surge, which the brothers capped with consecutive 3-pointers for a 19-10 Kentucky lead with just under 8 1/2 minutes left in the half.
A Randle layup had the margin at 12, 29-17, with 2:25 left before the break, but Kansas State scored the final six points of the first half and got a 3- pointer from Shane Southwell to open the second that brought KSU within 29-26.
Another Southwell trey just under five minutes into the period cut Kansas State's deficit to two, but a swift 7-0 surge from Kentucky pushed the spread back up to nine with 12 minutes to play.
"We gave ourselves a chance," KSU head coach Bruce Weber said. "Got it to three in the second half, but just not enough firepower. And we just didn't make enough shots to give us a chance to get a victory."
Randle helped keep Kansas State at bay from there, as he followed a pair of Thomas Gipson free throws with five straight points to extend Kentucky's cushion to 49-38 with 5:27 left.
Kansas State sliced the margin to 55-49 with under 30 seconds left after Will Spradling and Foster each hit a triple around Aaron Harrison going 1-of-2 at the line. However, Kentucky kept KSU off the board the rest of the way to hang on for the victory.
Kansas State guard Brian Rohleder received a technical foul prior to the game for dunking during pre-game warmups ... The only other time these teams met in the NCAA Tournament was the 1951 title game, which saw Kentucky defeat KSU, 68-58 ... Southwell scored 11 points, while Gipson added 10 and seven boards for Kansas State ... Kentucky outrebounded KSU, 40-28 ... Kentucky shot 38 percent from the floor, including 26.7 percent from 3-point range.