Preseason All-America guard Jacob Pullen scored 20 points and Rodney McGruder added 19 to lead the Wildcats as the preseason conference favorites played their fifth straight game without suspended No. 2 scorer Curtis Kelly.
"You look up on that wall, you see the last time that we were conference champions was 1977," McGruder said. "That was a long time ago. I wasn't even thought of. It just goes to show that we have a chance to accomplish something great."