Final: Kentucky 90, Wake Forest 60

NEW ORLEANS – Kentucky might have broken a sweat in reaching its first Sweet 16 since 2005, but it wasn’t much of one.

In fact, it was almost too easy.

The Wildcats (34-2) put the wraps on their second straight blowout win of the NCAA tournament Saturday night, ripping and running past Wake Forest for a 90-60 second-round beatdown at New Orleans Arena.

Up next for Kentucky is the winner of the Cornell-Wisconsin game on Thursday in Syracuse.

After a 29-point win in the first round over East Tennessee State, Kentucky put the Demon Deacons away with a knockout-sized run to end the first half.

A 16-point halftime lead was closing in on 30 points a few minutes into the second half, and the Wildcats were wowing the crowd with tomahawk dunks and flashy fast breaks.

The only drama in the second half came when Wake Forest 7-foot senior center Chas McFarland took down Kentucky freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins with a hard foul. The officials quickly separated the two teams, and after the officials sorted everything out, McFarland was hit with an intentional foul and Kentucky’s Daniel Orton with a contact technical foul.

Kentucky freshman guard Eric Bledsoe scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, and Darius Miller led the Wildcats with a career-high 20 points. Cousins had 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Wildcats shot 60.3 percent from the field. That’s two games in a row now that they’ve shot the ball well.

And if they keep shooting it like this, they’re going to be tough to beat.