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Dave Martin, Associated Press
Kentucky head coach John Calipari reacts in the first half of an NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game against Western Kentucky in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, March 15, 2012.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Terrence Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Doron Lamb scored 16 and top-seeded Kentucky began its quest for an eighth national title with a staggering display of athleticism in an 81-66 victory over Western Kentucky on Thursday night.

On a day when Syracuse nearly became the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a 16, the Wildcats (33-2) are clearly relishing their growing role as favorites. Freshman and player of the year candidate Anthony Davis added 16 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks for Kentucky, which was never seriously threatened.

Western Kentucky (16-19) saw its improbable seven-game winning streak end. Freshman T.J. Price scored 16 of his career-high 21 points in the first half before fouling out late while George Fant and Kahlil McDonald added 13 apiece.