Showing posts with label 2011 Sweet 16. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2011 Sweet 16. Show all posts

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kansas vs. Richmond Preview

After losses by many top seeds, including the defending champion Duke Blue Devils, many college basketball pundits now think Kansas has a cakewalk to the Final 4 and possibly the national title game. First, the Jayhawks will have to get by Richmond, who crashed the Sweet 16 with an upset over Vanderbilt and a beatdown over Morehead State.

While the Spiders have been playing well recently, Richmond has the profile on your average talented mid-major team - they have lost to most of the good teams they have faced and taken care of business in a weak league. Thats not to say this team lacks talent - senior forward Justin Harper is very dangerous and guard Kevin Anderson is a big-time player as well. If both play well, Richmond will go toe-to-toe with the Jayhawks and this one could come down to the last possession. However, if Richmond's star duo struggle, KU will likely walk.

The Jayhawks have been very business-like this tournament, playing steady defense and relying on the Morris twins for offense. The team continues to get consistent play from point guard Tyshawn Taylor, and the Morris twins are on a roll. The Jayhawks have yet to get scoring from its other guards, and tonight seems like the perfect opportunity for Tyrel Reed to knock down some threes and get his shot back. It'll be closer than some experts think, but expect KU to wear down Richmond and advance to the Elite 8.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kansas Last Big 12 Team Standing in Sweet 16

Kansas State coach Frank Martin recently commented that the Big 12 was disrespected by the media as well as the general public after Colorado was snubbed from the NCAA tournament. I thought Martin had a valid point, until the smoke cleared in the NCAA tournament and Kansas was the only team left standing.

To get here, the Jayhawks simply took care of business, playing average basketball and being the better team. The scary thing is KU has played nowhere near its best; in its win over Illinois, the Morris twins almost single handily beat the Illini and buried the memory of the Northern Iowa upset for good. If KU's guards start hitting outside shots and the Morris twins continue to play at a high level, the Jayhawks should take advantage of its favorable draw and make it back to the Final 4.

The problem for the Big 12 is once again, Kansas is the only team making any noise on a national level. The league needs sustained success from other programs to be credible, not a few flashes in the pan. Last year, K-State and Baylor both had strong Big 12 finishes and made the Elite 8 before falling to the two teams that made the final. This season, the Wildcats entered the tournament as a 5 seed and lost in the second round, while Baylor isn't even found in the NIT. Despite some regular season success, Texas once again fell short in the NCAA tournament, while Texas A&M and Missouri got bounced in the first round. KU's seven straight Big 12 titles doesn't help the Big 12's reputation as a one team league, despite the talent level the conference boasts. With the new, tougher league next year and coaches like Billy Gillispie entering the fray (or re-entering in Gillispie's case), the Big 12 could be the best conference in America. Hopefully America will notice.


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