Kansas - Kentucky Preview
Kansas Jayhawks (1) Vs. Kentucky Wildcats (8)
Sunday, 3/18 @ 5:00
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Kansas -8.5
Although Kansas has often been a first round and out team in the tournament, they’re having none of that this time. Right about halfway through the first period of game one the Jayhawks established their lead and never looked back, beating the Niagara Purple Eagles by 40 points—107- 67. The 8th seed Kentucky Wildcats met the ninth seed Villanova Wildcats and proved that the cats from ‘Tucky are a bit tougher than those from ‘Nova, taking that game by 9 points—67- 58.
Kansas dominated from the floor, hitting 54% from the field and 59% from the free throw line. A total of 13 Kansas players scored with sophomore guard Mario Chalmers leading the team with 19 points. Sophomore forward Julian Wright put up a double-double with 10 points and an equal number of rebounds. Junior guard Russell Robinson led the team in assists and steals with 8 and 5 respectively. He also put in 16 points. Reserve forward Darrell Arthur had 3 blocks, 8 rebounds and 12 points.
By beating Villanova, Kentucky extended it’s NCAA first round winning streak to 17, the longest of any team. Junior forward/center Randolph Morris had a monster game blocking 3 shots, grabbing 11 rebounds and scoring 19 points. He led the team in those three categories. Junior guard Ramel Bradley shot for 11 points, took down 4 rebounds and dished off 3 assists. Freshman guard Jodie Meeks also had 3 assists, while handling 5 boards and notching a dozen points. The Wildcat bench garnered 27 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists while contributing 85 minutes of playing time.
The Jayhawks are poised to go to the Sweet 16, but they have to get by Kentucky first. A problem for Kansas is the team’s foul shooting, which is normally around 66% and was at 54% in the first round. Kentucky hits 70% of their free throws. Kentucky had 18 fouls in their game, while Kansas posted 26 fouls. The Jayhawks don’t want to give the Wildcats that advantage. This could be a close one, especially with the tough defense of the Wildcats in play.