All four teams peaked at the right time and all have that go-to-guy when the game is in its closing minutes. For each team, this guy has the ability to create plays and put his respective team in the position to win. These guys are as follows: Peyton Siva for Louisville, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for Kentucky, Tyshawn Taylor for Kansas, and William Buford for Ohio State. Watch for all four to play a huge role for their team in upcoming games.
A Look at the Games:
Kentucky vs. Louisville
For the second consecutive year, a team from the Big East, Louisville that is, has won the conference tournament, and followed it up with a deep run in the NCAA tournament, with one player carrying the load for the team. Peyton Siva is playing the role of “Kardiac Kemba” throughout both tourneys this year. With him having to carry the load, and Kentucky playing tremendous defense, look for him to struggle, especially with Anthony Davis in the middle preventing him from getting to the rim.
With Kentucky, look for them to play how they usually do. They will prevent Louisville from getting into the lane, controlling the boards and doing what they do offensively. It’s hard to predict who will have the “best game” for them, but in order for them to be successful Anthony Davis will have to be the best player on that team. He will have to do the dirty work, rebounding, blocking shots, and preventing any easy looks at the basket in the paint.
Outcome: : It will be a close game in the first half, but with Kentucky’s depth, size, and shooting ability, they will eventually give Louisville fits. If Davis plays well, Kentucky will win. If he plays poorly and ends up in foul trouble, look for the game to be close, with Kentucky winning in a squeaker.
Ohio State vs. Kansas
Ohio State had an up and down season with injuries and the usual “dog days” struggle that most teams have. Already having played Kansas once (without Sullinger due to an injury) should be a huge factor in Ohio State’s game plan. If Buford can get hot early, and Craft can lock down, while Taylor and Sullinger can hold Thomas Robinson to single digits or get him in foul trouble, then should have a successful game and be playing on Monday.
Kansas is a team that has arguably one of the most under-the-radar players in the past decade – Tyshawn Taylor. He has been one of the few guys to have played all four years of his college career and be successful in doing so. This helps Kansas tremendously in having a true PG that has seen pretty much everything in the game of basketball. He has struggled shooting the three in the tourney this year, and according to ESPN, he has never made a three point shot in a dome in his college career. If he can get it going, look for them to be playing Kentucky on Monday night.
Outcome: This one is a tough game to predict, but it is going to come down to the Big Men down low. If Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey can dominate the game, Kansas wins. If Sullinger dominates the game down low, OSU will emerge victorious. Look for the experience at the Guard and Center positions to help Kansas in this game; they have been in big games like this before. Kansas wins in a close one.
Author: Zach Tanton