March 26, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Sweet 16 reasons why Kentucky should beat West Virginia
Tonight at about 9:45 pm in Quicken Loan Arena in Cleveland, Ohio the No. 1 overall seed Kentucky Wildcats will take on the No. 5 seed West Virginia Mountaineers for a chance to advance to the élite 8 of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. As a Kentucky fan, the anxiety is overwhelming and the tip-off can’t get here quick enough. Right now the hype surrounding this game is starting to become sickening due to the fact that everyone has an opinion on how to beat the Wildcats (36-0). It’s understandable Kentucky’s’ unblemished record is the talk of college basketball now, but the randomness of the NCAA Tournament can sometimes play with a fans mind. Since many of the pundits have figured out a way to beat Kentucky, here are my Sweet 16 reasons why West Virginia will not be the team to do it.
1) – You can’t press “Elite” teams: Yes I understand “Press Virginia” is forcing opponents into turnovers 28.3 percent of their possessions which is the highest mark in the country. I’m going to keep this brief and blunt, if the Mountaineers stay in the press the entire game Kentucky will come out with the W per John Calipari.
” Let me say this, in this tournament — and I’ve coached in many — you’re never pressing the best teams into submission.” Calipari told reporters after the Cincinnati win. “You’d better play half-court defense. You can press bad teams into submission. A good team’s too well coached. You can’t just press them and trap and scramble. They’re going to end up shooting layups and free throws or dunks.”
2) – You can’t give this team Bulletin Board Material: Bless Daxter Miles Jr’s heart, for making it personal for the Wildcats – Miles said the Wildcats “don’t play hard,” and should fear the Mountaineers — not the other way around. Instead, say they’re a great team, but were going to try to beat them. Don’t give this team extra motivation. You would rather want them to come into the game with a lack of focus making them beatable. Thanks to Daxter, the Kentucky Wildcats will be focused and ready to put the beat down on this team.
3) – Kentucky is TOO BIG: West Virginia is deep, but they don’t have a player on their roster over 6’9. Kentucky has a 6″10 player that plays the small forward position. West Virginia is a great offensive rebounding team, but how will they fare against the size of Kentucky.
4) – Kentucky plays Defense too: All the pundits keep talking about what West Virginia’s defense could do to UK, but everyone is forgetting Kentucky plays defense too. When one of the worst offensive teams in the country realize they won’t be able to turn UK over, how will they score against the Number one Defense in the country, that averages around 7 blocks a game. The Mountaineers better get some turnovers, because they will not score enough in the half court to beat UK.
5) – Free-Throws can be the Difference: Kentucky shoots at a nice clip at the charity stripe at 72.2 percent, West Virginia is prone to fouling. IF the refs call all the fouls, this should be a blow-out win for UK.
6) – Haven’t seen that next gear yet: Kentucky hasn’t had a NCAA Tournament game were they hit that next gear yet. Think of regular season games against Kansas, UCLA, and Arkansas. Will West Virginia see Kentucky’s next gear? We will find out tonight.
7) – The Wildcats don’t turn the ball over: We get it, West Virginia turns over their opponents at a high rate, but This Kentucky team hasn’t had 20 turnovers all season, so why would they all of sudden have a game with over 20 turnovers now. It doesn’t make sense. Many would say well they had 18 turnovers against Louisville this season. This is true, Andrew had a terrible game with 6 turnovers that game, he’s playing better now, but the one key player in that 58-50 victory on the road protected the ball really well with zero turnovers, his name Tyler Ulis. I think he will be a major contributor in tonight’s game, along with a better version of Andrew Harrison.
8) – The Mountaineers don’t shoot the 3 great: It’s imperative West Virginia turn UK over, because if they don’t they will have to rely on 32 percent shooting from three to beat a team that’s coached not to get beat from the three-point line.
9) – Bob Huggins is 8-2 vs. John Calipari: No player on this team was apart of any of those games. It doesn’t matter. Expect Calipari to pick up win number 3 for all who’s counting.
10) – This is not 2010: – Yes, John Wall’s team was one of Calipari’s most talented teams ever at Kentucky, with 5 first round draft picks, who had 3 losses on the season. They lost a heart-breaker to Bob Huggins and West Virginia’s then 1-3-1. Wall’s team went 2-28 from 3 and were eliminated by the Mountaineers in the Elite 8 in 2010. Two different teams will take the court tonight. The 1-3-1 zone will not even be a factor within this game. Kentucky by 10 or more.
11) – WCS is on UK’s side: Look for aggressive Willie Cauley-Stein in tonight’s game. Knock on wood, In last year’s Sweet 16 game against Louisville, WCS was hurt early in that game and missed the remainder of Kentucky’s run to the Final Four. Expect a full game from the 7’0 athletic freak that allows Kentucky to switch everything. This will lead the Wildcats to the W column come Friday morning.
12) – BBN: Need I see more. “You people are crazy” It probably won’t be rocking as loud as Louisville was last week, but it’s still a home game for the Wildcats. ohhhhhh C-A-T-S, CATS CATS CATS!
13) – The light at the end of the tunnel: One game at a time, 4 games left to purr-fecction. This team sees 40-0 within it’s reach. It’s time to unleash them and turn it up for history’s sake.
14) – 13.5: Vegas sees this as a 14 point victory. They put money down on it. How can you bet against them?
15) – Alex Poythress is on the bench: Good Luck Charm, and junior leader Alex Poythress will be back on the bench to help this team to victory while sidelined with the season ending ACL injury. Imagine what Alex would look like in this game, it would be almost a guaranteed UK would win if he were able to play. This is a Alex type of game.
16) – THE TWINS: Twinning…. My new nickname for the Twins is “All Business” They’re carrying this team with them like they did last season.
JOHN CALIPARI: “Those two right now are playing as well as any guards in the country, and they’re 6’6″. They’re 220. They’re good athletes. They’re really skilled, both left and right. You can’t say force them left. Guy will go left. You can’t say force him right. He’ll go right. They’re both really skilled. Again, I don’t think they get the credit. They carried us to the final game last year, those two. You watch the tapes. Those two carried us to where we were. Struggled a little bit in the final game. We never would have gotten into the final game without those two. Now they’re starting to do the same thing again. It says something about who they are as players in their heart to win and their will to win.”
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