March 23, 2014
Two articles come to mind when I think of this match-up between #1 Seed Wichita State and #8 Seed Kentucky Wildcats. I wrote an article about the Shockers called “Can the Shockers Go 40-0”? https://www.analyzedsports.com/2014/03/11/can-the-shockers-go-40-0/The other article written is titled “Big Blue Nation, Don’t Jump Ship Yet” https://www.analyzedsports.com/2014/03/04/big-blue-nation-dont-jump-ship-yet/
Today, 2:45 PM on CBS at the Scottrade Center, in St. Louis, Missouri the two articles wrote for Analyzed Sports in the first week of March will collide. At the time I wrote the articles, both teams had the nation, and critics doubting them. In the articles I expressed why I felt Wichita State could go 40-0 and why I thought Kentucky coming off the lost at South Carolina could still make the season special with a deep run in the 2014 NCAA tournament. A loss tomorrow by either team would cast doubt on the evidence provided within both articles. We would never know, plus the articles written will only become what if thoughts at that point. However,I still believe Wichita St is not the fool’s gold team that many think doesn’t deserve a 1 seed, and I still believe this young Kentucky team can put it together and make a run, win or loss. On to the match-up between the two. How the TV powers scheduled the game for 2:45 and not 5:15 pm blows my mind, because this is the best match-up of the day. Will the West Coast even be arriving to Church yet? There are so many story lines within this game it’s enough to write a few articles about this Sunday Showdown. Which #1 Rebounding team will control the boards? Kentucky leads the nation in offensive rebounding, while Wichita State leads the nation in defensive rebounding. The infamous plot of experience versus young talent. We all know what Calipari’s choice is between the two. How about the team that fans promised would go 40-0, versus the team who is actually in a pursuit to achieve 40 -0. The whole Strength of Schedule debate. Kentucky has the nations 2nd best schedule, while Wichita State schedules ranks number 98. According Hall of Fame former Louisville coach Denny Crum, playing a tough schedule prepares you for March. We will see if that philosophy holds true later today. Wichita St does everything well and will not beat themselves. Kentucky is 1-6 versus ranked teams and has not put a full 40 minutes together all year from this disappointing regular season. Which team will pull out the victory tomorrow? Who knows? Most of the experts are choosing the Shockers. Vegas has made Wichita State the favorite by 3 points. Brackets across the country have Wichita State moving on. All of that is possible and wouldn’t surprise me one bit, but if this young Kentucky team ever finds the time to put it all together, later today could be the start of something very special. Put who you got and why in the comment section.
Let’s look into the numbers.