Friday night, approximately 9:37 p.m. Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. CBS.
Unfortunately, professional responsibilities are going to preclude me from doing my own preview of the game. Instead, I’m going to point you toward a couple other preview and then let you take it from there.
First, Mr. Gasaway’s capsule on the game:
There is not a doubt in my mind that if USC had defeated Michigan State, Kansas would be facing an honest-to-goodness triangle-and-two defense in this game. With an offense where anyone not named “Sherron Collins” or “Cole Aldrich” is forbidden by state law to attempt a shot, the Jayhawks were born to face that look. The Spartans prevailed against the Trojans, however, and so Tom Izzo’s defense will play KU straight up. Truth be told, that defense has had a lot of success this year playing opponents straight up. When MSU has the ball, this game will mark the first real test of their crash-the-glass mode of scoring. Aldrich is one of the finest defensive rebounders in the nation, playing for a team that yet again led the Big 12 in this category. This game could be bizarro Syracuse/Oklahoma: close but low-efficiency on offense.
All that said a lot has changed for Kansas. The team is riding high after exceeding expectations this season. Coach Self has shortened the bench and settled on a rotation whereas last game he was still very much experimenting. The Morris twins, specifically Marcus, along with Mario Little have emerged as contributors in the eight man rotation and were virtually non-existent in the first match up. Tyshawn Taylor was worth only 2 points and not much else in the first go around and has improved immensly over the conference schedule. Finally, this one is a neutral court and not in Breslin Center. Will it be enough, I feel like we’ve got a good shot. Revenge, tourney determination and Sherron Collins can squeek this one out but it will be no small task. I look for a Kansas victory in a nail biter here, or at least that’s what I hope.
The rest is in your hands, my friends. What do you see in the stats? Does Tom Izzo gear the defense to stopping Collins and/or Alrich, or does he let those two score their points and make sure the rest of the team doesn’t get rolling? What’s your gut say about the final outcome?