The Cats have landed in Cat-Lanta and the Sweet 16.
Their Opponent the Kansas State Wildcats from the Big 12. Kansas State got here by taking down 8 seed Creighton 69-59. Then they ran into the Magical 16 seed UMBC in the 2nd, They were able to fight off the Scrappy 16 seed late to grab a 50-43 victory and a trip to the Sweet 16.
Let’s take a look at Kentucky’s path to the Sweet 16:
The Cats got by a well coached Davidson team in the 1st round 78-73. In the 2nd round they ran into a Buffalo team who thrashed Arizona by 20, But the Cats took care of business and ran the Bulls back to Buffalo beating them 95-75.
Here’s some advantages Kentucky will have in their Matchup against Kansas State:
1.) Kentucky ranks top 50 in the country in Rebounding, Grabbing 38.8 boards a night. Kansas State is a team who has struggled on the glass ranking 335th in the country grabbing just 30.4 a night. So look for the Cats to use the glass and 2nd chance points to their advantage in this game.
2.) Kansas State is a team who really struggles to knock down the 3 ball. They are just 34.3% from downtown ranking them 209th in the land. Meanwhile Kentucky excels at guarding the 3 point line holding opponents to just 29.8% ranking 2nd in all the land.
3.) It’s gonna be interesting to see what kinda tempo this game is played. Kansas State ranks 303rd in Ken Pomeroy’s tempo rating and Kentucky comes in ranked 137th in tempo. But Kentucky as shown the versatility to play any style and win playing any style. I think it will favor the Cats a little bit if they can get this game going up and down a little bit and use that size and Atletism to their advantage!
Here’s another look at that nasty Diallo dunk vs Buffalo!! NASTY
Kansas State’s Best Player: Barry Brown is their leader at the Guard spot averaging 16 points a game and around 3 assist. He’s very versititle on both ends and can really defend.
Dean Wade is their leading scoring whos has not played in the postseason for them yet. He has been out with a leg injury. It look like Wade is gonna try and give it ago against the Cats Thursday. Wade is a 6-10 big who can hit the perimeter jumper.
Keys to the Game for Kentucky:
1.) Crash the glass against the weak rebounding K-State team
2.) In SGA we trust. Continue to take care of the ball. Shai has been great with the ball lately, The Cats will need to be sound against a K-State team who has some guys with some fast hands on the defensive in.
3.) Bring the Energy and Swagger that they showed in Boise and in the SEC Tourney. We all know Cat-lanta is gonna be packed with Blue. This young Group will need to feed off of that and turn Philips Arena into Rupp Arena.
Predictions from some of are Bright minds here at UK FANS ALLDAY:
Braden Nevius: This man said that a team that Begins with a K and has a Wildcat Mascot will win 83-72
Colton Covington: They call this man nostradamus in the prediction community. He has the Kentucky Wildcats winning 76-62
Jay Hazze: He has the Cats 87-73. Green has good game…and im not giving up on Nick Richards…also Vanderbilt sees a few minutes if we get in foul trouble.
My Prediction: I like the Cats to roll to a 75-61 win in Cat-Lanta. I think we see a big game from PJ Washington. Dunk face Pj will be out in Atlanta!!
You can catch the Kentucky vs Kansas State game on CBS tomorrow at 9:37 PM ET.