(1) Kentucky vs. (3) Baylor Preview
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
Follow @Yannis KoutroupisYannis Koutroupis
(1) Kentucky Wildcats
While preparing for the tournament the Wildcats worked heavily on what they would do in the case of Anthony Davis getting into foul trouble. Against Indiana in the Sweet 16 they found themselves in that exact position and responded well. They scored 50 first half points despite Davis picking up two early fouls and went on to avenge their earlier season loss against the Hoosiers 102-90. The Wildcats won the battle of the boards by nine, shot 48 percent from the field, 50 percent from deep and only turned it over six times. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Doron Lamb torched the Hoosiers, scoring 24 and 21 respectively. Kidd-Gilchrist also hauled in 10 rebounds. Darius Miller was stellar offensively as well, scoring 19 off of the bench. Davis made his impact felt in the second half of the game, managing to not pick up another foul the entire period. The Wildcats will have to be ready to potentially play without their star center again in the Elite Eight for prolonged stretches. The Bears have the players to attack him and they will certainly look to do so frequently.
(3) Baylor Bears
Prior to the Sweet 16, Bears guards Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip had really been carrying them. Against Xavier, they had their hands full with Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons. The mismatches were on the frontline, so they fed Quincy Acy and Perry Jones continuously en route to a 75-70 victory. Acy was 8-for-11 from the field, finishing with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Meanwhile, Jones missed just once as he had his best game of the tournament with 14 points and five rebounds. The Bears had 21 assists on their 29 made field goals, led by the playmaking abilities of Jackson, who had 10 dimes to go along with his 16 points. In the Elite Eight the Bears will be going up against a Kentucky team who is just as athletic and talented as they are, something they haven’t faced all season long. They will have to really buckle down defensively and try to keep Anthony Davis on the bench in foul trouble.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Kentucky. There’s enough NBA talent in this game to draw a representative from every team in the league. We’re going to go with Kentucky’s stars shining the brightest as they return to the Final Four for the second-straight year.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!