This is the official A Sea of Blue Open Game Thread for tonight's game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Kansas State Wildcats. Two Wildcats for the price of one, you could say.
Your humble correspondent will be covering the game live from Las Vegas and attempting to post observations from the game if they are possible. If not, please do not let that dissuade you from staying up until the wee hours of the morning and posting comments about the game yourselves.
As I said earlier, the UK fans are here in force, primed and ready for action. I will open this thread around 10:00 to give those who just can't stay up too late a chance to make a comment or two, but as I write this I am about to adjourn for a dinner of prime rib before easing on over to the arena for the first game.
For Kentucky to win this game, they need to:
- Limit turnovers -- K-state is a good ballhandling team, and a big disparity in turnovers could be the difference.
- Get the ball into the post where they have an advantage -- K-State is big but athletically challenged compared to Kentucky.
- Be aggressive on defense -- The K-State Cats have not been challenged in the tough, man-to-man manner of a Billy Gillispie coached team.
- Utilize depth -- Kentucky is a deeper team than Kansas State, and utilizing that depth will be an advantage. This game is likely to be played up-tempo, but nothing like what North Carolina or VMI would like to play.
- Get offensive rebounds -- Kentucky should be able to rebound on the offensive glass against this team, and if they do, it would be a huge advantage.
Kentucky is likely to lose this game if they:
- Don't defend the three -- K-State is a good three-point shooting team, and UK is not exactly known for efficient defense beyond the arc.
- Waste possessions -- Kentucky must value both the ball, and getting a good look every time.
- Let the K-State guards get into the lane -- Kansas State's guards have a quickness advantage over Kentucky, and if they get in the lane, it will be a long night for the Blue and White.
- Don't force Kansas State to beat them from inside the arc -- Kansas State has beaten most of its opponents by outshooting them from the perimeter. UK must force them to do something else.
- Don't recover well on defense -- K-State will force UK to rotate on defense, and UK must do a good job of recovering from the rotation.
That's it. This is a big game, and we really need this win to prove to ourselves that Kentucky really is a better team than it showed in the first two games.