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Iowa St. Cyclones (8) at Kentucky Wildcats (1): 2012 NCAA Tournament 3rd Round Open Game Thread

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Well, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, here we are again; your Kentucky Wildcats will be facing off tonight against the #8 seed, the Iowa St. Cyclones. Game particulars are as follows, courtesy of

Iowa St. at Kentucky
NCAA Tournament - Third Round
Kentucky vs. Iowa State
Sat., Mar. 17 - 7:45 p.m. ET
Louisville, Ky.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | ISU Get Acrobat Reader
UK Postseason Guide
Tourney Central
Radio: UK IMG
March Madness on Demand
Text Updates

Iowa St. got to this point by defeating the Connecticut Huskies convincingly in the 8/9 game, and Kentucky got here by crushing the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the 1/16 game.

These two teams could not really be more different. Kentucky is a powerful, athletic team with great size and skill. Iowa St. is an upstart, slightly undersized team with great shooting and an unusual player in Royce White. This all makes for a combustible combination that could result in a classic contest.

What Kentucky must do to win tonight:

  • Guard the three. This is job 1, 2, and 3 on defense. Failure in this area could result in defeat.
  • Keep the ball out of Royce White's hands as much as possible. White is a facilitator, and while he can score, he isn't a threat to beat us with points, but with his overall game.
  • Attack the painted area with relentlessness. Iowa St. is undersized, and it will be really tough for ISU to handle UK's bigs if we get them the ball.
  • Shoot the three only when wide open. We don't need the 3-point shot in this game if we do the first three things I mentioned. Play inside the arc is Kentucky's best chance to win.

This ISU team really makes me nervous. They are just the kind of out-of-nowhere team that can take significantly better teams at unawares, and I don't like that feeling. UK has got to respect this opponent just as they would Vanderbilt or Kansas, because the ISU Cyclones are no less threatening. In a one-and-out tournament, a bad game can send the best teams home -- just ask the Missouri Tigers.

Go, 'Cats!