Welcome ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation to the South Regional final game open thread. This afternoon's contestants are the Kentucky Wildcats, #1 NCAA Tournament overall seed and #1 South Regional seed, and the #43seeded Baylor Bears, 3rd place finisher in the tough Big 12 conference.
For the duration of Kentucky's stay in the tournament, we will be posting the picture at right in the open game thread. It serves to remind us all that as much as this year's tournament success means to us, there are things much more important in the world, and that in many of those cases, brave men and women must risk their lives in our country's defense. It is in honor of them and their sacrifice that this picture will remain a feature of our game threads for as long as the Wildcats survive.
Besides, it brought us good luck on Friday.
Baylor and Kentucky have met six times in history, the most recent being in Rupp Arena in 1979. Kentucky is 6-0 against the Bears historically.
For Kentucky to win this contest, they need to do the following:
- Attack the rim. Baylor is extremely long and athletic, but they will struggle if Kentucky relentlessly attacks the rim.
- Take only open threes, don't settle. UK, when they get into trouble, settle for shots that they could improve. Good looks will come against Baylor when they zone. Be patient.
- Get into transition early and often. Kentucky is one of the most dangerous teams in the nation in transition, and they need to exploit that.
- Make free throws. I have a feeling that UK is going to get fouled a lot in this game. If they make free throws, they are likely to succeed.
- Attack the offensive glass, particularly when Baylor zones.
Protect Anthony Davis.
This is another very dangerous team for Kentucky, and I am assuming that Calipari has made that point abundantly clear. Defend, attack, and be completely relentless, and Kentucky should succeed. Timidity is Kentucky's biggest foe in this game.
Win or go home. That's the way it is. Go, 'Cats!