Here we are, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation — on the doorstep of NCAA Tournament championship #9. The game thread is up a little early tonight so we can all get our minds right for the game.
The foe tonight is UConn, holder of three NCAA Tournament championship trophies. That's more than Florida, as many as Louisville and Kansas. UConn has to be considered on of the top ten programs in America, and they have a quality group opposing Kentucky tonight. In fact, the last time we met UConn, we fell to them in the Final Four, a tournament they went on to win. I would very much like to avenge that loss tonight, but none of the players save Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson were even in college then.
With a win tonight, Kentucky would vault four clear of North Carolina and Indiana, and represent John Calipari's second NCAA Tournament title at Kentucky.
Essentials for victory
Defend the three — Kentucky has to be very aware of 3-point shooters. I am especially concerned about Neils Giffey, and Jame's Young. Young has a nasty habit of leaving his man open.
Rebound like mad — If Kentucky fails to significantly outrebound UConn, they will lose. Book it.
Attack the rim, but pass the ball — Let's have no more DDFH. Kentucky has to make some perimeter shots today.
Get back in transition — Transition is both a strong and weak point for Kentucky. Defensive transition is definitely the weaker of the two, and needs special attention.
Take care of the ball — UConn gets a lot of wins by forcing turnovers with their small, disruptive guards. Kentucky must find a way to take care of that.
Some quick tweets of interest:
No fans like KENTUCKY fans! #BBN stand up it's almost time for them boys to bring home number 9 #BBNine #UK #UKantBeatUs— Josh Harrellson (@BigJorts55) April 7, 2014
Signs facing out from Wyatt's hospital window! #teamwyatt #BBN @TrillGeta15 @_TeamWyatt_ @jfielder11 @BBN pic.twitter.com/xrykLGBOC8— angie fielder (@afielder05) April 7, 2014
Official measurements at Nike Hoop Summit: Karl Towns... 7-0 with 7-3.5 wingspan, 248 lbs. Trey Lyles... 6-10 with 7-3.5 wingspan, 250 lbs.— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) April 7, 2014
A special salute to two great young men as they wear the Kentucky blue for last time. Thanks for the memories @jpolson05 & @jonnylightning4.— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) April 7, 2014