Here we go, Big Blue Nation — the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament for the Kentucky Wildcats. Today’s opponent will be the Cincinnati Bearcats, a team that UK used to play a lot, but now no longer does. This will be our first meeting with the Bearcats in almost exactly ten years. The last time we met was in 2005 on the way to an eventual loss to the Michigan State Spartans in the Elite Eight.
|Date:||Saturday, March 21st|
|Time||2:40 PM EDT|
|Place:||KFC YUM! Center, Louisville, KY|
|Radio:||UK Sports Network|
|Live Video:||NCAA March Madness|
|Live Audio:||Westwood One|
Essentials for victory
Rebound the ball — One way Cincinnati can increase their offensive efficiency is by beating Kentucky on the offensive glass. UK must prevent this and rebound well defensively.
Take care of the ball — The Bearcats will turn it over. Kentucky can get extra possessions by taking care of the basketball and avoiding dumb turnovers.
Get to the rim — Cincinnati does not foul a lot, so Kentucky must force the issue and find a way to get to the line. It is important that Kentucky do so, because the free throw line is an important component of their offensive efficiency.
Defend like you mean it — Kentucky rarely has problems with defense, and this game should be no exception.
Take good shots — Every now and then, Kentucky gets into a weird mode of throwing up really bad shots. They don’t want to do that against Cincinnati.
Take, and make, threes — UK didn’t need the three point shot against the Hampton Pirates, but they need to make some against the Bearcats.
Cincinnati should be a genuine challenge for UK, and could well upset the Wildcats. They are an experienced, tough basketball team that has a chip on their shoulder. As long as Kentucky comes to play and respects their opponent, that chip will not likely help them. But if UK takes them lightly or doesn’t respect them, it could go badly for the Wildcats.