NCAA Tournament: Iowa State-Kentucky Preview


Date:  March 17th, 2012

Time:  6:45 PM (CST)

Where:  KFC Yum! Center (Louisville)


Spread:  Kentucky (-10.5)

Know the Foe:  I don’t know where to begin.  Kentucky is loaded with NBA talent and is the number one overall seed for a reason.  John Calipari is a master at recruiting the best (although, there is definitely some question on how he gets them).  However, Iowa State is coming off a victory in which they dominated a team that was “loaded with talent”.  Anyways, here are some quick facts about Kentucky.

UK is 33-2.  Their only two losses are due to a buzzer-beater in Indiana and a loss in the SEC Championship Game to Vanderbilt.

Kentucky has a lot of great players, but freshman Anthony Davis is the best.  Davis is 6’10 but has a huge wingspan of 7’3.  Davis was highly touted in high school out of Chicago.  Some scouting services had Davis as the number one player in the country.  Davis puts up great numbers, leading the team in points (14.3), rebounds (10), and blocks (4.7).  The stat that impresses me the most is that Davis shoots 64% from the field.  The freshman could become the first player ever to win national Freshman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and overall Player of the Year in one year.  We’ll have to wait and see, but Davis has already won the trifecta in the SEC.  Davis is projected to be the first pick in this year’s NBA Draft.  Oh yea, he rocks a unibrow.

In these first two rounds, Iowa State will have played a lot of NBA talent.  Adding to that list is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  MKG averages 11.7 PPG and 7.6 RBG, and has a field goal percentage of 48.2.

Surprisingly, Kentucky has a couple of sophomore in Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb.  Jones is a 6’9, 252 forward.  Jones was the SEC’s Preseason Player of the Year.  Jones averages 12.8 points and 7.1 boards, and shoots over 50% from the field.  Jones and Davis is probably the best frontcourt in the nation.

The other sophomore, Doron Lamb, is a 6’4 guard from Queens, New York.  Lamb is Kentucky’s best 3-point shooter by far, knocking down 46% of his shots from behind the arc.  Lamb is also second on the team in scoring at 13.3 per contest.

There are some other players that come off the bench that can do some damage for the Wildcats, but I don’t have enough time to go through them.

Prediction:  I’m not sure what to expect tonight.  Iowa State will be playing against the best team in the nation with absolutely nothing to lose.  On the other hand, Kentucky will have everything to lose especially since it is essentially a home game for the Wildcats.

This Kentucky team is talented like UCONN.  Except this team plays more as a team unlike the Huskies.  UK also plays great defense and can shut down the perimeter.  Bad news for the Cyclones.  Too make it worse, Anthony Davis is one of the best shot blockers in the nation.  Great teams play defense, and this teams gets the job done on defense.

With all that, I still don’t think Kentucky is going to blow away the Cyclones.  Like I mentioned, Iowa State should be playing some fearless basketball while Kentucky may be playing not to lose the game.  That gives the Cyclones an edge.

In the end, Kentucky is just too good of a team.  If these two teams played ten times, UK would probably win atleast nine times.  Will tonight be that one game?  I hope so.

Kentucky -75

Iowa State – 66