Just a quick primer – three things to watch for about Kansas State’s second-round NCAA Tournament opponent, Kentucky. The Wildcat-Wildcat tipoff is scheduled for around 8:40 p.m. tonight at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Here’s Kellis Robinett’s gameday advance and his excellent feature on K-State coach Bruce Weber.
THREE THINGS ABOUT KENTUCKY
1. Pick ‘em
The Wildcats have definitely three, and maybe up to six future NBA first-round draft picks on their roster. As in the future being June 26. Freshman forward and Dallas native Julius Randle is a sure-fire lottery pick, while freshman guard/forward James Young and sophomore center and Olathe native Willie Cauley-Stein are both also first-rounders. Freshman guards – and twins – Aaron and Andrew Harrison also could go in the first round, as could 7-foot freshman center Dakari Johnson. I watched a lot of college basketball this season, but getting to see Randle up close yesterday was something else. He’s pretty much the perfectly-built basketball player.
2. Don’t put too much into March 16
That’s the day that Kentucky almost pulled off the upset of No. 1 Florida, losing 61-60 in the SEC championship game. Don’t put too much into it, for a couple of reasons. The first being that it was a completely insignificant came in regards to the NCAA Tournament and one, I would guess, both teams would rather have not been playing in. The second is that the other time the teams played, at Florida on March 8, the Gators spanked Kentucky 84-65.
They’re not that deep — they’ve got seven guys in their rotation, so if Kansas State can find a way to get them in foul trouble they might have a shot. Johnson is a force when he’s on the floor, but he only averages 12.8 minutes per game. K-State can run a little bit, so if they can keep Kentucky’s big men on the move that could change the flow of the game. Run, run, run.