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ahhh, the eve of March Madness
back dat ass up
soopageek
So Kentucky and Kansas both lost yesterday. Both teams seem to struggle on the road and that will probably prove fatal for both teams in the national tournament. What's worse is that it's becoming apparent that Kentucky really has no half-court game. They're great in transition, great rebounders, and great on defense, but they simply don't perform consistently in a half-court set.

Some question Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim's stubborn use of the 2-3 zone and find it archaic in modern basketball and the 3-point shot, but his squad gets the job done. With the exception of Pitt, they've beaten every single Big East powerhouse and haven't lost a road game all year. They're good in transition but more importantly, have a solid half-court game yielding them the best field goal percentage in the country. They're averaging 52% for the year. 52%. No other ranked team has an average over 50%. And they're doing that in the Big East against teams like Villanova and Georgetown. They absolutely crushed Villanova yesterday and had 6 players scoring in the double digits and +60% field goal completion. Far and away they're the best team in the country, and have been since January, but have had to take a back seat to a few teams with better W-L records. My guess is that come Monday, Syracuse will be the #1 team in the land and for my money are the team to beat for the tournament.

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Boeheim's teams have a pretty consistent history of not getting it done in the tournament unless they have Carmelo Anthony carrying them and threatening to shoot people. Wesley Johnson is no Carmelo Anthony.

John Wall is pretty obviously the most dominant phenom of the moment, but it seems like at some point in the tournament a game will come down to having to draw up a good inbound play or make free throws...and Calipari can't do that. Of course, it's all a matter of match ups...he's still better than the majority of coaches, so maybe they never get in that situation...but it's what's always happened before...similar to George Karl in the NBA.

But in a year with no great teams, having the best player can count for a lot.

Oh I dunno... Syracuse seems to be one of those teams that goes all the way to the championship game or doesn't do anything at all. They played in two championships in the past 12 years and won one of them. That's not too shabby for a team that isn't North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, or Kentucky. I look for Syracuse to be in the championship game, but obviously how the brackets get laid out will be a big factor.

Or Florida or UConn.

Why I suspect they underachieve is because they've been to the tournament 20+ times under Jim and have only 3 final four appearances.

Kentucky is simply lacking discipline. They win because the sheer amount of talent on that team is just insane. The problem is that the players are reading their own press...they think they're the best and think they already know the answers to everything.

I do think Calipari is doing an excellent job...but controlling them would be a problem for any coach.

I agree with you. There was one moment in the game yesterday with about 6 minutes left in the second half where Kentucky did some incredible ball movement that resulted in a field goal. If they could do that on every possession, and play with discipline and run plays, they'd be a much much better team, which is saying a lot considering how good they already are.

Exactly. If they actually took the time to set up the plays that I'm *sure* Coach Cal sets up in practice, they would be absolutely unstoppable.

There's a time and a place for the fast break and lightning plays...but it's not every run down the court.

I do hope they all stick around for another season. If they're smart, they'd see that if they got a tourney win, they'd all have even better contract prospects in the NBA.

I don't see that happening. Cousins, Wall and Patterson are all predicted to not just be first round draft picks, but top 10 draft picks. Bledsoe is questionable. Most of the mock drafts have him somewhere around 40th.

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