Saturday, March 27, 2010

No Wildcats in the Final Four

There will be no purple wildcats in the Final Four, nor will there be any blue wildcats in the Final Four. For both Kansas State and Kentucky lost their Elite Eight games today.

For Kansas State, it appeared that they just didn't have their legs back after the epic match on Thursday night. That extra little burst, that extra hop, that ability to get the loose balls, and to fully execute plays was missing all game. Even with that, the Wildcats were able to obtain the lead briefly in the second half with about 5 minutes left in the game, but could not hold on. The trouble for K State was on the offensive end. K State shot just 38% from the field and 50% from the foul line (misses on free throws amounted to 7 points). Both teams had a lot of turn overs and steals, but it just seemed as if Butler was always just a step quicker to the ball, and after awhile, this was not something Kansas State could overcome. Final score: 63-56 Butler Bulldogs. A disappointing loss for sure, and one I think those not leaving the Wildcats' lineup will remember next year.

I don't much care for Kentucky--their redneck past, and hiring dirtier-then-the-usual-win-at-all-costs John Calipari are just two of the reasons I find this college team irritating. I was rooting for West Virgina--I've rooted for them before--remember Pittsnogle? The Mountaineers came through, winning 73-66. The turning point for this game came early--between the 11:00 minute mark and the 6:00 minute mark. Kentucky had a chance to put West Virgina very far behind. The Mountaineers were somewhat overwhelmed by Kentucky's size. But they kept their discipline, strung together some 3 point baskets and empty Wildcat trips and took control they did not relinquish the rest of the game. A clue that Kentucky was starting to struggle with composure was the Technical Foul given to DeAndre Liggins at the 1:37 mark. There were several times when coaches for Kentucky had to spend time calming their players. Shooting the three was profitable for WV (10/23) and a problem for Kentucky (4/32--below the Mendoza Line), and Kentucky had more turnovers.

Only one #1 seed remains in the tournament at this point, and that would be Duke. Duke takes on the lone remaining Big 12 team, Baylor. Needless to say, this blogger would like to see a Final Four with no #1 seeds left...

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