This game is going to be a monster. Both teams are excellent and this game should be an absolute classic.
Again, I’m a die-hard Kansas fan so I will not be giving a prediction but I’m going to give my best insight on how both teams win this game and how both teams will lose this game.
Kansas is entering this game defeating UC Davis, Michigan State and Purdue. They have beaten their opponents by an average of 30 points.
Oregon has taken a different route to get to the Elite 8. The Ducks had to defeat Iona, Rhode Island and Michigan. Every game Oregon played was close. They ran away from Iona at the end of the game but the Gales gave the Ducks a fight. The next two games came down to the last shot and Rhode Island and Michigan didn’t have the March Magic to knock off the Ducks.
So here we are. Jayhawks vs Ducks.
Let’s breakdown the match up.
Kansas wins if…
Kansas will win this game if they’re offensive stays hot. If Devonte Graham is shooting lights out, like he’s currently doing, the Jayhawks will win this game. The Jayhawks love the 3 ball and as long as they’re knocking their 3’s down, their offense is going to be hard to stop. Frank Mason is a front runner for this years National Player of the Year and Josh Jackson is going to be a top 3 NBA pick this year. They’re going to get theirs. The Jayhawks are going to need to tighten up their defense because their defense has not been stellar all year. But if Graham, Svi and Lagerald Vick are knocking down their shots their offense is going to be hard to stop.
Oregon wins if…
Their defense is on point. Oregon likes to change their defensive schemes. They like going to a 1-3-1 zone or a box and one. This will slow down the fast paced Jayhawks offense. And if the Jayhawks can’t get get out an running and the Ducks make this game a half-court game it will give the Ducks a serious advantage. Mason won’t be able to drive the line as much as he does and the Jayhawks will have to look for contested jumpers. If this happens and the Ducks are successful, they’ll have a big advantage. The Ducks can tame the offense, and since the Jayhawks defense is not great, the Ducks can out up points in a hurry and win this game.
Kansas loses if…
Landen Lucas gets in foul trouble. The Ducks don’t play anybody over 6’7″ major minutes. Landen Lucas should have a good day down low if that’s the case. However, Lucas will have to be guarding people 4 inches shorter than him. If and when that’s the case, the Ducks can exploit him. It’ll be a mismatch for Lucas defensively and with the Jayhawks already having such a thin front court, if Lucas gets in foul trouble, the Jayhawks won’t have much size to get the crucial rebounds. If the Oregon guard go at Lucas, and he picks up 2 quick fouls, it’ll be a tough task for the Jayhawks.
Oregon loses if…
They don’t offensive rebound. Offensive rebounding is going to be crucial in this game. Josh Jackson has been playing with an extremely high motor this tournament and he has been flying all over the place for offensive board. The Ducks can not give Jayhawks etra possessions, especially if they’re trying to slow down the Jayhawks pace. If Oregon does not box out Lucas, Jackson, Colbey and Bragg, the Ducks will be in trouble. The Jayhawks like to take advantage of 2nd chance points, and usually on the Offensive rebound, the defense breaks down and the Jayhawks will be able to drive and kick like they do so well.
This game is going to absolutely great. This game will be in the 70’s and likely within a 5 point differential. This is a game to go to the Final Four and both teams lost in the Elite 8 last year, both teams are going to want to avenge last years lost and get to Phoenix. This is going to be the toughest match up any of these teams played so far in this tournament and we’ll see how it shakes out. The game can be seen, tonight, on TBS at 8:49 p.m. ET. Tune in for an excellent game.