Yes, this is Game #1. Everything done prior is important in only two ways. One, to get us to the point where we are now, not only in the NCAA Tournament but as a 1 seed. And two, for momentum's sake.
But a new season begins once the 'Road to the Final Four' begins and the entire nation, even the most fair-weather fans, turn their eyes towards the college basketball landscape.
We open up our second season against the Big Sky Conference Champions, both regular season and tournament, the Portland State Vikings. And in order to win, avoiding complete humiliation for being the first #1 seed to lose to a #16 seed, we need to do the following things.
- Shut Down Scott Morrison and the Inside Game :: It doesn't figure to be much of a hassle, we have handled lesser inside games all season long, but it is necessary to victory. Shut down the bigs, and they have to completely and fully rely on the incredible talents of both Jeremiah Dominguez and Deonte Huff.
- Guard the Three-Point Line :: They are a really good three-point shooting team, as almost everyone in their rotation can hit it up from the outside. Morrison can't, but Huff and Dominguez and Coston all shoot very well from beyond the arc, as does Tyrell Mara and Andre Murray. The three-point shot is the great equalizer in college basketball, especially in the NCAA Tournament. As long as we don't let the Vikings explode from beyond the three-point line, we should be fine.
- Don't Become Complacent :: This is the key to the entire NCAA Tournament. As long as we don't become complacent, we have an awesome chance at winning six in a row and taking home the hardware. We are better than almost everyone in the country, and as long as we stay pissed off and motivated, no one can beat us. Seriously. The only way we get ourselves in trouble is if we become the complacent team that went 4-3 in the middle of conference play. And let's be honest, even if it happens tomorrow we should still pull it out, but let's not start any bad habits or anything.
Prediction :: Portland State 68 vs. Kansas 90