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NCAA Tournament Predictions: Kansas vs Connecticut

Who goes to Louisville?

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Round 2.  This situation is familiar, the one where Kansas comes in as a heavy favorite against a team with some name recognition.  Unfortunately, our recent history combined with the craziness we've already seen so far means that this game is far from certain.  Will we get to talk about an upcoming game for this team in the podcast this week?

NineToesBlogging: Kansas dominated Austin Peay, as many of us all predicted. However, the team depth was a very nice surprise and I think it may be key again in the round of 32 matchup against Uconn. Uconn has really good guard play but Kansas can match that and probably exceed the opposition. I don't see anyone stopping Ellis and look for Graham to have another good game after not scoring against Austin Peay. Of course I have a sense of anxiousness and nervousness in this one because you just never really know. I think KU will get a big run ranging in the 16-2 range that will ultimately give them the edge. All this team needs to do is focus on the task at hand and it should be business as usual. Kansas 78, UCONN 65

Winmore: UCONN will put the fear of God into Bill Self, his Jayhawks, and their fans on Saturday. The Huskies are on one of their magical March runs again. Their coach, Kevin Ollie, has yet to lose in the big dance with a now 7-0 record. Let up a little against the Huskies and they will make you pay. That's what they did against Cincy in the American Conference Tournament to extend their season, and it's what they did against Colorado on Thursday. A brain cramp by Kansas on Saturday will most likely end their season, but I think they'll get it done and finally, after three long years, make it out of the tournament's first weekend. Kansas 80, UCONN 76 in OT

mikeville: I don't know much about UConn, so what you're about to read is coming straight out of you-know-where.  I can see the Huskies hanging around for 10, maybe 15 minutes.  I expect Kansas to take about a 10-point lead into the half, and go on a run early in the second half.  I don't think UConn will stop Perry Ellis, and watch out if Svi if hot again. Kansas 79, UConn 65

fizzle406: I'm too nervous to make an informed prediction. Uconn 77, Kansas 76

dnoll5: Let's call it like it is.  By name, UConn is scary.  By actual body of work, this should be a win for KU.  And I think both of these things work in KU's favor.  They have a big name with recent history so they won't look past them and if they play their game, they'll be fine. Kansas 80, UConn 65

David: UConn is officially in my head. Kansas can hit threes, but the foundation of the offense is creating and converting good looks in the lane and at the rim. Connecticut specializes in shutting that down, with a top 15 block rate and top 5 2 point defense. With the way Kansas struggled to unlock Baylor's mediocre zone in Kansas City, followed by their difficulty scoring in the first half against West Virginia, the offense has me on edge right now, regardless of what they did to Austin Peay. UConn is just a terrible matchup for Kansas. The Jayhawks are certainly capable of winning this one but I'm afraid this team is going back to Lawrence early again. Connecticut 72, Kansas 70

Jvaughn11: I am a wreck this time of year and my pessimistic nature always kicks into overdrive. That said I feel relatively good about this one. Regardless of their seed UCONN is still UCONN and their ability to make tourney runs is well known, however, I think this benefits KU. I know psychological effects are not quantifiable but I do believe playing a brand name team benefits KU. Maybe it relieves some of the pressure to "beat the team you you're supposed to beat". I agree with NineToes on the benefit of depth. If Traylor, Bragg and Svi can provide good minutes KU can survive a semi-off night from one of starters. I am not certain by any means, you can't be this time of year, but KANSAS 82 UCONN 76. (I actually think we win by more but cocky equals jinxing in my superstitious world) ROCK CHALK and let's do this again next week!

misterbrain: As good as Uconn is, Kansas has no business losing this game. The Jayhawks have shown time and again that if you take away the inside, they'll light you up from outside.  If you focus on the arc, they'll toss it over you and get points down low.  Sure the Huskies have a good defense, but I have a hard time believing they are quite ready for such a good offensive team both inside and out. Kansas 85, Connecticut 79