South Region - Second Round
(24-9, 14-4 Big 12)
What You Need To Know: The Jayhawks can be dominant at times, but they also can look vulnerable – and puzzling. Bill Self's team is blessed with great talent, but all the skill and all the NBA prospects don’t always play together for a full 40 minutes, leaving KU struggling for long stretches. Guard Andrew Wiggins is an electric scorer with a combination of size and skills that make him a difficult matchup for every guard his faces. He can slash to the basket, he's just a good enough outside shooter to keep opponents from packing the lane and he has a swagger that makes him want the ball with the game on the line. Wiggins is special, but the Jayhawks are at their best when he's just a piece of the puzzle. Perry Ellis is another quality scorer and rebounder who benefits from the attention paid to Wiggins, and Wayne Selden, Jr., can score inside and out. Naadir Tharpe is a fantastic passer in transition, but KU's hopes may rest on the back of center Joel Embiid. He has been fighting a fracture in his spine and is expected to miss at least the first week of the tournament. If he’s out longer, Kansas will desperately miss his game-altering presence in the paint.
Strengths: Rebounding, Shooting Inside The Arc, Scoring
Weaknesses: Steals, Turnovers, Three Point Shooting
(24-9. 11-5 OVC)
Eastern Kentucky Colonels
What You Need To Know: One of the best shooting teams in the tournament, the Colonels put points on the board in a hurry. They can push the tempo, but O isn’t loose with the ball and are smart enough to pull back on the reins when they don't have numbers. Senior guard Glenn Cosey is the catalyst, averaging 18.8 points a night and knocking down 42.5 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, but he's also a fantastic passer who boasts a 2-to-1 assists-to-turnover ratio. Corey Walden provides some balance in the backcourt and keeps opponents from concentrating on Cosey, and the trio of Marcus Lewis, Orlando Williams and Tarius Johnson all are confident with the basketball and won't shy away from taking an open shot.
Strengths: Scoring, Turnover Margin, Steals
Weaknesses: Blocked Shots, Rebounding, Field Goal Percentage Defense