BBN Jam rolls along with a two/three matchup in the quarterfinals, pitting one of Tubby Smith’s best teams against John Calipari’s most improbable run to the National Championship game.
The second-seeded 2014 Wildcats were led inside by Julius Randle. In the power forward’s only season at Kentucky he recorded a double-double in 24 of his 40 games. The team was wildly inconsistent throughout the season, except for the reliable Randle. His clutch teammate, Aaron Harrison, had plenty of ups and downs until he sat on a perpetual high near the end of almost every single NCAA Tournament game, propelling the Cats to the title game.
The polar opposite of Aaron Harrison’s story is Keith Bogans’ NCAA Tournament story. The ultimate ‘What If,’ one of college basketball’s best players injured his ankle in the 2003 Sweet 16. Estill was able to shoulder the weight in Bogans’ absence to get the Cats to the Elite Eight. Instead of an epic duel between Bogans and Dwyane Wade, the Wildcats fell to Tom Crean’s Marquette team.
TALE OF THE TAPE
This game would be fun to see play out because each team has a slight advantage over the other. Aaron Harrison is good, but he’s no Keith Bogans. It’s similar to the way Marquis Estill could score some points against Randle with his back to the basket, but once Randle pulls Estill away from the bucket on the other end of the floor, the spin-move will have its way to get Randle to the rack.
It’s clear each team has a player with the upper hand in this matchup. The question is, who has the stronger playmaker. Will Randle carry the 2014 team or will Bogans score an upset? The question is yours to answer.