Final Four teams collide in this epic Sweet 16 matchup between Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones against Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker.
The top freshmen on John Calipari’s 38-1 2015 squad, Towns and Booker improved slowly but surely before erupting during SEC play. In one stretch of seven games, Booker connected on 20 of 28 (71.4 percent) of his 3-point shots. Needless to say, he was on fire.
It took the 2011 squad a little longer to come along. They notched plenty of tough, close losses on the road in SEC play before Brandon Knight’s clutch gene took over in the NCAA Tournament. He hit a game-winner in the opening round against Princeton and buried the go-ahead bucket in the final 20 seconds to knock off No. 1 overall seed Ohio State on the Wildcats’ way to the Final Four.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Of all the matchups so far, the final one in the Sweet 16 of KSR’s BBN Jam Tournament might be the most entertaining. The opponents stack up well against one another. Towns has more height on Jones, but Jones can spread out the floor and score facing the basket. Knight and Booker are each great scorers, but the former preferred to go off the dribble while Booker excelled as a spot-up shooter.
In a two-on-two setting, 2011 actually might have an advantage because they don’t need others to set them up to score. Each can put the ball in the hole in isolation settings. Towns certainly could do the same if he’s not double teamed. If Jones needs help on defense from Knight, a three-point bucket from Booker is waiting. This matchup hinges on Jones’ ability to slow Towns’ roll. Can he do it well enough for Knight to carry 2011 to an upset? That’s what happened in the BBN Jam NBA 2K simulation.
2011 continues their run.
Final: 2011- 21, 2015 Blue- 15
Knight: 12 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL, 12-18
Jones: 9 PTS, 9 REB, 9-19
KAT: 5 PTS, 9 REB, 5-13
Booker: 10 PTS, 9-16, FG, 1-1 3FG pic.twitter.com/xuodyAy7Uq
— BBN JAM Simulation (@JamSimulation) April 18, 2020
So who’s it going to be, the sweethearts from 2015 or Calipari’s first Final Four team from 2011?