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An Unbelievable Upset
A 16 beat a one. A 16-seed actually beat a one. UMBC’s unprecedented upset over Virginia was an historic ass-whopping. They did not just win, they won by 20 points.
The Retrievers’ unbelievable win created a social media monster. The man behind @UMBCAthletics account spent the night dragging the haters in a hilarious fashion. The victory also completely opened up the South Region. Kentucky’s draw suddenly does not look so bad after all.
Fans can look ahead and dream, while the players focus all of their attention on Buffalo.
Buffalo is “Confident”
There’s a fine line between cocky and confident. Some might say the Buffalo Bulls are toeing that line, while others might say they’ve abandoned all reservations to send the Kentucky Wildcats a message: we’re coming for ya.
It starts at the top. Nate Oats called out Calipari for “whining,” and did not walk back from that statement when given the chance. Coach Cal did not like it, but he understands.
“If I were on their team I’d feel very confident, too,” he said. “The way they played, I watched about six tapes of them, and they remind me of my UMass teams. Hard-nosed, tough, swagger, chip on their shoulder.”
You can’t blame Buffalo for being too confident, until that bulletin board material gives Kentucky more motivation to teach them a lesson, a la 2015 West Virginia. Coach Cal’s message to his team is simple: prepare to fight.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 17, 2018
Guard the Three-Point Line
Just like Davidson, Kentucky can’t let Buffalo beat them from behind the three-point line. The Bulls are are 37.6 percent three-point shooting team that knocked down 15-of-30 to defeat Arizona. When center Nick Perkins is in the game, they have five three-point threats on the floor.
Kentucky’s top-five three-point defense looked the part for about 30 minutes against Davidson. Gudmundsson used that opportunity to hit five straight threes. The Cats can’t let something like that happen again.
It’s Washington and Wenyen’s Time to Shine
With the Bulls spreading the floor offensively, Kentucky will play plenty of small ball with P.J. Washington and Wenyen Gabriel.
Washington’s physicality can take Perkins out of the game, if foul trouble doesn’t take him out of the game first. Kentucky does not need another seven three-point performance (although I would not mind it) from Gabriel, they just need him to rebound and play sound defense. When Davidson spread the floor, Wenyen got lost too often on back-cuts. If Kentucky learned a lesson in the first round, they should be fine in the round of 32.
TV, Radio, Vegas
TV — Tip-off vs. Buffalo is at 5:15 ET on CBS with Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington on the call.
Radio — The KSR Pregame Show begins at 2:30 on 630 WLAP. Hear Leach and Pratt on the UK Sports Network.
Vegas — UK -6
Today’s NCAA Tournament Schedule
|12:10||#9 Alabama vs. #1 Villanova||CBS|
|2:45||#7 Rhode Island vs. #2 Duke||CBS|
|5:15||#13 Buffalo vs. #5 Kentucky||CBS|
|6:10||#11 Loyola vs. #3 Tennessee||TNT|
|7:10||#8 Seton Hall vs. #1 Kansas||TBS|
|7:45||#5 Ohio State vs. #4 Gonzaga||CBS|
|8:35||#6 Florida vs. #3 Texas Tech||TNT|
|9:35||#6 Houston vs. #3 Michigan||TBS|
Not Weird, Not Weird at All
The Texas A&M yell leader went toe-to-toe with the Providence Friar in the world’s most awkward mascot dance-off.
They had a ‘mascot’ dance off during a time out here in Charlotte — an Aggie yell leader vs. that creepy thing from Providence (and I mean that with all due respect of course): #ScaryMovieGhostFace pic.twitter.com/IVQCrtd7g8
— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) March 16, 2018
Happy St. Patrick’s Day