On Friday, the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks of the South Region square off against the fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines. The game is scheduled for 6:37 central time, and will be shown on TBS. Here are three keys to victory for the Jayhawks.
1. Don’t let a slow start kill your spirit: This happened last Saturday to the Virginia Commonwealth Commodores in their round of 32 match-up against the Wolverines. A very bad first half of shooting and Shaka Smart’s team had no chance the rest of the way. The game was basically over at halftime, with Michigan holding a 38-23 lead. Shots that normally would fall for VCU failed in the game. Kansas had a slow start on Sunday in their game with North Carolina, falling behind by 10 points early. If this happens again, Kansas needs to persevere once again.
2. Don’t allow the Wolverine guards to drive past you: Michigan has a strong group of guards led by Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. The guards dominated VCU’s vaunted “Havoc” style defense in the game, easily driving past the Commodores. Kansas with solid defense from Travis Releford, Ben McLemore, Naadir Tharpe, and Elijah Johnson should slow the Wolverine guards down.
3. Jeff Withey vs Mitch McGary match-up: A key battle in the middle between senior Withey and freshman McGary could decide this game. Withey has walked over both of the first two opponents in the middle as North Carolina and Western Kentucky had nobody to match his size. Michigan does. McGary, who stands at 6-10 has gotten better as the season has progressed, including an 21- point, and 14-rebound performance on Saturday. If Withey can dominate the middle, then Kansas has a very good chance at winning this game.
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