Mar 23, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Mitch McGary (4) goes to the basket in the second half against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament at The Palace. Michigan won 78-53. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas Basketball: Keys to Victory For Jayhawks vs Michigan


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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Tags: Basketball Featured Kansas Jayhawks Michigan Wolverines NCAA Tournament Popular

  • sidibeke

    I don’t know about #2. Obviously, you want to play D, but that’s what Withey does. Of course, the UM guards can dish, so you don’t want them to totally break down the D, but as long as the help shifts, I’m okay with letting Burke and Hardaway try their luck in the lane. What do you think?

  • sidibeke

    Here are my 3 keys:
    1) Pound it low. McGary gets in foul trouble, and I don’t see UM winning.
    2) Shut Hardaway down. I’m looking at you Travis.
    3) Rebound. There is no reason KU should not outrebound UM. They have more size and more depth at the low post. If KU gets after the ball, they will win the battle of the boards. This, of course, will lead to transition points.

    If we do these, I think the Hawks move on, even if we do turn the ball over 15+ times.