Live and die by the 3-ball: Breakdown of Samford and Bucky Ball in NCAA Tournament

Samford v Purdue
Samford v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

March Madness is officially here. The matchups are set, the bright lights are on, and it's time to show up or go home. Kansas basketball drew the Samford Bulldogs in the first round. While many pundits are picking this as a trendy upset pick, we will break down why it could be and why it won't be.

Samford does many things that the Jayhawks struggle with. They shoot the ball at an elite clip at 39% as a team on over 25 attempts per game. They also love to press after a made shot and speed up the opposing team. The Jayhawks have struggled with both of these aspects in the regular season.

Bucky Ball is derived from deploying 11 players who average double-digit minutes. Using those players to speed up the game and tempo by flying around pressing and trying to force the opponents into quick shots. They are led by forward Achor Achor, who averages 15.8 points per game and shoots over 44% from three this season. Four other players average between 9.4 to 11.6 points per game.

They have a balanced attack and everyone contributes on their roster. Both of these factors could come into play as the underdog tries to take down the blueblood. Just like any game, if a team gets hot from 3-point range, it is hard to overcome.

We all know the Jayhawks have labored down the stretch and have flat-out not looked good. Kansas could come out and lay an egg, and I wouldn't be totally surprised.

However, let's not forget this is a veteran squad led by Bill Self. They have heard all the doubters and first-round upset chatter. The NCAA Tournament is a new season. The regular season is finished, and it's time to punch in and go to work.

For what it's worth, Samford does they also have their fair share of struggles. If they are not hitting their threes, they will get run out of the gym. They also will turn the ball over a lot, averaging over 13 a game as a team. KU can use this to get out and run and beat the press for easy points and layups.

Samford played Purdue in the first game of the season and lost by 53 points. Samford is no juggernaut, and we are Kansas! Our other big advantage is our size with Hunter Dickinson down low. They only have two guys with real size on their roster and they have averaged 12 and seven minutes a game each. If we can slow the game down and pound the ball inside, Hunter should have a field day getting what he wants.

The bottom line is when you get into the tourney, every game is a win-or-go-home scenario. Thursday night, I predict the Jayhawks march on and give the fan base and the nation a reminder of who we are.

As Always Rock Chalk and Let's Go!