Many of the players on the Kansas Jayhawks will be making a living in the NBA. They didn’t dominate college basketball this season, but they are a tough out in the tourney. They will be without Joel Embiid for a few games, but will they miss him against Eastern Kentucky?
Eastern Kentucky had to do a lot of work in their conference tournament to earn an automatic bid. Are they ready for Kansas?
Andrew Wiggins chose to attend Kansas with hopes of winning the NCAA Tournament and head into the NBA Draft as a winner. Can they win without Embiid?
Who do you think will win? We help you fill out your bracket.
Kansas has arguably the top two NBA prospects, but still only managed a 24-9 record. Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid could both benefit from another season in college, but that will not happen. Embiid suffered a back injury in the middle of the season and has struggled to stay on the court. They actually sat him the last four games of the season and will miss the first weekend of the tournament. Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. will need to pick up the slack.
Eastern Kentucky was probably the third best team in their own conference and the Ohio Valley isn’t exactly a powerhouse. They earned their spot in the tournament by upsetting Murray State and Belmont to win the conference tournament. The Colonels play a lot of small ball. They often have a lineup on the floor with the tallest player standing at a lowly 6’4. They are 350th in college basketball in rebounding, that’s dead last. I don’t think EKU has a shot against Kansas.
This game could get ugly in a hurry. I can only imagine if Embiid was healthy. He could end up with 20+ rebounds. Kansas is just too good and this is a horrible matchup for Eastern Kentucky. I am excited to watch the potential second-round matchup against #7 New Mexico. The absence of Embiid will be noticeable in that contest.
Prediction: #2 Kansas Jayhawks
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.