2014 March Madness: #8 Kentucky vs #9 Kansas State

Julius Randle Kentucky Wildcats 2014 NCAA TournamentWe are picking every NCAA Tournament game in an effort to help you fill out your bracket and win your office pool.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari is a great recruiter, but turning over a roster every year might be getting to him. The players on his roster will go onto the NBA and have great careers, but the last two seasons have been disappointing.

Kansas State played one of the hardest schedules in college basketball. They were playing a ranked team every other night. I am surprised they survived and played well enough for an at-large bid.

Can the Kentucky freshman pull it together and make some noise in the tournament?

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Kentucky is in a constant state of rebuilding. They get some of the best freshman every year, but then they leave. Julius Randle and James Young are two players in this year’s ‘one and done’ freshman class. The Wildcats were the preseason #1 ranked team, but that didn’t last long. Their non-conference schedule was difficult, but they only beat one of the ranked teams they played. The SEC wasn’t a highly-competitive conference, yet Kentucky struggled against some average teams.

Kansas State started off the season great, but once the Big 12 schedule began, they were humbled. They had some great wins (Iowa State, Kansas, Texas & Oklahoma), but struggled to win back-to-back games. KSU freshman guard Marcus Foster carried this team with his shooting ability. He loves the outside shot and hit 40% from behind the arc.

When will John Calipari get tired of recruiting a new team every season? He got lucky a few years ago and thought he could keep doing it and win year after year. Kentucky is full of NBA talent, but they are not developed. If they were playing any other Big 12 team in the NCAA Tournament, I wouldn’t pick UK. Kansas State just doesn’t match up athletically with Kentucky. UK will win this game, but will struggle against Wichita State.

Prediction: #8 Kentucky Wildcats

 

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sweetbob-author-picAbout the Author…

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 ClicksGuyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.

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