Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Prediction Kentucky and Louisville

Published on March 31, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

Kentucky is playing lights out right now they are clearly the best team in the country. I don’t know if some of the bad NBA teams could beat them right now. Michael Kidd Gilchrist is still the best freshman in the country behind Davis. No one can stop him from driving to the basket he just has too much strength. After struggling the 1st weekend Gilchrist was unstoppable the 2nd weekend. For the tournament he is averaging 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. In his last two games he is averaging 21.5 points. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was just unstoppable in the last game versus Baylor. He finished the game with 19 points and 5 rebounds. He shot 7 of 10 from the field. He was a man, and Baylor had no one who could stop him. Anthony Davis will be the Player, Freshman, and Defensive Player of the Year. He is clearly the best player in the nation. Just look what he is doing in the NCAA tournament. Davis is averaging 14.5 points, 11 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, and 2.7 assists. Davis had a scare with a knee injury against Baylor but lucky for him it was nothing serious. All he did was score 18 points, bring down 11 rebounds and have 6 blocks. Davis is also showing off his all-around game as he hit a couple long jump shots in this game. Sure Terrence Jones only scored 12 points versus Baylor, but he dominated the game in every other area. Jones finished with 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Now that is filling out the stat sheet. So far in 4 tournament games Jones is averaging 13.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.

Doron Lamb is the best shooter left in the tournament. Lamb has turned his game up another notch in the NCAA tournament. He is averaging 16.8 points per game compared to 13.2 points in the regular season. He is shooting 60 % from three in 4 tournament games. Lamb had zero points in the 1st half but in the second half he scored 14 points against the Bears. He got half of his points from the free throw line. Point guard Marquis Teague struggled early in the season but now he has grown up and he isn’t playing like a freshman anymore. In the tournament he is averaging 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3 rebounds. If Teague is playing his best the Wildcats might be unbeatable. He didn’t play his best last time out as he had 4 turnovers against Baylor. Darius Miller had another solid game off the bench with 8 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals versus Baylor. Against Indiana, Miller had 19 points. Everyone always talks about the Wildcats defense but they can really defend. They held Baylor to shot 39 % from the field. Kentucky also had 9 blocks and forced 14 Baylor turnovers.

Louisville has gotten to the final four by playing great defense and certain players are playing their best basketball of the season right now. Last time out against Florida the Cardinals finished the game on an 18-3 run to beat the Gators 72-68. In the first half Florida made 8 threes but in the second half they had 0. That was because of a great coaching adjustment made by Rick Pitino. Earlier versus Michigan State the Louisville defense was lights out. They forced Michigan State to shoot 14 of 49 from the field that is 29 %. The Cardinals also forced 15 turnovers and had 7 blocks.

The Cardinals won the game versus Florida because of two players Russ Smith and Chane Behanan. Behanan finished the game with 17 points and 7 rebounds. He shot 7 of 10 from the field. Behanan was clutch down the stretch as he made the go ahead shot with about a minute left in the game. The freshman stepped up his game big time. Despite being an oversized forward Behanan gets it done. In the tournament Behanan is averaging 14 points and 7.8 rebounds. He only averaged 9 points in the regular season. Russ Smith came off the bench and had a huge game again versus Florida. He finished the game with 19 points, and 5 rebounds. He made a lot of clutch free throws down the stretch. So far in the tournament he is averaging 13.3 points and 3 rebounds. Smith is also making about 2 three’s per game.

Point guard Peyton Siva played a great game versus Florida despite fouling out of the game. He finished with 9 points. More importantly he played like a true point guard with 8 assists and only 1 turnover. Siva is playing the best basketball of his career right now. In the tournament Siva is averaging 9 points and 7 assists. He is the leader in assists in the tournament. His only problem is he has fouled out of 2 games. Gorgui Dieng did not have the blocks he had last game but he had another solid game. He finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds. Dieng is one of the most improved players in the nation. So far in the tournament Dieng is averaging 7 points, 8 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. He is the force in the middle for Louisville. Dieng is only going to get better and better.

Kyle Kuric finished with 8 points but his shooting struggles continued in this game. Kuric is one of the best shooters out there but in he has struggled in the NCAA tournament. He is shooting 24 % (5-21) from three. He is still averaging 9.5 points per game in the tournament. Chris Smith isn’t going to score a lot of points but he is a good defender and three point shooter. Smith is averaging 7 points per game in the NCAA tournament. All but 3 of his field goals have been three pointers. Going forward Louisville still needs to rebound better. Against Florida they were minus 5 on the glass and the Gators are not a big team.

As for this game I like Kentucky to win just too much talent. I don’t think the Cardinals will have an answer for Michael Kidd Gilchrist and Anthony Davis. When the two teams played earlier this season the two combined for 42 points and 29 rebounds. I think the Wildcats will pound Louisville on the glass. While everyone talks about Louisville’s defense Kentucky also plays just as equally if not better defense. Kentucky is shooting very well from the free throw line in the tournament. They shot 35 out of 37 that is 95 % versus Indiana. Look for them to seal the game late from the charity strike. Doron Lamb will also hit a key shot down the stretch as the Wildcats head to the championship game.

Score: Kentucky-70 Louisville-64



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