Final Four - Kansas vs North Carolina

Posted: Saturday, April 05, 2008 by Travis Cody in
7


These are two teams with experience, quickness, and size. I think it's a pretty even match up. Each team can play a fast break style or a half court game. I think North Carolina has a slight edge if the tempo is fast, while Kansas may be a bit better in a slower game.

I just heard that one of the seniors for Kansas, Roderick Stewart, injured his knee during practice. He slipped on a wet spot on the floor and broke his kneecap.

I mentioned in my previous post that Memphis can go 38-1 if it wins on Monday and become the only college program ever to win 38 games. North Carolina can accomplish the same thing if it wins today and Monday to go 38-2.

Kansas is off to a great start, getting points inside and outside as well as getting out on the break. It looks easy for them right now on the offensive end.

Defensively, the Jayhawks are effectively doubling on Tyler Hansbrough and they look a little quicker than the Tarheels. Kansas leads by five at the under 16 minute time out.

Kansas is really well prepared and playing well. North Carolina looks a bit shaky, almost as though they are surprised at the size and quickness of the Jayhawks. The Tarheels certainly don't look like the #1 seed in the tournament.

Kansas has pushed to a 13 point lead at the under 12 minute time out.

I'd like to be able to write something good about UNC. But there's nothing. The Tarheels look like their shoes are filled with cement. They haven't been able to deal with the quickness of Kansas. They can't get the ball to Hansbrough where he can do anything with it. The guards can't turn the corner on the perimeter, which is the first time I've seen that all season. Normally Ty Lawson is the quicker player, but today he looks like he's playing in sand.

Every shot is contested. Every passing angle is shortened. The lane is not open.

Kansas leads by 26 at the under eight minute time out. Who saw that coming?

Kansas has gotten a bit ragged after pushing to its biggest lead of 28. North Carolina has been able to draw some charges on defense, and create a few turnovers to get out on the break. The Tarheels have cut the lead back to 21.

The ragged play continues for Kansas as North Carolina finally looks like it is getting into this game. The Tarheels are playing better defense which has allowed them to get the lead under 20.

Kansas finished the half with some bad decisions in a sloppy two minutes, allowing UNC to cut the lead to 17 at the half.

North Carolina looks a little more confident in its offense to start the second half. But defensively the Tarheels are still struggling, although they have managed to trim three points off the Kansas lead at the under 16 minute time out.

If there was one good thing about falling so far behind in the first half, it's that there was still plenty of time to climb back into the game. UNC's defensive intensity has picked up, and the Tarheels are now playing much more relaxed. They've cut the lead to 12.

Kansas is starting to play tight. UNC now looks like the quicker team and the Jayhawks look out of sync. Kansas is in panic mode and the Tarheels have cut the lead to six at the under 12 minute time out.

It's really a tale of two different games. In the first half, Kansas dominated through 16 minutes. Then UNC started to find its game and over the last 16 minutes the Tarheels have dominated.

Now the question becomes...which team is the stronger over the final eight minutes?

Kansas is using the high-low game to try and re-establish itself on the offensive end. The Jayhawks are making better decisions, but they still don't look confident.

UNC is finally playing like the overall #1 seed. The Tarheels trail by five at the under eight minute time out.

But just when it looks like UNC is about to take control, the offense gets sloppy and Kansas takes advantage. The Jayhawks are starting to look like the fresher team down the stretch.

The Tarheels try their half court trapping defense, but Kansas is prepared for it and has pushed the lead back to 12 at the under four minute time out.

Kansas is in control now. All the Jayhawks need to do is be patient, run their offense, and make their free throws.

The closest UNC could get was four points. Kansas ends up winning by 18 and will play Memphis in the championship on Monday.

Congratulations to North Carolina on a great season.

7 comments:

  1. Marsha says:

    Was that UNC I just saw go down the tubes?????

  1. Travis says:

    Marsha: It sure was. The way they played was totally unexpected. Monday night should be fun! Good luck!

  1. DrillerAA says:

    Monday night has all the markings of a classic game. Kansas and Memphis will be fun to watch. Get your popcorn ready, time your poddy breaks with the time outs and don't miss a second of this one.

  1. the teach says:

    Sorry Travis, you know I don't follow college sports but I'm happy you visited my PH post and commented... :D

  1. TorAa says:

    Ok then, I comment without Catsup:

    Brilliant entry

  1. Travis says:

    Drilleraa: I'm looking forward to it.

    Teach: Only one more game to go!

    Toraa: Thanks.

  1. Kimmie says:

    I WANT KANSAS!!!!

    Smiles,
    Kimmie