After Kansas survived a tough test against Illinois in the Round of 32, they must not avoid being eliminated for the second straight year by a Cinderella opponent. This year it's Richmond, in San Antonio in the Southwest Regional semifinal--the game will be broadcast on TBS at 4:27 PM PT/7:27 PM ET (click here for the full schedule) with Marv Albert and Steve Kerr commentating and Craig Sager patrolling the sidelines.
Here's our quickie look at both teams.
Ken Pomeroy says ... 5th best offense and 9th best defense. One of the fastest tempos in college basketball. The best shooting team in the country (particularly on twos, although they're excellent on threes too). Great three point shooting defense and solid two point defense. Great rebounding team, particularly on the defensive boards. Good at keeping teams off the free throw line.
The weaknesses for Kansas are pedestrian free throw shooting and average ball-handling. They turn the ball over a bit and they don't force as many turnovers as expected, although they're good at steals and blocks.
#12 Richmond Spiders
Ken Pomeroy says ... 40th best offense and 48th best defense. One of the slowest tempos in college basketball. Great shooting offense and defense, particularly on three pointers (although they're no slouches at two pointers). Also good at holding onto the ball.
The biggest weakness with Richmond is rebounding. One of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the country (although some of that probably has to do with their excellent shooting), not that much better at defensive boards, and even worse at getting to the free throw line (some of that probably has to do with their reliance on three point shots).
Prediction: If Kansas was meeting Richmond a round earlier, I'd think the Spiders would have a chance, but with a week to prepare for a potential upset, the Jayhawks will probably have the right idea here--pound it inside with their excellent two point offense, and if they miss, force Richmond to grab rebounds against Kansas's imposing frontline. The only thing that could really trip up Kansas is if they rush things and not work their offense, and they get impatient trying to be methodical against Richmond's defense. If they do that, the Spiders stand a chance.
If you don't think they can, Rock Chalk, and pick Kansas to send Cinderella home before midnight.