The No. 3 seeded Baylor Bears are looking to pull off the upset against No. 1 seed Kentucky Wildcats and advance to the Final Four. Baylor has their work cut out for them as Kentucky is the best team in the country and goes six players deep that average at least 10 points per game.
Baylor has the athletes to compete with Kentucky's starting five, but once the teams did into their bench is when the edge moves well over to Kentucky.
Here are just some of the keys to the game that Our Daily Bears put together:
The only reason the Bears victory over Xavier was not much larger was an almost 5 minute drought near the end of the first half. Baylor cannot do that against Kentucky. They did that against the two other elite teams we have played (Missouri and Kansas) and it cost them in 5 games this year. The Bears need to stop runs and make sure they get good shots on most possessions.
One weakness I have seen for the Bears this year is their lack of a guy to just get to the free throw line at times and slow the game down, or stop a run. Tu Holloway did this for Xavier against us, but we have not had a player consistently do this for us. Hopefully, Pierre Jackson can grow into that guy, as he is an excellent free throw shooter.
Limit Turnovers and Fastbreak Points:
Baylor cannot turn the ball over more than 12 times in this game to really have a chance, at least in my opinion. They also cannot let the Wildcats get out and run, as this is when their game goes to another level. When the Wildcats get out and run, they really start attacking on defense to get more chances for fast break opportunities.
In a half court game, the Wildcats lack of a true seasoned point guard can limit their offensive possessions. They will sometimes look a bit uninterested on offense, and not really move the ball. Baylor has to make this a half court game and make Kentucky work for their points.
This is not going to be a game where we see both teams in the 50s or even 60s. Kentucky is going to score. They are going to get to 70 points more than likely. Baylor has to make shots and shoot the ball well. The Bears will not have the advantage in height in this game, so to depend on second chance points and offensive rebounds will be risky. Baylor has to simply make shots. If they are open, they have to hit them.
The magic numbers for 3-pointers is usually 10 for an upset. Baylor has to hit that, and shoot at least 45% from the field to give themselves a fighting chance.
Baylor has a lot of things to right just to have a chance to win and probably play a perfect game if they want to get past Kentucky.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, March 25, 2:20 p.m. ET
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.
Radio: Dial Global Sports
Streaming: NCAA March Madness Live
Line: Kentucky (-7.5)
Go visit Our Daily Bears for more on Baylor hoops and for everything on Kentucky go visit A Sea of Blue. For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for tons of analysis on the Sweet 16, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.