Two of college basketball's top programs will face off for the right to head to the Sweet 16. The Kansas Jayhawks won their opening game against Austin Peay 105-79, and will face upstart nine seed UConn. The Huskies knocked off Colorado 74-67. The winner will head to the South Regional in Louisville.
Even considering the opponent, Kansas was incredibly impressive. Austin Peay had no answer for Perry Ellis, who had 21 points on 12 shots, while Landen Lucas had a very nice 16 point effort. The brightest star for the Jayhawks comes as a bit of a surprise; young wing Svi Mykhailiuk dropped 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
UConn played in one of the craziest games of the early Thursday slate. Colorado was in control throughout the first half, but UConn cut down the lead heading into halftime, and wound up building a double-digit lead late in the second half. The Huskies nearly blew it late, but managed to hold on for the win. Rodney Purvis and Daniel Hamilton led the way for the Huskies, scoring 19 and 17 points, respectively.
Date: Saturday, March 19
TV Channel: TBD
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Opening Betting Line: TBD
Prediction: UConn may have the recent history of huge tournament runs as an underdog, and the team has some very talented players peaking in March, but the Jayhawks are too much for the Huskies here. UConn's backcourt, led by Hamilton, Purvis, and Sterling Gibbs, is talented, but Kansas' deadly triumvirate of guards will be prove to be too much. Perry Ellis also outclasses the Husky forwards. Kansas will prove why it is one of the tournament's heavy favorites, and advance to the second weekend.