Saturday, March 20, 2010
(1) Kansas Basketball vs (9) University of Northen Iowa
Morris twins will be key to victory, not Aldrich
Lawrence, Kan. - When the Kansas Jayhawks take the court Saturday afternoon, KU will face one of its most formidable big men in recent history.
Northern Iowa center Jordan Eglseder has studied every Kansas move, especially those of fellow center Cole Aldrich. Think about it, how many times were the Jayhawks on national television this season? 24 games? How about Northen Iowa? Two, maybe three?
Teams sit back and dream of knocking off top-ranked Kansas all-season long. Well, today Northen Iowa gets its chance.
Eglseder takes a team-leading 11.9 scoring average and 7.4 rebound mark into today’s second-round NCAA Midwest Regional game, set for a 4:40 p.m. start in Ford Center.
Aldrich comes into play averaging 11.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks (251 career, six shy of all-time leader Greg Ostertag).
Marcus Morris is coming off a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament first-round victory against Lehigh University.
Markieff, an inch taller, a much better outside shooter, and more highly touted coming out of high school will need to contribute on Saturday for the Jayhawks to defeat Northern Iowa.
With the twin towers in the game, you combine quickness, shot blocking, athleticism, and soft touch from within the perimeter.
“Having somebody you played with your whole life on the court with you, telling you how everything is, never sugar-coating it, it’s good,” Marcus said. “We’ve always had each other, so if he’s doing something wrong I’ll tell him, and if I’m doing something wrong, he’ll tell me. We’re so close that we keep each other in check and tell each other what we could do better.”
Kansas will need to find its killer attitude from 2008 starting today. The defining characteristic of Kansas' 2008 national championship team was its killer instinct, the joy it took in stepping on an opponent and never letting it up.
This seasons Jayhawks play a blue-collar game, grinding out the pace for 30 minutes, then exploding for 10 minutes to win a game in double-digits.
If the 2010 Jayhawks can find a way to play blue-collar basketball and develop the killer instinct the 2008 squad relished, there will be no stopping the Jayhawks on their path to St. Louis and Indianapolis.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Prediction: (1) Kansas 67, (9) Northern Iowa 54