Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Midwest Elite Eight Game Breakdown

Midwest Region Elite Eight Game Breakdown


#1 Kentucky vs. #3 Notre Dame (Cleveland, Ohio)

In the final game of the Midwest region, the #1 Kentucky Wildcats are set to face off against the #3 seed Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at 8:50 PM ET tonight. If we learned one thing after last round, it’s never, ever taunt the Kentucky Wildcats. West Virginia, the five seed in the Midwest, was extremely confident heading into the game…maybe a little too confident. Daxter Miles, Jr. called out the Wildcats, stating “they will be 36-1 after tonight,” on twitter. What ensued the following night was a 78-39 beatdown, which looked more like a middle school game then a sweet 16 matchup. Kentucky dominated all aspects of the game. They shot 48% from the field, 26-32 from the line, and held the Mountaineers to 24.1% shooting from the field. Five Wildcats (Trey Lyles, Harrison twins, Dakari Johnson, Devin Booker) scored in double figures, and Cauley-Stein added another 8 points and 10 rebounds. The scariest part of the game? One of Kentucky’s best players, projected lottery pick Karl-Anthony Towns finished with one point and two rebounds on 0-3 shooting from the field.

As for Notre Dame, they also put up a nice effort against a really good team, the seventh seed Wichita State Shockers. The game was close at half (Notre Dame up only three), but the Irish pulled away in the second half, winning the game by 11 points. Jerian Grant finished with 9 points and 11 assists, and Demetrius Jackson finished with 20 points and a couple boards as well. When Notre Dame is hitting threes, like they were against Wichita State, they are a very tough team to beat. The Irish shot 9-19 from behind the arc, as well as over 50% from the field.

The problem with this matchup, however, is the Irish really don’t have the size to match Kentucky. Big man Zach Auguste can match up with Cauley-Stein or Towns just fine, but the Irish usually play Pat Connaughton (6-5, 214 pounds) at power forward. Connaughton is an extremely talented forward who can battle it out with some big guys, but matching up with either of these giants is just too tall a task for this undersized forward. If Notre Dame goes off from behind the arc (at least 15 threes) they’ll have a chance of winning this game. If they are unable to help down low and miss threes, this one will be over quickly.


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