i'll be honest. the university of northern iowa scares me.
they beat ku, which i'm beginning to realize was no fluke, and they have the type of team that can beat ku - themselves. they've got a big man underneath to lay on people (just like aldrich) and hot shooters (just like collins and others). they may not be the most athletic team in the league, play as fast the most or rebound the best, but when it boils down to what type of team ku couldn't beat - UNI has that physical composition. we saw this last weekend.
and as has been demonstrated 3 times this year by ku, kstate doesn't match up against a physical ogre underneath and sharp shooters on the wing. and that is exactly what UNI has. so if kstate can pull off this run to the final four, beat butler tomorrow night and end up in indianapolis next weekend - i'm really scared of the potential matchup against UNI. if they can beat the jayhawks, they can probably beat anybody. and kstate just doesn't match up well.
that having been said, its not like ohio st is anything less scary. evan turner has the potential to rip a team apart any night (not unlike byu's fredette and xavier's crawford, so the cats have some experience here). and tennessee not only handed ku its first loss earlier this season, but also beat at the time No. 1 kentucky. the only team that doesn't make me flat out nervous is michigan state - but tom izzo is a final four machine and should never be counted out. even without Lucas, they're still an izzo team.
which brings me back to UNI.
if i'm scared of all 4 teams - why wouldn't i want to face UNI? kstate beats the team that ku couldn't to go to the championship game! we lose to kansas 3 times in the regular season, and due to an early ku exit we don't get our 4th shot - could a beating of UNI be the next best thing? possible.
but lets not overlook butler. the bulldogs' win over syracuse was not a fluke. although i'm thankful to be playing butler instead of syracuse - this team is hot hot hot and has its eyes on a trip HOME to indianapolis. they matchup pretty even up and down the board with the exception of rebounding and blocks. curtis kelly has been a monster underneath so far this tournament and (i think) was the real reason for the victory last night against xavier. if kelly and jamar samuels can be a presence underneath and keep butler out of the lane - i think kstate is moving on to the final four. pullen and clemente will do what they do, sutton can shut down their best guard on defense, and colon can lay on some people underneath.
kstate looks good. butler might even look better. but i think kstate has the edge moving forward, and i'm really hoping for a matchup against UNI in the final four.
here's to hoping. bring on the cats.