SEC NCAA Tournament Primer: Thursday/Saturday Games

Posted by EMoyer on March 15th, 2012

On Thursday, Kentucky and Vanderbilt open their NCAA Tournament runs facing Western Kentucky and Harvard, respectively. Here we preview the Thursday/Saturday possibilities for the Wildcats and Commodores.

SEC NCAA Tournament Thursday/Saturday Capsules

SOUTH Region 

  • #1 Kentucky: Championship Appearances: 53; Record 107-47; Best Finish: Champion – 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998; How Qualified: At-Large, SEC; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, National Semifinal
  • #16 Western Kentucky: Championship Appearances: 22; Record 19-22; Best Finish: Third Place – 1971; How Qualified: Automatic Bid, Sun Belt Conference; Last Appearance: 2009 – L, Second Round
  • #8 Iowa State: Championship Appearances: 14; Record 12-13; Best Finish: Final Four  – 1944; How Qualified: At Large, Big 12; Last Appearance: 2005 – L, Second Round
  • #9 Connecticut: Championship Appearances: 47; Record 35-43; Best Finish: Champion – 1999, 2004, 2011; How Qualified: At Large, Big East; Last Appearance: 2011 – Champion
All-Time Meetings
  • Kentucky vs Western Kentucky: Kentucky leads 3-2; Last Meeting: Nov. 15, 2001 (Western Kentucky 64, Kentucky 52)
  • Kentucky vs Iowa State: Kentucky leads 2-0; Last Meeting: Mar. 22, 1992 (Kentucky 106, Iowa State 98)
  • Kentucky vs Connecticut: Connecticut leads 3-1; Last Meeting: April 2, 2011 (Connecticut 56, Kentucky 55)
A Starting 5 of the Top Players Kentucky Could Face
  • Derrick Gordon, Western Kentucky, Fr., G: Gordon has amassed 400 points in his first year as a Hilltopper. Only two freshmen have scored more points in Western Kentucky history (Courtney Lee, 467;  Ralph Crosthwaite, 437). He is on pace to become the first Hilltopper freshman to pace the team in scoring and he will be the first in five years to lead in rebounding.
  • Chris Allen, Iowa State, Sr., G: Allen leads the team with 72 3-point field goals and he has played in the most NCAA Tournament games (14) in this year’s 68-team field. Allen played in two Final Fours for Michigan State (2009, 2010.
  • Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut, So., G: Lamb earned First-Team All-Big East honors and the NABC District I Player of the Year after leading the Huskies in scoring at 17.1 points per game.
  • Royce White, Iowa State, So., F: White is the only player in the nation to lead his team in scoring (13.1), rebounding (9.2), assists (5.1), steals (1.2) and blocks (0.9). He is on the verge of posting top-10 single seasons in assists and rebounds in Cyclone history. He is one of 12 players in the county to post a triple-double this season.
  • Andre Drummond, Connecticut, Fr., C: Drummond has tallied 10 double-doubles this season, a UConn freshman record under Coach Jim Calhoun. He won four Big East Rookie of the Week honors, and leads the team in rebounding (7.7) and blocks (2.7).
EAST Region
  • #5 Vanderbilt: Championship Appearances: 13; Record 9-13; Best Finish: Elite Eight – 1965; How Qualified: Automatic Bid, SEC; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, First Round
  • #12 Harvard: Championship Appearances: 1; Record 0-2; Best Finish: Elite Eight – 1946; How Qualified: Automatic Bid, Ivy League; Last Appearance: 1946 – L, Elite Eight
  • #4 Wisconsin: Championship Appearances: 18; Record 23-16; Best Finish: Champion – 1941; How Qualified: At Large, Big Ten; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, Sweet 16
  • #13 Montana: Championship Appearances: 9; Record 2-9; Best Finish: Sweet 16 – 1975; How Qualified: Automatic Bid, Big Sky Conference; Last Appearance: 2010 – L, First Round
A Starting 5 of the Top Players Vanderbilt Could Face
  • Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin, Sr., G: Taylor, a two-time First-Team All-Big Ten guard is the only player in Wisconsin history with 1,400 points and 400 assists. He owns a 2.97 career assist-to-turnover ratio (449 assists, 151 TOs), a ratio that would establish an NCAA career record.
  • Will Cherry, Montana, Sr., G: He ranks sixth in the NCAA in steals per game (2.58) and his 221 steals established a Montana all-time record and rank fifth in Big Sky history. He earned the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
  • Kyle Casey, Harvard, Jr., F: The preseason Ivy League Player of the Year has averaged 15.5 points and shot 56.8 percent in his last four games.
  • Keith Wright, Harvard, Sr., F: Wright paced the Ivy League in field goal percentage (59.4 percent) and owns the Crimson all-time blocks record with 149. He has tallied five double-doubles this season. He earned the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament MVP.
  • Jared Berggren, Wisconsin, Jr., F/C: As a regular starter for the first time in in 2011-12. He ranks third on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.0 rpg). Berggren also leads the team in blocks (53). He has raised his scoring average 8.1 points per game from last season, tied for the fourth highest increase in the Big Ten. Of all players 6’10’’ or taller, Berggren is third in the nation in 3-pointers made this year (41).
All-Time Meetings
  • Vanderbilt vs Harvard: Vanderbilt leads 1-0; Last Meeting: Dec. 28, 1993 (Vanderbilt 74, Harvard 58)
  • Vanderbilt vs Wisconsin: Never Met
  • Vanderbilt vs Montana: Never Met
EMoyer (47 Posts)

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