SEC NCAA Tournament Primer: South RegionPosted by EMoyer on March 22nd, 2012
On Friday night, Kentucky will play in its 23rd Sweet Sixteen, facing rival Indiana . Here we preview the game between the Wildcats and Hoosiers as well as the possibilities for the Wildcats in the Elite Eight.
SEC NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal Capsule
- #1 Kentucky: Championship Appearances: 52; Record 109-47; Best Finish: Champion – 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998; How Qualified: At-Large, SEC; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, National Semifinal
- #4 Indiana: Championship Appearances: 36; Record 62-30; Best Finish: Champion – 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987; How Qualified: At-Large, Big Ten; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, First Round
- #3 Baylor: Championship Appearances: 7; Record 8-8; Best Finish: Runner Up – 1948; How Qualified: At Large, Big 12; Last Appearance: 2010 – L, Elite 8
- #10 Xavier: Championship Appearances: 23; Record 21-22; Best Finish: Elite 8 – 2004, 2008; How Qualified: At Large, Atlantic 10; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, Sweet 16
- Kentucky vs Indiana: Kentucky leads 31-24; Last Meeting: Dec. 11, 2011 (Indiana 73, Kentucky 72)
- Kentucky vs Baylor: Kentucky leads 6-0; Last Meeting: Dec. 8, 1979 (Kentucky 80, Baylor 46)
- Kentucky vs Xavier: Kentucky leads 37-2; Last Meeting: Nov. 30, 1968 (Kentucky 115, Baylor 68)
A Starting Five of the Top Players Kentucky Could Face
- Tu Holloway, Xavier, Sr., G: The only player in the A-10 to rank in the top five in scoring and assists. He ranks sixth in XU history with 1,811 points and third with 547 assists. Only one other Xavier player has totaled at least 1,000 points and 500 assists (Jamal Walker).Dating back to Xavier’s classic double-overtime game with Kansas State in 2010, Holloway has averaged 19.3 points per game and shot 47.8 percent on 3-point tries in his last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
- Brady Heslip, Baylor, So., G: Although probably not considered the second-best player on the loaded Baylor squad that also includes Quincy Acy, Pierre Jackson and Quincy Miller, Heslip shot himself onto this list with his performance against Colorado in the third round on Sunday. He hit 9 3-pointers setting a Bears NCAA Tournament record and tying for the fourth-most in a single game in NCAA tournament history. He has shot 63.6 percent (14-for-22) in two NCAA Tournament games this season.
- Perry Jones III, Baylor, So., F: Jones III, the Big 12′s Preseason Player of the Year is capable of carrying the Bears to the Final Four, but at the same time, could hold them back. After averaging 21.7 points and 9.7 rebounds on 57.1 percent shooting in the Big 12 Tournament, he has followed up with a subpar NCAA Tournament, totaling a mere 9 points in wins against South Dakota State and Colorado. He has missed 10 of his 14 shots against the Jackrabbits and Buffaloes.
- Christian Watford, Indiana, Jr., F: Watford buried the game-winning 3-pointer against Kentucky in the Dec. 10 showdown in Bloomington, part of his game-high 20-point effort against the Wildcats. In nine games against nationally ranked opponent he has averaged 15.7 points has shot 48.5 percent from the floor and 52.6 percent on his 3-point tries (up from 11.0 PPG, 38.2 FG Pct and 40.3 3-pt FG Pct against non-ranked teams).
- Cody Zeller, Indiana, Fr., F: The Big Ten Freshman of the Year has averaged 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in four postseason games (2 Big Ten, 2 NCAA). He has a pair of double-doubles in that span. Among freshmen, he trails only Anthony Davis in field goal percentage, shooting 62.2 percent (Davis is at 63.6 percent). He finished as one of the five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award as the National Freshman of the Year.