Truth is, Kansas needs a little cooperation from Kentucky to win this. Whether that’s foul trouble, a horrid shooting performance or some other unexpected event, Kansas needs Kentucky to play something less than its “A” game, try to keep it close until the last five minutes and hope to make a couple shots to steal a national title.
Kansas has had a habit of trailing early and coming back — from 13 down early against Ohio State, down 13-3 in the Sweet 16 to North Carolina State and down 19-8 to Purdue in the Round of 32. You can’t dig a hole like that against Kentucky and expect to survive.
It’s imperative for forward Thomas Robinson to stay out of foul trouble. When he’s in the game, Kansas can play even with Kentucky’s duo of Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis in the frontcourt. If he has to spend long stretches on the bench, it becomes advantage Wildcats.
Get Tyshawn on track
Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who shot 37.7 percent from the 3-point line this year, is 0 for 20 in the NCAA tournament. He’s due for a breakout game, and Kansas would get a big boost if it happens Monday night. On the other hand, going 0 for 5 might doom the Jayhawks.
Win the foul line
Kansas makes only 69 percent of its free throws but will probably need to be somewhere around 85 percent in this game. Kansas just can’t give up any easy points, and the only easy way to score against Kentucky is from the stripe. The Jayhawks need to get to the line more often than Kentucky and make shots once they get there.