Clang! Three Reasons Why Many Shots May Miss Tonight
Two "powerhouse" programs — Kansas and Kentucky.
Rosters full of potential NBA stars.
All the hype you would expect from an NCAA men's basketball championship.
But, alas, don't be surprised if there aren't as many "silky smooth jumpers" and other great shots as you might expect during tonight's big game, NPR's Mike Pesca reports.
Three things are working against the teams:
-- The game's being played in a dome; in this case, the New Orleans Superdome.
-- There will be about 70,000 people in the arena.
-- It's a "raised court," meaning the players will be stepping up on to the hardwood and have the sensation of being above their surroundings.
That all combines, coaches tell Mike, to create an environment that's much different than what the teams typically train and play on. It makes things tough. Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor ("a decent shooter", Mike says) was zero for 17 on three-point shots taken in domes during his college career before Saturday's game against Ohio State, in which he missed three more.
Oh, and there's also the pressure of being in the championship.
Still, the action should be intense. And though Kentucky is heavily favored, USA Today says, there is a way Kansas may be able to come out on top:
"You cannot out-skill Kentucky," Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus says. "You've got to hit them, but not in any illegal or dirty way." In particular, he and others say, Kansas needs to go right at Kentucky star Anthony Davis and keep putting pressure on him all game.
"You have to keep him occupied with a body on him," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo adds, according to USA Today. "Do not let him roam. When he roams, he's swatting everything."
Tip-off time is 9:23 p.m. ET, on CBS-TV.
The women's championship game between Baylor and Notre Dame, by the way, is set for Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.