(Stanford's leading scorer, Chasson Randle, showing off his Cardinal pride)
Today, at 12:15, the Kansas Jayhawks will be matched up with the Stanford Cardinals. The Stanford Cardinals are coming off a 58-53 win versus 7 seeded New Mexico. Kansas is coming off a 80-69 win versus Eastern Kentucky in the first round, and feeling pretty good about themselves.
Against Eastern Kentucky, Kansas was able to play into all of their strengths. After their tough first half, Kansas was able to dominate the boards, score at will, and shoot an amazing 60% from the floor! Not to mention, five of their players scored in double digits.
Kansas loves to dominate the boards, as they are 30th in total rebounds this year (3rd in Conference). With seven foot, Joel Embiid in the paint, any rebound is hard to come by for Kansas' opponent. Kansas also has long and tall guards, as Andrew Wiggins plays guard, but still averages 6 rebounds per game.
Kansas also loves to run, shoot, and score. Kansas is 5th in team FG% (1st in conference) and 21st in team PPG (1st in conference). With four men averaging above 10 PPG, their are always threats to score.
The only disadvantage for Kansas is the fact that they are a young team. Kansas' top 4 scoring threats are all underclassmen - 3 freshmen, 1 sophomore. Kansas has three seniors on the bench, but they average a combined 5 PPG, and only 17 MPG (Tarik Black playing 13 minutes).
Stanford, on the other hand, starts 5 upperclassmen - 2 seniors, 3 juniors. As we all have seen before, experience can always find a way to beat talent. However, I want to make a small change.
Experience AND CHEMISTRY can always find a way to beat talent. The whole point of experience is the fact that they have played together for a good amount of time, and have chemistry. Mercer didn't just beat Duke game because 5 seniors said, "I command the Gods to give us the win."
Mercer, has 5 senior starters, who have great chemistry together. Mercer has a great, fast moving offense, that runs based off of each other's talents. Mercer is 6th in team assists, 23rd in FG%, and 25th in PPG in the ENTIRE NATION. In their conference, Mercer is 1st in PPG, 1st in 3P%, 1st in FG%, and 3rd in total assists.
Obviously Mercer had chemistry together. Stanford, on the other hand, has experience, but I do not see team chemistry. Stanford is 192nd in total assists, 105th in PPG, and 75th in FG% in the nation. Kansas on the other hand, has talent AND chemistry! Kansas is 5th in FG% and 23rd in total assists in the entire nation!
The only way I see Stanford beating Kansas, is with their own talent. They also have 4 players scoring in double digits, and Chasson Randle averages more PPG than Andrew Wiggins of Kansas! If Chasson Randle goes out and scores 30, and the other three scorers average at least 3 points higher than their usual average, then I give Stanford a chance of beating Kansas.
However, with Kansas having great team chemistry, and obviously great talent, I see Kansas moving on to the Sweet Sixteen.