The No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks head to St. Louis on Friday night to face the No. 11 ranked N.C. State Wolfpack. They head into this game favored but they're coming off a pretty big scare from the last round when they barely escaped the Purdue Boilermakers in a 63-60 win. Purdue threw Kansas for a loop by playing an unconventional style in which they sometimes had five guards on the court, running a motion offense.
The Jayhawks are looking forward to this matchup as it's a return to normalcy. NC State isn't expected to run any weird offenses or match up guards up against post players. Instead they're going to play right into the Jayhawks' hands by playing normal, boring basketball.
"We got guards on guards, bigs on bigs, so it matches up evenly," Kansas guard Travis Releford said.
However, NC State won't let the Jayhawks roll over them. Even if they are matched up evenly, there are some talented players on this Wolf Pack team.
"The challenge for Kansas is: N.C. State is a team that can beat you at all five positions offensively," said analyst and former coach Fran Fraschilla. "There’s no one player to key on. The entire starting lineup at various times during the year has proven to be dangerous."
NC State has defeated San Diego State and Georgetown to get to this point in the tournament, and while they're extremely talented, Fraschilla also believes that the Wolf Pack, especially the post players, may have trouble matching up against the Jayhawks down low.
"N.C. State has two good inside players. But are they going to be able to score over Robinson and Withey?" Fraschilla said. "Can they contain Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson? The way Johnson has been playing lately, this is one of the best backcourts in the country right now."
Kansas may have their hands full with an extremely talented Wolf Pack team late on Friday night in their quest to get to the Elite 8, but they should be relieved to know that NC State won't throw an unorthodox lineup at them in St. Louis, that is unless they learned a lesson from Purdue.