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A matchup of two storied programs (nine titles combined) and several future NBA first-round picks will produce plenty of points
HOW TO BEAT CONNECTICUT
WHEN THE HUSKIES HAVE THE BALL
They like to play fast and they want to play in transition. Use a full-court zone press to slow them down and keep them from pushing the ball down your throat. They don't attack the zone well, so by the time they get into their offense there will be about 22 seconds on the shot clock, which cuts down their dribble penetration.
ATTACKING THE HUSKIES' DEFENSE
Shabazz Napier is the best on-the-ball defender of the tournament, if not the country. He takes you out of your offense. You have to screen him to relieve the pressure he puts on the ball. The other thing is, you need to get their big guys away from the rim as much as possible. Alex Oriakhi is not necessarily a shot blocker, but he's a great defensive rebounder—and that helps start their break. He and Charles Okwandu are very aggressive with their hands around the rim, so you should set a lot of baseline screens on the block for shooters to curl into the lane that way.
Obviously, Kemba Walker is the difference-maker. Keep him out of the lane and off the free throw line. The other guys are good players, but you have to make them shoot—and hope they miss. Use the zone and make them into a jump-shooting team.
HOW TO BEAT KENTUCKY
WHEN THE WILDCATS HAVE THE BALL