Kentucky vs. North Carolina (Live Coverage)

  on March 27 2011 3:37 PM

Two traditional college basketball powers face off in Newark as the Kentucky Wildcats take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Elite Eight.

The Tar Heels are coming off a convincing victory over the Marquette Golden Eagles in the Sweet 16, while the Wildcats won a nail biter against the the Ohio State Buckeyes.

North Carolina is led by their excellent frontcourt of Tyler Zeller, John Henson, and Harrison Barnes. The trio had another great performance against Marquette when they combined to score 61 of the team's 81 points.

Their length will be needed tonight as they face a Kentucky team that has only one prominent big man, Josh Harrellson.

The 6'10 senior led the Wildcats in points (17) and rebounds (10) against an Ohio State team that had perhaps the best big man in the country in Jared Sullinger.

Harrellson is the only big man that sees a lot of minutes for Kentucky. He's joined in the frontcourt by Terrence Jones, a 6'8 freshman forward who averages 15.9 points per game, and 8.7 rebounds per game.

But what Kentucky lacks in the height and experience, they make up for in guard play. The Wildcats are led by guard Brandon Knight who averages 17.2 points per game. The freshman star hit the winning shot against Ohio State, and has been Kentucky's best offensive player this year.

He's joined in the backcourt by shooting guard Doron Lamb, and swing man Darius Miller. With Lamb and Miller, John Calipari's team can give North Carolina's Dexter Strickland, Leslie McDonald, and Kendall Marshall fits if they heat up.

It may be the defensive play of those guards that decides who wins tonight, since bench player DeAndre Liggins is also capable of going on a scoring run as he did against Ohio State when he dropped 15 points.

Indeed, this is a matchup of two contrasting styles. North Carolina has an imposing front court, and Kentucky has prolific guards. One team's strength is the other team's weakness.

The winner of tonight's game advances to the Final Four to play Connecticut in Houston.

 

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