NCAA Bracket 2011: Kentucky vs. North Carolina, Another Shot at Redemption
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John Calipari led the Kentucky Wildcats to a huge victory over the No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in Newark Friday evening, a huge win where the Cats played the perfect game. They took Sullinger out of the game and limited the Buckeyes' three-point shots, and it certainly didn't hurt that Ohio State missed six free throws.
Now, head coach John Calipari must get Brandon Knight and the boys prepared for an Elite Eight matchup against Harrison Barnes and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Yet another rematch for the Wildcats, as they fell to the Heels the first time in Chapel Hill.
So far, the Wildcats have played Vanderbilt, Florida, Ole Miss and Alabama twice. The Wildcats lost to all of the teams listed the first time and went on to win the revenge matchup.
In these games, you saw Kentucky eliminate the small mistakes and take over games. But this North Carolina team isn't your typical SEC team. You can make the argument they have the most talent of any team left in the tournament with great play and leadership from Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes.
One improvement we have seen from the Wildcats is that they are much more physical, and this needs to continue if they want to defeat the Tar Heels and return to the Final Four.
How does Tyler Zeller handle a more aggressive Kentucky team? Can he handle Josh Harrellson and Terrence Jones fighting him for every rebound? How does Harrison Barnes deal with a improved Kentucky team that has seen DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller become scoring weapons to go with the sensational freshman?
This is a game that promises to be an instant classic if you look at stats, but this is also a game that Kentucky fans feel is another shot at redemption.
Redemption is the word due to the continued success of the Wildcats in rematches. They are yet to lose in rematches, and John Calipari plans to keep that going.
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