Commentary

Craft, Knight could key Sweet 16 clash

PG play may be deciding factor when Wildcats tangle with Buckeyes

Updated: March 24, 2011, 6:47 PM ET
By Ian Gordon | ESPN Insider
Aaron Craft  and Brandon KnightGetty ImagesAaron Craft and Brandon Knight could play pivotal roles Friday night.

Sure, it took Brandon Knight nearly 40 minutes to shake off the jitters -- and the Princeton Tigers' defense -- in his NCAA tourney debut. But since his early second-round struggles, all the Kentucky Wildcats' freshman point guard has done is lay in a game winner to beat Princeton and score a career-high 30 points to help defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers in the round of 32. His next task? Find a way to lead the Kiddie Cats past the top-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes in an East Regional semifinal tonight in Newark, N.J.

As Jay Bilas, Doug Gottlieb and Joe Lunardi already have discussed here on Insider, the No. 4 seed Wildcats need to find a way to at least slow down the nation's most efficient offense; after all, OSU drained a ridiculous 28 of 50 3-pointers in its first two tournament games. While Kentucky is an able defensive squad, ranking 24th in the country in adjusted efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy, it's going to have to put pressure on the Buckeyes by scoring buckets. And that's why Knight's matchup with fellow frosh point Aaron Craft is key.


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