March 22, 2007

Preview: KU vs. SIU

KU's quest to win its first National Championship since 1988 continues on Thursday night. Kansas, the No. 1 seed in the West Region, will face the Southern Illinois Salukis at 6:10 CST at the HP Pavilion. The Jayhawks, who cruised through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, are poised to make a run at the National Championship. Jayhawk Slant is here to provide you with a preview of Thursday night's game.

What: Kansas (32-4; 14-2) vs. Southern Illinois (29-6; 15-3)
Where: HP Pavilion (18,102), San, Jose, California
When: Thursday, March, 22
Time/TV: 6:10 p.m. (CST) CBS
Series Record: 0-0
Last Meeting: First Meeting

Around The Perimeter:

Kansas: Throughout the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks were flat-out sensational shooting the basketball. In defeating the Niagara Purple Eagles and the Kentucky Wildcats by an average of 26-points per game, the Jayhawks connected on 55 percent of their field goals and 61 percent of their shots from behind the arc in those two games.

There is no question that Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson and Sherron Collins must set the tone against Southern Illinois on Thursday night.

Offensively, each of the aforementioned players must be aggressive and, most importantly, must get involved early in the game. It should come as no surprise that the Salukis will try to dictate the pace of the games on both ends of the court, so its critical that Rush, Chalmers, Robinson and Collins frustrate Southern Illinois early on in the contest.

As a team, SIU, who loves to play man-to-man pressure defense, allows just 61.6-points a game, the third-stingiest mark in the country. Kansas simply cant wait for SIU to make a mistake and then capitalize.

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