My preview of tomorrow night's showdown in Hilton. If you have a minute, please click on the link to the article so Travis and I can beef up our hits compared to the Hawkeye bloggers.

Juice blogs » The Cyclones

Our Chance to “Shock the World” Comes Wednesday Night by Jerry Hales
:: February 26th, 2008 :: 1:15 pm

When the wounded Jayhawks come into Hilton tomorrow night, they will no doubt be looking to rebound from a stinging loss at Stillwater over the weekend. The Cyclones, however, are coming off a painful loss of their own and will have the Hilton crowd behind them as they attempt to pull off the biggest victory in Coach McDermott’s short tenure at the helm. After looking great for most of their game at Texas Tech on Saturday, they wilted down the stretch in losing by a dozen. In my opinion, the loss was a combination of poor execution on offense and the Red Raiders getting to the free throw line at will, going 20-27 as opposed to 4-9 for the Cyclones. What was truly maddening to watch was the little flop-artist Alan Voskuil throwing his frail body to the ground in an attempt to get to the line and having it pay off. Regardless, we had our own problems that cost us our (reduced) chance at the game.

The last game will be water under the bridge after the ESPN televised game tips off tomorrow night at 6:00. One would think that the Jayhawks would come out and dominate, but they have been exposed a few times on the road, and hopefully Hilton Magic will rear it’s ugly head and send them sprinting back to Lawrence and crying for their dear sweet mothers. In my opinion, the biggest concern for the Cyclones has to be staying out of foul trouble. Kansas goes way deeper than we do, especially in the post, so if we foul early we will be in big trouble late.

Another major factor is whether or not we have good Wesley or bad Wesley. His injuries and illnesses have noticeably affected him at times this season, while other times he has gone off for 20 points plus. If he can have a good night (and by good I mean hitting a high percentage in addition to scoring) we’ve got a shot with the way that Peterson and Haluska have shot the ball lately. Jiri has been a beast inside while Brackins had his best game in quite some time on Saturday, so that will also need to continue.

My final key to success is the crowd. It is a 6:00 start on ESPN against our most hated rival in basketball. If our crowd can’t get up for this one then we should be ashamed of ourselves. We need to be loud, be standing, and make it uncomfortable for the Jayhawks to think, much less play basketball. If we can do these things we have a great chance to be smiling and celebrating Coach Mac’s first big win over a ranked opponent when the final horn sounds. I personally am cutting out of an awards banquet early so that I can get to the game, and I’m planning on being heard and making a difference from my perch up in the corner of the Coliseum. Now who’s with me?!