How will Kansas start the game?
In each of Kansas University's last four NCAA tournament wins (Purdue, North Carolina State, U of North Carolina, and Ohio State), the Jayhawks have gotten off to horrible starts in the first half. Poor shooting, turnovers, ineffective defense and overall lack of execution put the team in a hole early on. Each time, KU has finally found its rhythm in the second half. What will head coach Bill Self do to get his team engaged early? Maybe he should give the half-time pep talk before the game: "When things don't go well and you get behind and you play uphill the whole way, it takes some energy and it takes some toughness,'' said Self, when they team fell behind Purdue by double-digits early and still trailed by six at the half. "My message to the whole team was trust each other.''
If they don't trust each other early, don't count on Kentucky allowing the Jayhawks to take flight half way through the championship game.
How many passes per each KU offensive possession?
Kentucky has talented basketball players all over its roster. Kansas also has talent, but not as much as the Wildcats. All season, KU moved the ball from side to side on offense, creating opportunities through movement resulting in open shots for several players. Will head coach Bill Self demand a certain number of passes each time in their half-court set, helping to prevent the UK thoroughbreds from running up and down the Superdome floor?
Can Jeff Withey provide some more offense?
The Jayhawk center has been solid on defense, blocking over 3.5 shots per game this season, according to the NCAA. However, he's overshadowed in this area by Wooden award winner Anthony Davis of Kentucky, who averaged more than 4.5 blocks a game this year. And Davis has averaged over 14 points per game this season. If Jeff Withey can provide more than his usual nine point per game average, along with his defensive presence, the Jayhawks have a shot at winning.
How will KU's Thomas Robinson handle the double team?
Big 12 Conference player of the year Thomas Robinson has seen more double teams during the NCAA Tournament than most players see in an entire season. Some opponents have put defenders in front and behind Robinson; other teams put a second man on Robinson as soon as he gets the ball in the low post. Either way, Robinson has had to work very hard to score during the tournament. A key for KU offensive success will be how well Robinson passes out of the double team to get open shots for his teammates. He also needs to remember UK shot blocker Anthony Davis will be lurking nearby.
Will Tyshawn Taylor ever hit another three-point shot? Does he have to?
Going into Monday night's championship game, Tyshawn Taylor is 0-for-20 shooting three-point field goals in the NCAA tournament. Taylor's a big part of why Kansas is playing in the national championship game. This season, Taylor shot almost 38 percent from beyond the arc. Averaging more than 16 points per game, Taylor could open up the middle of the Kentucky defense by knocking down some jump shots from the perimeter. This would be the time for Taylor to start hitting some threes.