2. The back court: Kansas State sports one of the premier guard duos in the country in Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. Butler, meanwhile, can boast of underrated star Shelvin Mack and, well, Shelvin Mack? Rarely does a team make it this deep in the tournament without an experienced, steady point guard. Though Ronald Nored has played well above his normal output the past two games (11 ppg and 2.25 assist to turnover ratio), he is nowhere near the top-level floor general that his counterpart, Jacob Pullen (who only has four turnovers the entire tournament), is and shot 18% from the three-point line during the regular season. The Bulldogs will need him to take his game to a whole new level today.
3. The free throw line: If you were trying to find a consistent theme in Kansas State’s seven losses this season, you’d find that the closest thing to a recurring weakness is free throw shooting. Outside of their loss late in the season to Iowa State where they shot 79% from the line (and 13% from three), the Wildcats struggled knocking down the freebies. Given their athletic advantage over the Bulldogs, you’d think that the foul situation would favor them and give them plenty of time to do damage at the line. If they so choose.
4. Salt Lake City: That’s where the game is being played. Duh.