Before tonight’s men’s basketball game against number-one ranked North Carolina, here is what members of The Daily Kent Stater and TV2 expect to see from the Golden Flashes. Check back during and after the game for the most extensive coverage of tonight’s game.
Player to watch: Al Fisher, PG. The young point guard continues to get better with each game with the Golden Flashes, and tonight will be his biggest test on his biggest stage yet.
Key to win: Can the Flashes stay with the Tar Heels early and keep the game close in the first half and set up a the opportunity for the upset through halftime adjustments.
Prediction: North Carolina wins but Kent State impresses the national audience.
Player to watch: Mike McKee, Shooting Guard. Streak shooter can set the pace for the Flashes early. If the Flashes hit the 3-pointers, which they need to do for the win, McKee will be the reason Kent State takes down Tobacco Road.
Key to win: Coaching. Jim Christian is always a hot name at the end of the season for big-time coaching jobs. If he can beat ole Roy Williams, then Christian may be deserve the attention come April.
Prediction: Kent State wins in a fast-paced game and McKee hits several big 3-pointers
Player to watch: Haminn Quaintance, C. Quaintance has faced difficult jobs this year guarding Kyle Hines of UNC Greensboro and Will Thomas of George Mason, but tonight he faces his biggest test yet: UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough averages 22.2 points and 9.8 rebounds a game, so it is important that “Q” do what he can do limit those numbers.
Key to win: Avoiding big North Carolina runs. The Flashes have had trouble in some games because their opponents go on runs. If North Carolina goes on a big run in this game, KSU will have a difficult time escaping the Dean Dome with a victory.
Player to watch: Mike Scott F. Scott knows how important this game is for the team and for the entire University. With last year’s tough loss to Duke, this senior captain will be the leader for tonight’s game. Scott should be matched up with Deon Thompson, which should be good. Besides how Tyler Hansbrough and Haminn Quaintance match-up, the Scott/ Thompson match-up will be key.
Key to win: Kent State needs to come out with intensity and prove to the Tar Heels that its not the typical mid-major. The first two minutes will show who’ll come out on top. Kent State’s defense will also be the key to a big victory. If they keep North Carolina under 60 points, the Golden Flashes might have a chance.
Prediction: UNC wins- 65-54.
Player to watch: Chris Singletary sophomore guard. Singletary rarely starts but the Flashes rely constantly on the bench and its production. Singletary is averaging just over 17 minutes per game and is one of the keys to Kent State defensively off the boards.
Key to win: Kent State seems overpowered in many aspects of the game, however, there are some things the Flashes can do to slow down the Tar Heels. The Flashes must slow the pace of the game. North Carolina is notorious for playing high-tempo games and have scored over 100 points in four of its last six home games. The Flashes must win the battle of the boards. If these two keys happen then do not be surprised if an upset occurs.
Prediction: As much as I think UNC is a top five team in the nation, the Flashes pull off the upset 67-62.