If you’re looking for a Cinderella in this year’s tournament, look no farther than La Salle.
Let’s start with the obvious: the Explorers are a No. 13 seed that needed to win their play-in game in order to have a chance to knock off No. 4 seed Kansas State. If your seed has double digits and you’re alive heading into the weekend, you have worlds of Cinderella potential.
But that’s not the biggest reason.
La Salle actually has a chance to advance further in this tournament.
Let’s start with the fact that their next game happens to come against No. 12 seed Ole Miss, who rode the coattails of Marshall Henderson to a win over No. 5 seed Wisconsin on Friday. The Rebels are beatable. La Salle can beat them.
And I think they can beat Gonzaga or Wichita State, as well.
Here’s the thing about the Explorers: they force you to matchup with them. They play three and four guards, all of whom are capable of scoring 20 points on a given night. They cause all sorts of problems with teams like Kansas State, teams that have bigger front lines. They force coaches to make a decision: do we try to play smaller to matchup with their perimeter players, or do we accept the fact that we are going to have to guard a guy like Sam Mills with a power forward?
It’s a risk for both teams. When the shots are going down, La Salle does things like build a 44-26 lead in one half against Kansas State. When the shots aren’t going down, the Explorers are vulnerable inside and things like K-State’s 31-12 second half run happen.
How will Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner matchup with La Salle? What about Carl Hall and Cleanthony Early or Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris?
That’s what makes La Salle dangerous.
They’re not a lock.
But their ability to force teams to matchup with them makes them dangerous.
For more on La Salle’s win over Kansas State, check out CSNPhilly.com.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.