Shockers-Wildcats is a clash of cultures

Kadeem Coleby and the undefeated Shockers have yet to face a team of Kentucky's ilk. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Kentucky freshman James Young couldn’t do it. The Wildcats' talented wing, a part of what some touted as the greatest recruiting class of all time entering the season, admitted that he was unable to name a single player on Wichita State’s roster.

Not a one.

That’s because the Shockers are the antithesis of John Calipari’s latest batch of youngsters.

“They’re experienced,” was all Young could say to describe Sunday afternoon’s round of 32 opponent.

But that’s not all that’s different about the two groups. They are also just about everything UK is not, at least for much of this season. The Shockers are a bunch of unheralded, lunch-pail guys who play hard and play with a sense of togetherness, purpose and toughness.

That's exemplified by players like former walk-on Ron Baker and his backcourt mate, lightly recruited point guard Fred VanVleet, along with Kadeem Coleby, who transferred from Louisiana-Lafayette, and Tekele Cotton, who picked the Shockers over Murray State, Morehead State and Tennessee State.

The Cats are a bunch of highly rated individuals who haven’t lived up to the hype, and rarely show the same level of intensity and passion that Gregg Marshall’s Shockers consistently display.

This is the Game of the Tourney thus far.