"The guard is the guy - especially your lead guard - he makes your engine run," State Coach Bryan Poore said. "That's your point guard. If you don't have that, you're not going to win.
"Lipkins is really good. I like him a lot. He knows when to go, when not to go, he can push it, he can get by his guy, he's strong. You don't just bump him off his path. He can make shots. He's good.
"They got a good engine."
You can forgive Poore if he isn't giddy about Round 3 with Lipkins tonight at Eddie King Gym. In the first two matchups combined, Lipkins made 13 of 25 shots, 4 of 9 3-pointers and had a 9-to-2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Lipkins' play can open the floor up for Faulkner, UC's lone senior. The red-hot Faulkner is 30 for 67 on 3-pointers in the past 10 games, including 10 for 22 in the past two games. Dreher has been surging of late, too, with five consecutive double-digit scoring games - the longest streak of his UC career.
If UC gets by State tonight - and should there be no bracket busting by lower seeds - the Golden Eagles will get a shot at revenge with each win this week.
Starting with Thursday's quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center, UC could run into fourth-seeded Wheeling Jesuit, which swept UC this season.
Next, top seed West Liberty looms. Second-seed Fairmont State, which also swept UC, could be Saturday's finals opponent.
It's a daunting one-week task, but it might be what UC needs to navigate in order for Lipkins and his fellow guards to lead a march through March.
"We're very knowledgeable of who we would be playing," Downey said. "We gained confidence on Saturday and the way we played was really loose, like guys were having fun out there.
"Now we need to make it to the Civic Center because we've got some guys who have been in wars there. Hopefully we can get by State and make some noise."
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at chuck.mcg...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.