Davis earns Most Outstanding award

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 03, 2012
Anthony Davis did everything but score. He didn't need to. The player of the year was simply sublime in Kentucky's 67-59 victory over Kansas on Monday night that gave the Wildcats their eighth national title. His presence in the lane forced Kansas to back off and look for other options, none of which were very good. When the Jayhawks did venture inside, he made them pay with ferocious blocks and rebounds. And though his shots weren't falling, he made sure they did for his teammates, setting them up with quick passes that never missed the mark. Despite finishing with just six points, all but two on free throws, Davis flirted with a double-double. He tied Joakim Noah's individual record for blocks in the NCAA championship game with six, grabbed 16 rebounds, had five assists and three steals. If this was the last game at Kentucky for the 19-year-old freshman, expected to be the No. 1 pick in this summer's NBA draft, it was a heck of a way to go out. To the surprise of no one, he was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. ''Well, it's not me, it's these guys behind me. They led us this whole tournament,'' Davis said. ''This whole game I was struggling offensively and I told my team every time down, `You all score the ball. I'm just going to defend and rebound.''' As the final seconds ticked down, cheers of ''M-V-P! M-V-P!'' echoed throughout the arena. And as the buzzer sounded, Davis finally showed the personality that is sure to make him a megastar at the next level. Grabbing a national champions T-shirt and hat, Davis quickly put them on and strolled over to the Kentucky fans, pointing at the court as he did Saturday night. No screams of ''This is my stage!'' on this night. But everybody, from the Kentucky fans to the Kansas players, already knew it. Standing tall on the podium for the trophy presentation, Davis repeatedly turned to the Kentucky cheering section, waving his long arms and urging fans to show the Wildcats even more love. Davis has loomed large all season, and not simply because he's 6-foot-10 with a wingspan of a Piper Cub. A guard until a growth spurt, he still has that sweet shot and sixth sense of a smaller player. And despite playing at a Chicago high school that didn't even have its own gym, Davis seems born for the big stage and bright lights. It's Davis' game, though, that really has star quality. He finished the season with 20 double-doubles, seven in his last 10 games. This was only the eighth time this season he failed to crack double figures. And in the truest sign of a special talent, even when he's having an ''off'' night, as he was Monday, he still finds ways to dominate the game. Having already played Kansas earlier this season, he wasted no time reminding the Jayhawks of what they were in for, crowding Thomas Robinson on the Jayhawks' first few possessions and disrupting the All-American's shots. Kansas center Jeff Withey, a shot-blocking machine himself, looked like a high school kid beside Davis. Kentucky coach John Calipari has raved about his team's unselfishness all season, usually pointing to Davis as the prime example. With his shots not falling, Davis buckled down on defense and let his teammates take care of the scoring. ''I don't know of any team that has sacrificed for each other like this team,'' Calipari said. ''And they deserve this moment. They really do.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker