College basketball’s top two elite of Davis and Robinson go for all the jambalaya tonight in New Orleans.
Uh-huh…exactly as I thought: Kentucky vs. Kansas for the national championship on Monday night. It took a valiant effort by Kansas (and likely a firm tongue lashing from head coach Bill Self) to get the Jayhawks to finally show up in their second half semi-final against Ohio State. Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Kentucky handled their business and defeated Louisville, although the Cardinals did put up a noble fight.
Now it comes down to the two best players in college basketball this season, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Kansas’s Thomas Robinson, battling it out for NCAA top dawg. Which will lead his team to the title? Lemme see if I can perfect my Final Four picks…
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
(1) Kentucky vs. (2) Kansas: On paper, Kentucky is the deeper, more talented team. On the spectogram, Kansas has plenty of heart. Kentucky did not play their best game versus Louisville—fab freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist spent a majority of the game in foul trouble—while Kansas had to relocate its game to overcome Ohio State.
Both teams are good enough to win without playing their best game but it is clear that Kansas cannot hope to slay Kentucky with Thomas Robinson not playing his best. That being said, the Jayhawks will have to get key contributions from Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor.
For the Wildcats, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague have been dropping the baby boom on opponents all year with significant support from sophomore Doron Lamb and senior Darius Miller. They can afford to have a player or two in foul trouble. They’re that deep.
All signs point to Kentucky to win this. The Wildcats are 6.5-point favorites. But I am going with Kansas. Not as sentimental favorite but as favorite to persevere. Sure, Kentucky is a young, deep and talented team. But Kansas has managed to get to this NCAA final with a gritty group of guys led by the tough-minded Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. If there’s one thing that can overcome youth, it’s toughness. I’m taking the Jayhawks in a mild upset.