Sunday, April 01, 2012

04/01 (Very) Quickie

Kentucky -- Anthony Davis, specifically -- was as good as advertised. Louisville made a game of it, and though moral victories don't amount for much (especially within the boundaries of the state of Kentucky), in this case Louisville can say they played one of the great teams of the past 10 years about as closely as they could. (About those 16 missed dunks/layups....)

Kansas-Ohio State was a bit ugly, but KU earned it with that gritty comeback. Withey dominated -- folks who think Jared Sullinger is a great NBA prospect need to take that as a reality check... Sullinger might be a decent rotation player, but he's the next DeJuan Blair, not the next Kevin Love. (Not even close.) Thomas Robinson didn't have a great game, either.

I'm not sure how many fans think the title game will be close -- it'll be closer to a coronation for one of the great teams of the past decade, for Calipari's first national title team and for the validation of his system of embracing one-and-done talents.

Of the 15 NCAA champs since Kentucky's dominating '96 team, I'd slot this Kentucky team inside the Top 5 -- not quite at the level of '07 Florida, '05 UNC or '01 Duke, but better than '06 Florida, '09 UNC or '03 Syracuse (which, up until Anthony Davis, had the most talented and dominating freshman in NCAA Tournament history).

FWIW: I think '06 Florida would give '12 Kentucky a game, if only because the Gators could throw Joakim Noah and Adrian Moss and Chris Richard at Anthony Davis, but Kentucky would have no answer for Al Horford -- Terrence Jones would have been throttled. Corey Brewer vs. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would have been a jaw-dropping wash.

Of course, that's only if Kentucky fulfills its massive expectations and closes this out. It is hard to imagine that they won't. At that point, we have to be talking about Anthony Davis not as the best freshman of all time (displacing Carmelo and, to a lesser extent, Kevin Durant), but as the best college basketball player of the past 20 years.

-- D.S.

-- D.S.

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