(Late)Sunday Honors: Close but no cigar for Davidson

March 30th, 2008

Well, we now know who is on their way to San Antonio next weekend, and unlike the New England Patriots we actually get treated to some history. For the first time in the 64/65-team era of the NCAA Tournament, all four top seeds will make it to the season's final weekend. In Sunday's action, Memphis made short work of Texas in Houston to reach their first Final Four since the days of Keith Lee in 1985. In the Midwest, Kansas gets Bill Self to his first Final Four and the first for the program since 2003. Who will they meet? Of course it's the man (Roy Williams) who led them to said appearance. Looks like Clark Kellogg was right after all. Here are a few honors for Sunday's action.

Team of the Day: #1 Memphis
Result: Defeated #2 Texas 85-67 in the South Regional Final.

Two. As in the numbers of opportunities left for experts to be right about the idea that Memphis can't win a national title due to their foul shooting. Although it didn't come with the same vigor as it is now with the Tigers, didn't people suggest the same in regards to Connecticut back in 2004? And we all know what happened there as the Huskies rolled over four opponents and survived Duke in the Final Four before whipping Georgia Tech in the final.

The Tigers did what few expected them to do in knocking off the Longhorns in Houston, essentially dominating the game from wire to wire. Chris Douglas-Roberts led the scoring with twenty-five (14-17 from the line), and Derrick Rose racked up 21 points, 6 rebounds and nine assists. Texas point guard D.J. Augustin struggled from the field, making just four of his eighteen shot attempts. But the best part of this win...they shot 30-36 from the line, showing that their trend of improving their free throw percentage come tournament time may be back in effect after a below 50% effort on Friday.

UCLA will pose quite a challenge on Saturday night, but nothing is easy this time of the year. Two...but the "guarantees" are starting to sound a lot like pleas as this point.

Player of the Day: Memphis guard Derrick Rose
Numbers: 21 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists.

"The Great Poohdini" made Houston his own personal stage this weekend, which I guess is fitting when the NCAA decides to go with the "raised court" (please don't do this next year; not only does the middle of the arena setup take away from the atmosphere, the idea of the raised court is dangerous when you consider that few teams are used to it). For all the debate over the likes of Augustin, Darren Collison and others when it comes to the nation's best lead guard, maybe this freshman from the Windy City is the best. With Saturday bringing UCLA, we'll have one more piece of evidence one way or the other.

Honorable Mention:

Davidson guard Stephen Curry

The sophomore gave the nation one more virtuoso performance, going for twenty-five in the Wildcats' 59-57 loss to Kansas. The entire world knew exactly who wanted the last shot...and that the Jayhawks were not going to let him take it.

Memphis forward Joey Dorsey

Mr. Dorsey has shown up consistently in the Tournament, posting a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds. Don't expect him to rile up Kevin Love like he did Greg Oden last year in San Antonio either.

Kansas center Sasha Kaun

In twenty minutes off the bench, the senior racked up thirteen points and six rebounds. And KU needed every one of those points and rebounds. Their depth has been a strength all year long, and Kaun made sure it was again today.

Saturday's Schedule
UCLA vs. Memphis (6:07 PM EST)
North Carolina vs. Kansas (approx. 8:47 PM EST)