Mindless Dribble: Kansas Escapes With Win over Davidson
Four #1 seeds have never made the Fi.. oh well, I guess we can throw out Bracket Tactic #17 from next year's batch. Unlike Xavier, Louisville, and Texas.. at least Davidson seemed up the challenge. The Wildcats didn't necessarily bring their A-game, but it seemed like C+ was enough to get it done on Sunday evening. The national media has had their full share of thoughts on this game, but here are a few other nuggets to chew on:
- People (mainly I'm talking about the announcers here) need to stop prodding and discussing and waiting for Brandon Rush to shoot more or take over games.. he's been at this college basektball thing for 106 games now, and nothing has changed since day one.
- Even though he only scored 2 points in the second half, Mario Chalmers hit the key shots for Kansas. Just when Curry finally heated up after a sluggish 10 minute start, Chalmers also caught fire. He scored 11 of the Hawks 15 points in a 4 minute stretch when Curry scored 12 of Davidson's 14. Without Chalmer's hot streak (which included 3 threes.. the game would have turned out very different).
- The turning point of the game seemed to occur at the 8:13 mark. Spurred by Bryant Barr, the Wildcats made a great push in the middle of the second half. Up 51-47, Curry missed a three that would have brought down the house. Once that shot rimmed out, it seemed like all the effort Davidson put into the last few minutes finally caught up with them. Noticing this, Bob McKillop smartly called a time out at the 7:35 mark.. but it wasn't enough to wake up his crew.
- Davidson's final possession has been ripped to shreds in many circles. And rightfully so. It was a somewhat pathetic way to end what was an amazing run. Curry's decision to pass or not to pass wasn't the issue.. the game ended before Richard's even took the last second desperation three. Why not play for overtime and go for two? It's not like Kansas was dominating down the stretch.. the Jayhawks didn't hit a field goal in the final 4:57.
- I've been critical of Bill Self's coaching ability over the years and I can't say I'm a big believer now. Prime example was when Kansas regained possession after a huge three by Curry cut the lead to two with 54 seconds left. Half way through the possession, he calls time out, and the resulting "play" led to Sherron Collins (who had a blah game) bombing a three from 40 feet away. Then again, he won.. so I'll hold back on the rest of my criticisms.
- Man, did Self look relieved when his team won though. It wasn't even happiness, it was like "Thank god I recruited some really good athletes who got me to this point and that Rush rebounded so quickly from his injury and Curry missed some shots he hit last game.. because we didn't play very well."
- Sasha Kaun (13 points and 7 boards) looks really good when he goes up against guys 3-5 inches smaller then him. This is why his other "good" games came against Washburn, Northern Arizona, and Loyola Maryland..
- I like how ESPN has a story about "sources" telling them that Stephen Curry will return for his junior year. Of course he is, do we need sources to tell us that?
- More interesting than the possibility of Curry leaving will be the rumblings about jobs being offered to Coach McKillop. You never know what a coach will do, even one that's been in the same program for 20 years. So long as Curry's there, it's hard to see him leaving though.. then again, his "stock" is as high as it will ever be.
- Did Kansas give me any reason to think they could beat UNC? Not really.
- Not sure what I think about the Ford Field setup. It looked like half the fans were a couple hundred yards away from the action. Also, why don't the extend the raised floor just a bit and put all the coaches and the benches up there?
- Richards, Sander, and Meno are seniors so it will be worth watching to see how the Cats fare next year. I don't follow Davidson enough to know who exactly is line to start next year.. but a lineup of Curry, Barr, Archambault, Lovedale, and one of Gosselin/Rossiter doesn't look too bad.