Two Kansas players and three Kentucky players comprised the all-tournament team.
Kansas’ Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor made the team, along with Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, Doron Lamb and Anthony Davis, who was selected the Most Outstanding Player.
Davis made just one basket in the game, but it was a big one, that gave Kentucky a 59-44 lead.
“The one basket he made was one of the biggest of the game,” said Kansas coach Bill Self. “He made that face-up 18-footer on the baseline. He was terrific. Seeing him in person late in the season as opposed to early in the season, you can tell how much he’s improved.
“For a guy to have six points, he did control the paint … without question.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari avenged his loss to Kansas in the 2008 NCAA title game when he coached at Memphis.
Self was not surprised Calipari would win a title by his third year at Kentucky.
“I thought he’d win a national championship at Kentucky,” Self said. “You have resources. You have facilities. You have so many things going for you there when you recruit the level of players they’ve recruited and they coach ‘em the way they coach ‘em. It was obvious that he was going to win a championship.”
Decision time for Davis
Davis has not decided on whether he plans to declare for the NBA draft.
“Coach Cal said we have until April 29 to decide,” Davis said. “I’m going to wait, sit down with my coach, sit down with my family, see what the decision is for me.”
Lamb’s shooting chops
Calipari was so impressed with guard Doron Lamb’s shooting at Monday’s shoot-around, he predicted Lamb would score 30.
“I’m a little disappointed he got only 22,” Calipari said, smiling. “He’s as good a guard when his motor is moving as any guard in the country. He can play multiple positions. He shoots it. He makes free throws. He’s good with the ball. He’s crafty. His shoot-around (Monday), I knew he’d have a big game. I knew it.”
Bowyer in the house
NASCAR star Clint Bowyer of Emporia, Kan., arrived Monday in New Orleans to support the Jayhawks. Bowyer flew in with team owner Michael Waltrip, who is a native of Owensboro, Ky., and a Kentucky fan.
“We’ve got a weird thing going on,” Bowyer said. “We’re kind of pulling in two different directions. I’ve never had anybody with me who wasn’t cheering for the same team. It’s going to be an interesting ride home for one of us. Hopefully it’s a bummer for him.”
Bowyer said it’s been a while since he’s attended a Kansas basketball game.
“It’s been a long, long time,” Bowyer said. “It kind of falls at a bad time with their schedule, but I’m really proud of Bill Self and everything he’s been able to do. They’ve come a long ways this year, and they ought to be proud of their accomplishments.”
Counting the crowd
The announced attendance for Monday night’s game was 70,913, for a two-day total of 144,274 fans. That’s the third-highest total in NCAA Final Four history.
Withey’s block party
Kansas center Jeff Withey’s block of an Anthony Davis shot with 4 minutes left in the game gave him 30 blocks in the NCAA Tournament, breaking the single-tournament mark set by Joakim Noah of Florida in 2006.
Kentucky (11) and Kansas (5) combined for 16 blocks in Monday’s game, setting a record for most combined blocks in a championship game and a Final Four game.
The previous record for blocks in a title game was 12 by Arizona and Duke in 2001 and Connecticut and Butler last year. The previous mark for blocks in a Final Four game was 14 by Kansas and Duke in 1988 and Massachusetts and Kentucky in 1996.
| Randy Covitz, email@example.com