By Chris Ramirez
Anthony Davis had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Kentucky earned a spot in the national championship game with a 69-61 victory over in-state rival Louisville in the Final Four. The overall top-seeded Wildcats moved on to Monday’s title game against either Kansas or Ohio State, who were playing the late game at the Superdome.
Darius Miller provided a spark off the bench when Kentucky needed it and scored 13 points, while Doron Lamb scored 10. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist got into foul trouble and had just nine points. (more…)
By Chris Peterson
Even two days after, it blows my mind, to think how much better the college dunk competition was than the NBA’s. Littered with names, fairly recognizable at best, these college seniors gave me and the rest of America watching, quite a treat. (more…)
The abilities are obvious: Davis has blocked 175 shots in 38 games, a remarkable 4.6 per game. Friday he was named national player of the year by The Associated Press. Offensively, he has soft, sure hands and a 20-foot shooting range that has drawn comparisons to NBA stars Kevin Garnett and Kevin Durant. However, it’s his personality – fierce, yet calm – that seems to impress college basketball insiders as much as anything. As Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said at the SEC tournament, “great disposition, great demeanor. Wow. He is the real, real deal.” ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas, who once coached Davis as an instructor at a Nike-sponsored elite summer camp, detailed what Stallings meant. “You can tell a lot about a kid through his habits; is he on time, has he laced up his sneakers, is he falling into line for a drill? You tell (Davis) to do something and he’s there always,” Bilas described. Charlotte Observer (more…)
By Jon Welzel
The NIT obviously is not what it once was, but that doesn’t mean the 32 teams that played in the tournament didn’t pour their heart and soul into trying to win it. In fact the lower seeds came to play. Three of the four #1 seeds (Seton Hall, Arizona, Tennessee) were eliminated by the time the second round rolled in, and only one made it to the semi- finals at Madison Square Garden(Washington).
The four regional finals were hotly contested for the most part. #1 seed Washington eliminated PAC-12 rival and #3 seeded Oregon 90-86. The win earned the Huskies a date with the Minnesota Golden Gophers in one semifinal, as Minnesota eliminated Middle Tennessee in that regional final. The score was much closer than it should have been (78-72) as the Blue Raiders (more…)
Austin Rivers, the son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers who declared for the NBA draft this week after finishing his freshman season at Duke, says he’d love to play for Boston. “If that was to happen, I would love to,” Rivers said on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” on Friday morning. “I would love to play for any organization in the NBA. That’s my dream. It would be great. It would be different. It would be an interesting aspect just to play for my dad.” ESPN.com
After earning second-team All-SEC and All-Freshman team honors in his first season as a Razorback, Arkansas guard BJ Young has submitted his name for consideration in the the 2012 NBA draft. Young, however, will not hire an agent, and will continue taking classes at the University of Arkansas in order to retain his amateur status, and reserve the right to return to Arkansas next year. “BJ is using this time to gather information about his draft potential,” Anderson said. “By submitting his name for consideration for this year’s draft he will be able to find out what the scouts see in his game and make an informed decision about his future.” Fayetteville Flyer (more…)
By Chris Ramirez
North Carolina announced Thursday that junior forward John Henson, sophomore forward Harrison Barnes and sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall will enter the 2012 NBA Draft.
“It’s a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball,” said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. “On a very small stage, it’s a sad day for me because I won’t get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well. “I really look forward to watching Harrison, John and Kendall play in the NBA. I know they will be very successful. They have been and will always be great Tar Heels,” Williams added. (more…)
For North Carolina, injury-plagued 2011-12 will be remembered around Chapel Hill as a season of “What if?” Its offseason begins with, “What now?” Sophomore wing Harrison Barnes, junior power forward John Henson and sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall are all entering the NBA draft, the school announced Thursday. Add them to 7-footer Tyler Zeller, who is graduating, and the Tar Heels lose four-fifths of the starting lineup that led them to the NCAA regional finals. Another player, reserve forward James Michael McAdoo, is pondering his decision this weekend, though his father said Wednesday he expects that the freshman forward to be back in a UNC uniform next season. “It’s a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball,” coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “On a very small stage, it’s a sad day for me because I won’t get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well.” ESPN.com
AD Mark Hollis said he regrets sending a direct tweet Wednesday to Michigan PG Trey Burke, who is considering a jump to the NBA. “If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve made it a general tweet,” Hollis said in an AP interview. CBSSports.com (more…)
By Chris Ramirez
Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright scored 15 points apiece to help Stanford blow out Minnesota 75-51 in the NIT title game. The Cardinal outscored Minnesota 44-26 in the second half to capture their second ever NIT championship.
Rodney Williams scored 12 points for the Golden Gophers. Williams made a pair of free throws shortly before the break, cutting the Gophers’ deficit to 31-25, but they started the second half with a four- minute scoring drought. (more…)
By Chris Ramirez
Since landing in Lawrence ahead of the 2003-04 campaign, Bill Self has guided the Jayhawks to the postseason each year and all nine of those appearances have been in the Big Dance. In fact, dating back to his days when he was the head coach at Tulsa, he has been a fixture in the event for 14 consecutive years. This is his second final four appearance as a head coach.
Self fist tenure in the big show when he took Kansas to the pinnacle of the college basketball world with a 75-68 overtime victory against Memphis in the national title game back in 2008. (more…)