Sports

Rothstein Files: Five Observations From The Final Four

Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts late in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts late in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

By Jon Rothstein
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1. A TRAIN

We’ve all seen him dominate college basketball throughout the entire season but against Louisville, Anthony Davis was extra special. Sporting a newly minted low post game with a graceful touch, the 6-foot-10 freshman gave us a glimpse of what his game will look like at the next level — and it’s going to be sensational.

2. 50-50

Kentucky had more talent than Louisville but they weren’t tougher. The Cardinals were ferocious on the glass and got nearly every “50-50″ ball. That will have to change on Monday if John Calipari is going to win his first National Title.

3. GRIZZLED VET

He’s been the unsung presence all year for Kentucky and on the biggest stage of the year, Darius Miller proved his worth. The senior guard made three big shots in the second half including a late 3-pointer to extend the lead to 7. For a team that’s known for freshmen, this senior is pretty special himself.

4. ROLE ALLOCATION

Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor may be the focal points for Kansas but their supporting cast is pretty special. Travis Releford was monumental in the Jayhawks comeback over Ohio State and Elijah Johnson continued to make big shots as he has throughout the NCAA Tournament. Jeff Withey also stymied Jared Sullinger with his length, holding the big man to 5-19 shooting.

5. THE CIRCLE IS NOW COMPLETE

For the second time in four years, two former Larry Brown assistants — Calipari and Bill Self will play for a National Championship. In 2008 when Calipari was at Memphis, the Tigers were seconds away from a title before Mario Chalmers made a late 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and the Jayhawks won 75-68. Heading into Monday night, Self’s team will be heavy underdogs against Kentucky.