Monday, April 2, 2012

Today's Game: The National Championship

9:23 PM Monday, New Orleans65.5 possessions
Well, it really doesn't get any closer than this one. Only four games all year have been closer on paper than this game, and with all due deference to the WAC Tournament game between Utah State and Louisiana Tech, I think it's safe to say that none of the others have had quite the stakes that this game has. And what's really amazing here isn't just that the projected final score is so close, but that every single phase of this game is so evenly matched.

Kansas has been sort of the forgotten great team of the 2012-2013 season. In October this looked like a team that wouldn't be able to live up to the usual high standards of Kansas basketball. Then they lost to Kentucky at Madison Square Garden in November, and lost to Duke in Maui, and the consensus was reached: this was a good-but-not-great team. Their win over Ohio State in Allen Fieldhouse was written off since the Buckeyes were without Jared Sullinger, and then when the Jayhawks lost to Davidson 9 days later, it was set in stone. So nobody really even noticed when they won the Big 12 by two games. Missouri and Baylor were better stories, after all. But this is a team that's been among the 10 best teams in the country since December 10, and hasn't been outside the top 5 in all of 2012.

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