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Sunday, April 06, 2008

SI.com's Seth Davis - Final Four Reactions

Final Four reactions
Memphis, Dorsey do their thing; KU's MVP and more
Posted: Sunday April 6, 2008 12:36AM; Updated: Sunday April 6, 2008 12:36AM

SI.com caught up with Seth Davis, who's serving as a CBS studio analyst during the tournament, to get his impressions of Saturday's Final Four action.

SI.com: So what happened to the Bruins?

Seth Davis: Memphis happened. It's been a common scene. This has been three straight games where Memphis' size on the perimeters creates major problems for guards. Everytime there's a turnover or missed shot, the Tigers are down at the other side of the court and putting in a basket. That's a really good team they obliterated in UCLA and they just didn't look back. One thing I didn't anticipate Saturday was two blowouts. I thought these teams were too good for that. Let's hope Monday's title game isn't another blowout.

SI.com: But everyone had UCLA winning.

SD: UCLA had a smaller margin for error. The comment I made on air was that in a best of seven series, I would pick Memphis. But in a one-game crucible, I would pick UCLA because it was its third-straight Final Four. The Bruins' problem was they didn't make shots; they were 1-for-8 from the three-point line and the one they made was a meaningless trey at the end of the game. What that means is Memphis' defense just sagged all over Kevin Love -- the only way to make those guys leave him is for guard to make an outside shot. Bigger problem is when you miss, they just rip and run. Also, Love got tired. It is exhausting to fight Shawn Taggart and Joey Dorsey. They were overwhelming.

SI.com: Should Memphis be concerned that Dorsey had a big zero in the points column?

SD: Not at all. Dorsey's playing as well as he's ever played in these past few game. John Calipari lit into him in the second half and that got him going. Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose combined for 52 points, so scoring's not a problem for this team. All [Dorsey] needs to do is do what he does well.

SI.com: Is Love still going pro after tonight's loss or will he be back to avenge the loss?

SD: Well, I would have said before tonight he was 95 percent going pro, after tonight, 93 percent to go pro.

SI.com: So what happened to the Tar Heels?

SD: Very early in the game, [Florida coach] Billy Donovan said when your team is playing really well and really beating people, you lose sight of your weaknesses and you almost forget how to play to be at your best, and you sensed that early on. Kansas had come off a game not playing well, UNC wasn't used to playing a team that was fast but not faster. A lot of people were saying the Heels looked tired, but I don't think they were heavy legged. Kansas is just that much faster. Obviously, the Jayhawks' first 15 minutes were incredible -- sometimes as important as that is, it's kinda fluky. So the fact they were able to do that twice, proved it wasn't flukey, they're just that good.

Now Memphis is also used to playing against teams where it has a huge speed advantage, but they won't have that Monday night. UNC came out tight, tense and sloppy with the ball, and had bad turnovers and Kansas had some early runs.

SI.com: So who's your MVP for Kansas?

SD: It's hard to go against a guy who scored 25 points with Brandon Rush, but I voted for Sherron Collins. He had 11 points and seven turnovers, but there was a point in the game where someone needed to show leadership and Collins did that. He didn't start the game but he finished it. Also, Bill Self coached a heck of game, when the lead was down to four, he had to go inside, basically stopped shooting quick shots and they were able to get it down to the post and were able to stop the bleeding.

SI.com: So is Tyler Hansbrough going to stay around for another year to avenge the loss?

SD: I don't know. I've been conditioned to believe that when a kid has a chance to be a first-round draft pick, they leave. But Hansbrough had the chance last year and he came back. Now I don't know how much more individually he can do by coming back. He can help his team win two more games. Obviously he can get better, but I would say 70-30 he's gone. But then again, he surprised me last year.

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