College Basketball: Kansas Defeats Davidson 59-57 Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Sunday, 30 March 2008 15:10
NCAAB Headline News



KU Slips Past Davidson

And then there were ones.

Four No. 1s, that is.

Kansas wore down Stephen Curry and plucky upstart Davidson with its size and strength, holding on for a 59-57 victory Sunday that put all four No. 1 seeds into the Final Four for the first time.

After Kansas' Sherron Collins missed with 19 seconds left, the 10th-seeded Wildcats got one last chance. Curry was double-teamed, could not get off a shot and forced to pass to Jason Richards, whose 25-footer from the top of the key thudded off the backboard.

Richards dropped to his back at midcourt while the Jayhawks celebrated with a measure of relief.

Kansas moved on to play overall No. 1 seed North Carolina on Saturday, and UCLA and Memphis will round out the party at the Alamodome. Three No. 1s have advanced three times, most recently in 1999.

The win also rids Bill Self of that dreaded ``best coach never to make a Final Four'' label. Self had fallen short with three different schools, including last year's edition of the Jayhawks. But this year's bunch had too much talent, depth and experience to be denied.

Curry, who became only the fourth player to hit the 30-point mark in his first four NCAA tournament games, finished with 25 on 9-of-25 shooting and was picked Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional. His roommate, Bryant Barr, was the only other Davidson player in double figures, scoring all 11 of his points in the second half.

The loss snapped Davidson's 25-game winning streak, longest in the nation.

Brandon Rush scored eight of his 12 points in the second half, and Sasha Kaun came up with big baskets down the stretch whenever the Jayhawks needed them as Kansas ended the feel-good story of the tournament. Tiny Davidson, trying to become only the third double-digit to make the Final Four, ran out of gas in the stretch.

Not that the Wildcats didn't put up a valiant fight. Curry looked exhausted much of the second half - with good reason, after leading the Wildcats to upsets of Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. But he showed the same moxie he's had all tournament, drilling an NBA-range 3-pointer with 54 seconds left that cut Kansas' lead to 59-57.

Kaun and Mario Chalmers led the Jayhawks with 13 each.

But these Wildcats have nothing to be ashamed of. They hung with the toughest teams in the nation - Georgetown and Wisconsin had two of the stingiest defenses in the country - and gave little Davidson something to be known for besides providing free laundry to its students. The Wildcats left the floor to applause from a fan club that's gotten a lot bigger over the last two weeks, and Max Paulhus Gosselin acknowledged them by holding up his index finger.

This is the Jayhawks' 13th trip to the Final Four, but the players celebrated as if it was their first. Which, it was.

Kansas lost to UCLA in the regional finals last year, and Self had come up short with three different teams. No more. He smiled and gave a thumbs-up to the Kansas fans who shouted his name, and the players beamed as they lined up to cut down the nets at Ford Field.

Curry, the son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, had made the tournament his own little party, hanging 30 points on Georgetown and 33 against Wisconsin and delighting fans with his silky-smooth shot. The rest of the Wildcats weren't bad, either, and they had folks all over rooting for yet another underdog-made-good story.

And for awhile, it looked as if it just might happen.

Kansas came in walloping opponents by almost 20 points a game, best in the nation, and the Jayhawks' ``toughest'' test in the tournament thus far had been a 15-point win over Villanova on Friday night. They had a distinct advantage in size and stature - on and off the court.

Yet Davidson's pesky defense had them looking downright tight for most of the afternoon. They had 14 turnovers - nine in the first half alone - and at one point had more turnovers (3) than field goals (1). They even had a shot-clock violation coming out of a timeout.

They had foul trouble, too, with Kaun playing only eight minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls. Rush practically disappeared after a couple of baskets, enduring a 19-minute stretch that spanned halftime without a field goal.

Barr made three 3-pointers, and Curry scored on a long jumper to give Davidson a 51-47 lead with 8:54 left. But the Wildcats were clearly tiring, and they couldn't hold the Jayhawks back any longer.

Chalmers stripped the ball and took it in for a layup, Collins followed with a 3 and Kaun scored on a layup. After Barr made a layup, Arthur kissed one off the glass to make it 56-53. Kaun made a free throw, and Rush made a pair to push the lead to 59-53, matching the largest margin of the game.

But Curry had one last highlight left in him. Thomas Sander missed the second of two free throws and, after the loose ball went off a Jayhawk, Curry hit his 3-pointer that cut the lead to 2. But that's where the game would end.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NCAA College Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NCAA College Basketball teams
 - NCAA College Basketball standings
 - NCAA College Basketball schedule
 - NCAA College Basketball scoreboard
 - NCAA College Basketball injuries
 - NCAA College Basketball matchups
 - NCAA College Basketball stats
 - NCAA College Basketball odds
 - NCAA College Basketball public betting chart
 - NCAA College Basketball news wire
 - NCAA College Basketball top stories
 - NCAA College Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NCAA College Basketball predictions
 - Expert NCAA College Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NCAA College Basketball Home

 

NCAABB Team Pages

Top NCAABB Public Bets

View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NCAABB Futures

NCAA BASKETBALL TEAM MENS TOURNAMENT ODDS CURRENT
KENTUCKY 4/1
ARIZONA 8/1
DUKE 10/1
WISCONSIN 12/1
KANSAS 14/1
FLORIDA 14/1
NORTH CAROLINA 16/1
VILLANOVA 25/1
LOUISVILLE 28/1
WICHITA STATE 28/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com