With the season now finished, this will be our last version of NCAA Tournament Tidbits. Special thanks to contributors Brian Goodman and Walker Carey for putting these together throughout March Madness.
- John Calipari finally won his first National Championship Monday night, which many think will catapult him from being a good coach to being a great coach. No matter your thoughts, it is time to give the coach his due.
- Dan Wolken argues that you cannot blame John Calipari for the one-and-done culture that helped earn Kentucky its title. Wolken notes that Calipari has always been the same coach, but it is Kentucky that has changed to accommodate the coach’s way of recruiting and coaching.
- Doron Lamb, who scored a game-high 22 points for the Wildcats, was so sharp in the team’s afternoon shoot-around that his coach told the sophomore that he expected 25 points from him. Lamb did not get that many buckets, but Calipari isn’t too upset about it.
- All the talk after Monday’s game was about the freshmen and one-and-dones that are being shuffled through the Kentucky program. This talk was unfair to the sophomore Lamb, who was Kentucky’s standout offensive performer in its title victory.
- Marquis Teague helped ignite Kentucky’s scorching start by scoring nine points in the game’s 13 minutes. This fast start and the leadership the freshman provided the Wildcats all night served to illustrate the improvement the guard has made throughout the season.
- Darius Miller, Kentucky’s lone senior contributor, went from playing in the NIT as a freshman to becoming a national champion as a senior.
- Anthony Davis was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four despite scoring just six points on 1-10 shooting in the title game. However, Davis contributed in many other ways, as he accumulated 16 rebounds, five assists, six blocks, and three steals.
- Calipari noted after the game that he hopes there are six first-rounders that will come from Kentucky’s roster. The players he meant are Lamb, Teague, Miller, Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Terrence Jones.
- In the past several years, the Jayhawks have found themselves despondent after tournament losses to underdogs such as Northern Iowa and Virginia Commonwealth. While KU is undoubtedly disappointed with its loss to Kentucky, this disappointment feels a bit different.
- At the beginning of the season, virtually no one thought Kansas had even the slightest chance to play for the national title. Considering this season’s supposed “rebuilding” year was coupled with the low expectations, this season’s Jayhawk squad has much to be proud of.
- Thomas Robinson is certainly headed to the NBA, as he is a projected lottery pick. With Robinson out of the fold, Kansas will have a tough task in replacing the All-America forward.
- Tyshawn Taylor was often seen as enigmatic throughout his first three seasons at Kansas. However, this season, Taylor put it all together and flourished as the floor general for the Jayhawks. Despite his successes, the ultimate goal of a title proved to be elusive.
- Bill Self said after the game that he did not think his team had lost the game, it was just that Kentucky had won it.
- After Monday night’s defeat, both Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey vowed they would be returning to Kansas for their senior seasons. With Tyshawn Taylor graduating and Thomas Robinson more than likely gone, the Jayhawks are going to need major contributions from Johnson and Withey next season.