With the Final Four kicking off tomorrow and the Cincinnati Bearcats nowhere to be seen unfortunately, we the people need someone to put our cheers behind. Sports are fun when you don't have a dog in the race, but it's a lot more interesting when you pick a team and make them your own for a day. The past couple of days, I've given you reasons to root for Louisville and Kentucky. The attention turns to the other matchup on this Friday. We kick things off with the Big 12 champs, the Kansas Jayhawks.
Why we should root for Kansas
- Thomas Robinson. Of all the players left in the tournament, Robinson wins the title of most fun to watch. He does everything that you can ask a player to do. Need someone who can get you buckets? Robinson averaged 17.7 points a game. He can score around the basket at ease. He has a great mid-range game. He can even step out a little further and pop in a 3. Robinson scored at least 15 points in every game but 9. They've played 37. That's 28 games of at least 15 points. Only 3 of them have taken place in 2012. One of them was against Purdue. Robinson bounced back with back to back 18 point games to help put the Jayhawks into the Final Four.
Need someone who can rebound? Robinson is one of the best rebounders in the nation. He pulled in 11.8 a game this year. That was 2nd. He grabbed 9 defensive rebounds a game. Nine. Yancy Gates pulled down 9 rebounds a game and was the UC leader. Think of how crazy that is. The fewest amount of rebounds Robinson had in a game this year was 7. He had 11 single digit rebound games. That means he had 26 games of at least 10 rebounds. Out of those 11 games of single digit rebounds, 6 of them were 9 rebound games. Not surprisingly, Robinson has pulled home double digit rebounds in 3 of the 4 tournament games.
Another great thing about Robinson is that he's an elite player and one of the dying bread of players that came into a program, sat on the bench two years and flourished in their junior year. It's like Robinson was a diamond in the rough or anything, rivals #31 recruit, but Robinson made his time work for him. Guys don't stay 3 year very often. Hell, James Michael McAdoo of UNC who played a whopping 15 minutes a game with the stellar stats of 6-3 is considering going pro. Just because you have talent, it doesn't mean that you stick around. The dedication of Thomas to the program is something that should be appreciated. He's a dying bread.
- If you hate teams with McDonald's All Americans, Kansas has 0.
- Bill Self. Self is a great coach. His teams aren't always the most flashy of teams, but Self gets them all to play incredibly hard and smart. Watching Kansas on out of bounds plays under the basket is a thing of beauty. That sounds like a bunch of shit, but it's true. Regardless of if the shot falls or not, Kansas seems to always get an open look. What he did against Purdue late was masterful. He really has it going right now. Plus, he beat Calipari for a title. Put that in your pocket, Jimmy.
- Jeff Withey is a shot blocking son of a bitch. Who was first in the nation in block pct? Anthony Davis? No, he was 2nd. The answer is Jeff Withey. You really should have got that from when I said Jeff Withey is a shot blocking son of a bitch. I'm a little disappointed in you. Withey has blocked 129 shots this season. He saved his most dominating performance for the tournament. He got 10 NC State shots in the round of 16. I think that was some sort of record. Someone can correct me. If someone is going to challenge Ohio State, Withey can change the game around the basket.
- Rock Chalk Jayhawk is an amazing chant.
Why we should root against Kansas
- Rock Chalk Jayhawk is creepy as hell. The number of cults in the state of Kansas that use Rock Chalk as a recruiting staple is over 98.
- Rock Chalk Championship. Barf.
- Tyshawn Taylor is kind of annoying. He's a very good player, but sometimes he plays like he's Michael Jordan. He's not that good. Not that good at all. It's like hey, why don't you chill out a little, man. You can pass the ball. Other players on your team can make shots. Taylor will either go 12-18 against OSU or he will go 3-19. There is no in between. He's either going to get suffocated by Craft or he's going to burn him for 40 minutes. No consistency makes someone annoying. Especially to an outsider.
- Kansas should have lost to NC State and Purdue. The only reason Kansas made it this far is because two of the teams they played forgot what basketball was and how to play it during the last minute of those games. Sure, the Jayhawks get points because they played great defense and made shots and blah blah blah. But we all know that they should have lost. Purdue was like 'hey, take the ball for a breakaway dunk and win the game. Thanks.' NC State was like, 'we are going to run the stupidest play in the history of college basketball, is that alright? We thought so.' The NC State play in particular was especially annoying. Why you have any play or any inkling in your mind to throw the ball from in front of your bench to the opposing sideline is beyond me. I don't claim to be an expert, but that is not smart. Kansas could have given us a chance for the only buzzer beater of the tournament. Instead, they played teams that choked and pretty much ruined it for all of us. It's not Kansas' fault, but it is Kansas' fault.
- Not that big a fan of the Jayhawk. Typing Jayhawk 20 times in this piece hasn't exactly been a delight. I've always kind of liked the bird as a half court logo. Typing the word sucks.
- I hate Kansas football. Their helmets are stupid, their uniforms are stupid, the stadium is stupid and Charlie Weis is a fat ass.
- As you could tell, Kansas didn't have as many great reasons as the others for rooting for or against them. That's Kansas' fault. They are the least interesting team in the Final Four. I hope they lose.