Midwest Regional Final - 10 Davidson vs 1 Kansas

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Davidson has a chance to spoil the #1 seed party in San Antonio next week. There's always a chance. The Wildcats must do what they did against Wisconsin, which is get other players involved in the offense early to take some of the pressure off Stephen Curry.

But whereas Wisconsin is as big as Kansas, they are nowhere near as quick. Davidson will be challenged to contend with the length and quickness of the Jayhawks. It's a tall order, but this is one underdog that could pull it off. If Kansas has any breakdowns in execution, it can be vulnerable to the upset.

Davidson is aggressive early on both ends of the floor. Defensively they are double teaming when the ball goes inside, then rotating to take away the next available pass.

Offensively, the Wildcats show no fear of taking the ball inside and challenging the bigger defenders for Kansas.

Davidson is also competing. They are getting back on the break and not letting Kansas get up and down the floor without challenge. The Wildcats are showing toughness, and so far the Jayhawks haven't shot the ball well.

It's a physical game so far, and that certainly favors Kansas if it stays like this the whole game. But I like the way Davidson is refusing to back down. That style will get under the skin of a heavy favorite and could force key mistakes.

Kansas has stepped up the defensive pressure. Curry has missed his first five shots, all of which have been challenged. In fact, Davidson really hasn't had a clear open look yet due to the excellent defense from Kansas.

And with all that, Davidson is not intimidated and has a three point lead at the under 12 minute time out. The tempo favors the Wildcats.

I expected Kansas to be quicker than Davidson, but right now the teams look fairly evenly matched. The Jayhawks are bigger, but not appreciably quicker.

There's a shot going down for Curry. And now another one...and another! Look out for the offensive explosion.

Shots are starting to fall for Kansas now. Success from the perimeter will allow the Jayhawks to stretch the Davidson defense and open up the middle where Kansas has a decided advantage.

But the surprising thing is that Kansas is unable to handle Curry and Davidson on the defensive end.

Davidson is really getting after it on the defensive end. They are sticking with the double team on the interior. Kansas must consistently score from the outside to make the Wildcats pay for it.

It's a tie game at the under four minute time out.

Kansas just can't get going on the break. The Jayhawks have no quickness edge, and Davidson is getting back easily on defense to prevent Kansas from getting uncontested layups.

Kansas is starting to force offense and make mistakes. The haven't really solved Davidson's defense yet.

Kansas has a two point lead at the half.

Curry starts the half with two big shots to give Davidson the lead. He doesn't need much room to get a shot off.

But Kansas comes right back with stronger defensive pressure to create some turnovers and get the lead back. The Jayhawks are also making it much tougher for Curry to get the ball now. And the strength of Kansas is becoming a factor as they extend the lead to six at the 12 minute mark.

Then, just as Kansas starts to feel comfortable, Davidson comes storming back to take a one point lead. And this time it's other players besides Curry who get it done.

Davidson is really make it tough for Kansas now. The Wildcats aren't going away. Kansas looks like it is starting to feel the pressure, while Davidson looks relaxed and in control.

Kansas goes on a little run to get the lead back after a couple of Davidson turnovers.

Curry has also gone a bit cold.

Kansas is going almost exclusively to its bigs inside now. And the defensive pressure on the perimeter is making it difficult for Davidson to run its offense.

It's a three point lead for Kansas with 3:31 to play.

Kansas is dominating the boards on both ends of the floor. They lead by four with 2:20 to play.

Curry may have run out of magic. Davidson got a turnover and rushed down the court, but Curry missed from the three point line and then the Wildcats were forced to foul. Kansas leads by six with 1:15 to play.

Curry misses again. Davidson gets the rebound and calls time out with :59 to play.

Davidson gets inside and Kansas fouls. The Wildcats make one of two and get the rebound...and there's the Curry magic! The Wildcats cut the lead to two with :54.5 to play.

Davidson has a chance to tie with 16.8 to play.

Curry couldn't get a shot off and had to give the ball up, and the shot was missed. All credit goes to the Kansas defense. They knew Curry wanted the shot and they made him give the ball up.

Kansas becomes the final #1 seed to advance, the first time that has happened in tournament history. Kansas will play North Carolina.

Congratulations to Davidson on a great run.