Anthony Davis Player Of The Year
Anthony Davis Player Of The Year, Relax, Big Blue Nation. You can come in off the ledge now. Or one of those bridge railings Rick Pitino said would be needed if his Louisville Cardinals had been able to pull off the upset.
Rusty Costanza / The Times-PicayuneA determined Anthony Davis of Kentucky outfights Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng for one of his game-high 14 rebounds during the second half of the Wildcat’s 69-61 victory in the Final Four semifinals at the Superdome on Saturday. Davis also led all scorers with 18 points.
Kentucky (37-2) will be going for the eighth title in school history, but the first since 1998, and it puts Wildcats Coach John Calipari in reach of his first championship in four Final Four appearances.
“No doubt,” said David Colarussa, a Tulane student from Pittsburgh who nevertheless was wearing an “I Hate Louisville” T-shirt. “We have total confidence in our players. And in Cal we trust.”
It wasn’t easy. Final Four games aren’t supposed to be.
Louisville (30-10) denied Kentucky its trademark transition points (just four allowed), and kept the Wildcats off the offensive boards (just six offensive rebounds allowed).
Kentucky usually demoralizes opponents with big runs. But in this game, the Wildcats’ longest stretch of unanswered points was eight after Louisville scored the game’s first basket.
But what the Cardinals didn’t have, or for that matter no team in college basketball possesses this season, was a player to match 6-foot-10 freshman Anthony Davis.