Okay, we give up: we've been picking against Memphis, even though a little voice in our kept saying "great athletes! Great defense!" even as we said "but the free throws!" Well, that seems pretty much over: Memphis has gotten steadily better throughout the tournament. They started with a 52.4% performance against UT-Arlington; against UCLA, they shot 84.6% Against Texas, they put up 88.9%. Overall, they've shot 72%, which is pretty good. So might as well toss that out.
Here's why we think you have to take Memphis, although with a caveat: they're just killing teams with smaller guards, and Derrick Rose is playing like one of the greats.
Okay, her'es the caveat: he was sick Sunday with a stomach bug. That's a huge wild card. There's just no way to know what to expect out of him. He seems like a gritty kid, though, and we expect he'll suck it up. There's a title on the line, obviously, but there's also this: with a huge performance on that stage, given that he's clearly going to come out after this season, a brilliant performance Monday night could be worth a lot of money. His rookie contract is pegged to the NBA scale, of course, but he could ramp up his endorsement potential in a big way. His coming out party has been the tournament, and a lot of people don't know much about him. It's a big opportunity.
That's secondary, of course; the win is the first thing. Kansas was phenomenal against UNC, and they've won by an average of 15 ppg, with only Davidson being close. Toss Davidson out, and they're winning by 19 per game.
Memphis is on a different level, though. If they can control KU's guards like they controlled UNC's - and they have some shotblockers to back them up - we don't see Kansas winning.