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All Hail The Cats

We kind of thought that in the Final Four, Kentucky's youth might have gotten them in trouble.  It could have happened against Louisville and nearly did against Kansas. Neither team though was able to follow through on a late rally and made inexplicably dumb mistakes.

Or maybe, more likely, Kentucky had a lot to do with that.

Lightning struck for John Calipari when he signed Anthony Davis and, in a different but no lesser way, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Davis only hit one shot in the title game, but he had 16 rebounds five assists and six blocks.

In the November matchup, Kansas shot 33.9%; this time out, they made it to 35.5% and held Kentucky to 41.1% which is better than the 50% they shot last time out.

But the same basic script held: Kentucky dominated Kansas until fairly late. This time, the Jayhawks made them sweat: with 35 seconds they could have cut the lead to three. But they turned it over, and that was that.

The buzz for much of the season, increasing during the tournament, was about Davis. Now the comparisons kick in.

Russell? Camby? Duncan?

As far as we can see, he's pretty unique. We'll be interested to see what happens as he fills out, and how assertive he becomes in the NBA. That's probably the difference between a really good career for Anthony Davis and a great one.

As for Kidd-Gilchrist, he wasn't necessarily great in the Final Four, but he was superb throughout the season. It's fairly rare to see a freshman take on such a strong leadership role. Think of all the great ones who didn't: Duncan for one. Grant Hill, though he didn't need to. Jason Kidd did. Not many, though. Kidd-Gilchrist was superb.

Think about this too: Indiana hit a stunning three to beat them by one and they were weak in the SEC Tournament, losing to Vandy by seven, a game they should arguably have won. That's not far from a perfect season. And of course a healthy UNC might have - probably would have - given them fits in the Final Four. They were beatable. They just didn't give in to it.

You almost have to give modern teams an asterisk since players don't stick around anymore. Consider this team playing against UNC '82 or Georgetown '85. Actually, come to think of it, a young Sam Perkins would have been an interesting guy to put against Davis.

We'd be curious too to see how this team would have handled Tark's Amoeba. For that matter, we'd be curious to see how they stacked up against the Fab Five. Now that would be fun to see.

And of course Duke '92 would have been fun. Laettner would have pulled Davis out, and Duke's defense was extraordinary. Fun to ponder.

Still, the fact is is that we're speculating about how they'd play against some of the great teams of all time. That's an amazing compliment to any team.

By the way, we're also happy for our pal Matthew Laurance, who has made the remarkable move from a Duke world to a Kentucky one. We're sure they've embraced him as much as we did here.