- Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final
- Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again
- FAA investigating fireworks drone flights
- Pentagon: We’ll give Obama a drone strike with al-Baghdadi’s name on it
- Marine in Mexican custody to get day in court after 101 days
- Senate OKs San Antonio mayor as housing secretary
- NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket
- Sen. Ted Cruz tweets Obama directions from fundraisers to border towns
- Israel hits key Hamas targets in Gaza offensive
- Ten-year sentence for New Orleans’ Nagin on graft charges
Kansas, Ohio State meet in ‘The Other Game’
Question of the Day
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Welcome to “The Other Game” at the Final Four.
OK, so, the Ohio State-Kansas matchup may not have the fantastic freshmen, the outspoken coaches or blood-feud story line of the opening semifinal between Kentucky and Louisville. But this one still should be worth a two-hour investment in front of the TV set Saturday night.
Besides the chance to watch two top-line teams play for a spot in the national title game, the Buckeyes-Jayhawks game offers a rare opportunity to see two All-Americans going at it with everything on the line.
Ohio State is led by Jared Sullinger, the sophomore forward who missed the first matchup between these teams with a bad back. Kansas’ best player is Thomas Robinson, who had 21 points and seven rebounds in the Jayhawks’ 78-67 win on Dec. 10.
“In my eyes, he’s the college player of the year,” Sullinger said of Robinson. “I know some think different. But with his season, the way he took his team to the top, you’ve just got to give it to him.”
In fact, it’s Kentucky’s Anthony Davis who took player of the year awards from The Associated Press and college basketball writers Friday. But while Davis is a story of an ultra-talented freshman trying to lead his team to a championship in what likely will be his only year with the Wildcats, Sullinger and Robinson approach college in a different way.
At one point last season, Sullinger was viewed as a surefire lottery pick, a one-and-done prospect with nothing much left to prove in college. He never saw it that way, however, and when Ohio State was eliminated from last year’s tournament as a No. 1 seed, the 6-foot-9 forward committed to staying in college.
“I wanted to make a statement, that not everybody is using college basketball as a pit stop to go the next level,” he said. “That there’s more than money and endorsements. There’s championships that you’ve got to win at every level. That’s what I pride myself on. I’ve won a championship all the way from elementary to now. I pride myself on winning. That’s the biggest thing. That’s why I came back.”
“Pride,” was also one of the first words Robinson used when asked about his decision to return for his junior year.
He spent most of his first two seasons playing limited minutes behind the Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus. NBA scouts were telling Robinson he could be a first-round draft pick if he left.
“It was a pride issue,” Robinson said. “I didn’t want people to guess and be like, `I think he can play. We’ve seen glimpses.’ I wanted to come back and prove to everybody that I’m a good player.”
He did. Widely viewed in the preseason as a player who might nudge his way onto some All-America lists, Robinson outperformed the predictions. He averages 17.7 points and 11.8 rebounds a game and is learning the difference between coming off the bench as a role player and leading a team.
“Guys can be prepared to get a check, but I’m not sure they’re all prepared to make a living,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Thomas wasn’t prepared to make a living. I mean, let’s call it like it is. He never had to carry the water. To me, it wasn’t a hard decision. He needed to show everybody and himself that he was a guy who could make plays to impact a game.”
While Kentucky coach John Calipari, never one for understatement, said he thinks Game 1 will be played in the 90s, Las Vegas oddsmakers disagree. The over-under for Louisville-Kentucky is the exact same as it is for Ohio State-Kansas: 136.5. The Buckeyes are 2.5-point favorites over Kansas _ a sign of how big a difference Sullinger and a neutral court mean in the eyes of the “experts.”
Of course, both teams have changed considerably over the past three months.
By Ted Cruz
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
- GOP: Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress
- ISTOOK: Flying illegals home would be 99.5 percent cheaper than Obamas plan
- White House plans for bowling alley upgrades abruptly canceled
- Obama requests $3.7 billion to fight surge of illegals
- GORDON: Russia plays its own game away from the World Cup
- Islamic militants aim to take Baghdad airport
- Power grab: EPA wants to garnish wages of polluters
- Malaysian MP not sorry for tweeting 'long live Hitler' after Germany win
- Costco to re-stock Dinesh D'Souza's 'America' after public outry
- EDITORIAL: Whats Obama hiding at illegal-alien 'refugee' camps?
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs
U.S.-Ghana World Cup opener