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NCAA Final Four: Big time in Big Easy
Power conferences » No mid-majors break through this year.


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Dieng’s anticipation. It’s one thing to see Louisville’s Senegalese shot blocker swoop in at the last minute and swat a shot away, but watch before the shot goes up, the way he sets himself up and figures out when to jump. And that coil — he’s like a cobra waiting to strike.

Sullinger’s footwoork. Satch Sullinger, Jared’s father and high school coach, had the Ohio State forward working on his footwork from an early age and now he’s like Chris Brown dancing around the basket. Pay particular attention to the way he uses his pivot foot to face up to the basket.

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Taylor’s first step. The Kansas point guard can blow past pretty much anyone in the game. That quick first step is what does it; watch how quickly he gets it even or past the defender’s leg to shoot by him.

Aaron Craft’s off-the-ball defense. The Ohio State point guard has tap-dancer-quick feet and is like a second jersey while following an opposing guard around. He doesn’t want his man to get the ball, he’s probably not going to get it.

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ODDS

Here’s your odds to win the title, from Glantz-Culver, even though no really bets on these things (Yeah, right):

Kentucky, 6-5.

Ohio State, 2-1.

Kansas, 5-2.


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Louisville, 6-1.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Kansas forward Justin Wesley’s two older brothers, Keith and Kevin Langford, both played in the NBA. Freshman guard Christian Garrett is the cousin of former NFL player Mike Garrett and New York Yankees great Chris Chambliss.

For the inroads mid-majors have made in recent years, the national champion will come from one of the six power conferences for the 22nd straight year. UNLV in 1990 was the last smaller-conference school to break through.

Louisville’s Chris Smith is the younger brother of J.R. Smith of the NBA’s New York Knicks and Mark Jackson Jr. is the son of former NBA guard and current television analyst Mark Jackson.

Calipari played point guard at Clarion State from 1981-82, leading the team in assists and free throw percentage.

The Superdome is expected to hold more than 74,000 fans after the lower bowl was reconfigured. Attendance was 54,524 when it last held the NCAA title game in 2003.

Ohio State guard Shannon Scott’s father is former Boston Celtics great Charlie Scott.

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