NEW ORLEANS – John Calipari is 20 minutes away from erasing the only real knock against him in college basketball.
The Kentucky head coach is one half from winning the national championship.
The top-seeded Wildcats lead Kansas 41-27 heading into halftime at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Doron Lamb has paced Kentucky with 12 points, although it's been freshman Anthony Davis' nine rebounds, three blocks -- and four assists -- that have really changed the game. Fellow freshmen Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have combined for 20 points.
Thomas Robinson, Kansas' All-American, has struggled against the length of Davis. Robinson is just 3-for-11 from the field, although center Jeff Withey has chipped in with five points on the interior.
Kansas hung with Kentucky in the opening four minutes, but the Jayhawks suddenly went cold offensively and couldn't stop the Wildcats at the other end. Kentucky is 16-for-30 from the field, while Kansas is just 11-for-33. The Wildcats have also dominated the glass, limiting the Jayhawks' second chances.
In the second half, Kansas needs to get the ball to Robinson and Withey in good position to score, but both have to go aggressively go at Davis. Both players have been somewhat passive in their approach, enabling Davis to alter their shots. Defensively, getting back in transition and keeping the Wildcats out of the lane is imperative.
History doesn't look good for the Jayhawks, though. The largest halftime deficit overcome in a national title game was 10 points. Kentucky did it against Utah in 1998, coming back to win by nine.
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