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Championship game: 9:21 tonight, Ch. 10

No. 1 Memphis vs. No. 1 Kansas

Memphis starting five

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.

2 Robert Dozier F 6-9 215 Jr

3 Joey Dorsey F 6-9 265 Sr

5 Antonio Anderson G 6-6 210 Jr

14 Chris Douglas-Roberts G 6-7 200 Jr

23 Derrick Rose G 6-3 190 Fr

Kansas starting five

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.

00 Darrell Arthur F 6-9 225 So

3 Russell Robinson G 6-1 205Sr

15 Mario Chalmers G 6-1 190 Jr

25 Brandon Rush G 6-6 210 Jr

32 Darnell Jackson F 6-8250 Sr

SAN ANTONIO, Texas

For the second year in a row, a pair of No. 1 seeds will take the stage for the NCAA championship game. ¶ This time it's Memphis (38-1) and Kansas (36-3). ¶ Both are coming off surprisingly dominating wins in the semifinals against the other two No. 1-seeded teams in the tournament field. Memphis beat UCLA 78-63, and Kansas went on a 25-2 run in the first half and then held off a North Carolina rally for an 84-66 win. ¶ "After watching the first game and watching ours live, I just thought both teams played great," Kansas coach Bill Self said. ¶ He and his players, and Memphis coach John Calipari and his expect nothing different tonight. ¶ "It's going to be a great game," Memphis All-America guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said, "because it's so evenly matched."

Backcourt

Memphis' Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose continue to raise the bar with each tournament game. They're now averaging 45 points. Antonio Anderson has shut down the opponent's top perimeter player; UCLA's Darren Collison had a season-low two points. Kansas' Brandon Rush looked like an All-American against North Carolina (25 points). Mario Chalmers has hit timely 3-pointers (11 of 25 in the tournament), and Russell Robinson has been a dogged defender.

Edge: Memphis

Frontcourt

Kansas' Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur are big and incredibly athletic. Jackson had 12 points against UNC, his best production of the tournament. Arthur had six points, nine rebounds and four blocks, his best outing since the tournament opener against Portland State. Memphis forward Joey Dorsey didn't score against UCLA but had 15 rebounds and two huge blocks. Forward Robert Dozier had six points, three rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

Edge: Even

Bench

Guard Sherron Collins had 11 points, including a clutch 3-pointer to ignite a late run against UNC, and 6-11 freshman center Cole Aldrich had eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Senior center Sasha Kaun wasn't much of a factor against UNC, but he has been playing well of late. Memphis forward Shawn Taggart was the key reserve against UCLA (seven points, seven rebounds), but point guard Wille Kemp and fellow sophomore Doneal Mack can hit the 3.

Edge: Kansas

Coach

Calipari is a master motivator, and yes, he does coach 'em up. His dribble-drive offense, what he calls the "Princeton offense on steroids," takes some teaching. Self has been a winner at every stop, and in his first Final Four, he has a shot at the title. In the words of Self, whichever one of them gets his first national title isn't suddenly going to get any smarter, even if that's the public perception.

Edge: Memphis

No. 1 Memphis vs. No. 1 Kansas 04/06/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 7, 2008 4:28pm]
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