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Kansas begins its 2012 NCAA tournament in Omaha after suffering another disappointing exit in 2011, losing to VCU in the regional final. KU has been eliminated by a mid-major two years in a row as Northern Iowa shocked the Jayhawks in 2010.
Kansas is led by junior forward Thomas Robinson, a national player of the year candidate. Not unlike last year’s second pick in the draft, Derrick Williams of Arizona, Robinson led the Jayhawks in scoring (17.9 PPG) rebounding (11.8 RPG) and three-point shooting (46.2). He has a nice complementary core including guard Tyshaun Taylor (17.3 PPG, 4.8 APG and 43.5 three-point percentage) and center Jeff Withey (9.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 3.3 BPG)
Detroit has four players average in double figures, led by sophomore guard Ray McCallum (15.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.9 APG). Detroit can also match KU’s size with Eli Holman (10.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG) and LaMarcus Lowe.
With Kansas’ past history of not living up to potential and Detroit having the size and diversified scoring attack to match the Jayhawks, it seems as if Detroit has a chance like VCU and Northern Iowa before them.
Kansas seems determined. They won the Big 12 title outright for the eighth year in a row. Detroit should make it difficult, but behind a crowd that has to travel just three hours, Kansas should advance.