NCAA Bracket 2012: AP All-American Choices Fit Well with Final Four

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NCAA Bracket 2012: AP All-American Choices Fit Well with Final Four
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Associated Press unveiled its college basketball All-American teams on Monday and (Surprise! Surprise!) three of the five first-team selections will be partaking in the Final Four of the 2012 NCAA Tournament this weekend.

Of course, the votes were cast before Thomas Robinson, Jared Sullinger and Anthony Davis led Kansas, Ohio State and Kentucky, respectively, to New Orleans.

In a year when big men dominated college hoops, it should come as no shock that the AP's entire first-team squad is comprised of forwards measuring 6'7" or taller, with Michigan State's Draymond Green and Creighton's Doug McDermott joining the fray.

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Robinson became the first unanimous selection since Blake Griffin blew up during his sophomore season at Oklahoma in 2009, and is arguably more deserving of the distinction than his current Los Angeles Clippers counterpart. After all, Griffin's Sooners, while successful in reaching the Elite Eight, never won a Big 12 title, while Robinson, alongside senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, carried KU to its eighth consecutive conference crown and Bill Self's second Final Four despite losing a slew of key contributors from last year's squad.

What's more remarkable, though, is that Robinson, who was only a marginal contributor on the 2010-11 Jayhawks, is the school's first All-American since Wayne Simien earned the honor in 2005. 

He'll find himself going head-to-head with Sullinger in Saturday's nightcap. The Ohio State stud became the first repeat performer since North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough pulled off the feat in 2009 for the national champion Tar Heels and the first to make it as a freshman and a sophomore since LSU's Chris Jackson in 1989 and 1990.

What's more, Sullinger was the only preseason All-American to live up to his lofty billing, leaving behind the likes of North Carolina's Harrison Barnes, UConn's Jeremy Lamb, Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor and Kentucky's Terrence Jones.

Jones' All-American mojo was usurped (at least in part) by teammate Anthony Davis, who led the nation in blocks and ensured that there'd be at least one freshman on the first team for the fifth time in six years.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

All three figure to play prominent parts in the theatrics yet to emerge in the Big Easy. It's an interesting juxtaposition as well, considering how the college game and the NBA have swapped paradigms—if only temporarily—with the former favoring bigs and the latter turning into a point guard's game.

Then again, that could all very well change once these guys hit the pros, but for now, hoop heads can enjoy the glimpse at the future of frontcourt play they'll get during the finale of March Madness.

 

 

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