Play of the Day for Mon., April 7, 2008

Apr 7, 2008 7:57 PM

In a battle of the two most athletic teams in the NCAA Tournament, expect the pace of a fire drill with end-to-end action throughout in what should be a fairly close and competitive game in San Antonio tonight.

With so many talented athletes on the floor both Memphis (1-7 L8 Monday games) and Kansas will be playing like there’s no tomorrow – which there won’t be as this is it, meaning coaches will have to pull out all of the stops and the players will be able to give maximum effort knowing this is the last game of the season.

Both teams are both very deep which gives coaches Calipari and Self the ability to rotate players in and out depending on the situation. Self showed how valuable his bench was Saturday against North Carolina when he stifled Hansbrough by surrounding him with Arthur, Jackson, Kaun and freshman Aldrich.

The guard play here for both teams also hints at a lot of scoring with the Jayhawks’ Rush, Chalmers and Collins and the Tigers’ Rose, Douglas-Roberts and Anderson all legitimate NBA prospects and decent scorers.

Kansas does play pretty good defense, but has not faced as athletic a team as Memphis.

The trends in this one heavily lean toward taking the under as Kansas is 36-16 under in non-conference games while Memphis is 7-1 under in its last eight against the Big 12.

Also, Kansas has played four straight unders while Memphis has played five straight overs. But none of those statistical trends reflect the fact that this is the final game and both teams will expend maximum energy. If Florida and Ohio State totaled 159 points in last year’s title tilt, Memphis (46.8% FG) and Kansas (50.8% FG) should almost do the same. OVER 144.