Consensus Player of the Year Anthony Davis, a freshman, paced the Kentucky Wildcats to a 38-2 record and the NCAA Tournament championship.
The 2011-12 Wildcats may have been the epitome of the so-called one-and-done syndrome in which players attend a school for one season and then head to the NBA.
Davis was the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft while freshman teammate Michael Kidd-Gilcrist, was taken second. Another Wildcat freshman, Marquis Teague, went in the 29th pick while sophomore Terrence Jones was taken 18th and senior Darius Miller 46th.
Even so young going into 2011-12 -- the Wildcats saw four players (two freshmen in the first eight) drafted in 2011 -- Kentucky was seen to have great potential and was ranked second in the pre-season poll.
The Wildcats won their first eight before losing 73-72 at Indiana. Kentucky won its next 24 games, including a 16-0 run through the Southeastern Conference, before Vanderbilt beat the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament final. In the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky won its six games by an average of 11.8 points. Only the semifinals (versus Louisville) and the finals (versus Kansas) were relatively close and both were eight-point wins.
The 38 victories mark an NCAA Division I men's record.
Kansas, which earlier won its eighth consecutive regular-season Big 12 title and was 32-7 on the year, topped Ohio State (31-8) in the NCAA Final Four semifinal opposite the Louisville-Kentucky game.
En route to a 30-10 record, Louisville helped Coach Rick Pitino to his 600th career win. That was Nov. 11, 2011, four days before Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski picked up win No. 903, passing Bob Knight for the highest win total in NCAA Division I men's basketball.
In mid-December Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim collected his 900th win -- all at Syracuse where he played in the 1960s.
But they are all well behind Pat Summitt, who piled up 1,098 victories over a coaching career from 1974-2012. Like Boeheim, her career was at one school -- Tennessee. She coached the Lady Volunteers to eight national championships.
Summitt, who announced in August 2011 that she had early onset Alzheimer's disease. She coached the 2011-12 season but stepped down from the position on April 18.
For the second season, Ohio University, which beat third-seeded Georgetown in 2010, pulled one of the biggest upsets of the NCAA tournament. The Bobcats, seeded 13th, defeated fourth-seeded Michigan. However, the feat went mostly unnoticed because on the same day 15th seeds Norfolk State and Lehigh both knocked off No. 2 seeds. Norfolk edged Missouri 86-84 and Lehigh took out Duke 75-70.
The Baylor Lady Bears, led by junior center Brittney Griner, ran off a perfect 40-0 season in claiming a second national championship. After taking a 41-point win in the tournament first round, the Lady Bears won their other five NCAA Tournament games by an average of 16.8 points. They defeated Notre Dame (35-4) 80-61 in the title game.
Also in the women's Final Four were Stanford (35-2) and Connecticut (33-5) as the four No. 1 regional seeds made the national semifinals.
NCAA Division II Men's Championship
Western Washington 72, Montevallo 65
NCAA Division III Men's Championship
Wisconsin-Whitewater 63, Cabrini 60
NAIA Division I Men's Championship
Concordia (Calif.) 72, Oklahoma Baptist 69
NAIA Division II Men's Championship
Oregon Tech 63, Northwood (Fla.) 46
NCAA Division II Women's Championship
Shaw 88, Ashland 82
NCAA Division III Women's Championship
Illinois Wesleyan 57, George Fox 48
NAIA Division 1 Women's Championship
Oklahoma City 69, Union (Tenn.) 48
NAIA Division II Women's Championship
Northwestern College (Iowa) 75, College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 62
Major awards for the 2011-12 college basketball season:
Player of the Year:
Draymond Green, Michigan State (NABC Player of the Year)
Freshman of the Year:
Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Wayman Tisdale Award (USBWA); Sporting News Freshman of the Year)
Coach of the Year:
Frank Haith, Missouri (Henry Ida Award (USBWA))
Tom Izzo, Michigan State (NABC Coach of the Year)
Bill Self, Kansas (Naismith College Coach of the Year; Adoph Rupp Cup, Sporting News Coach of the Year)
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