College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, March 25, 2012
Experience matters in almost every walk of life, but Tyshawn Taylor's four years of tutelage under coach Bill Self at Kansas paid huge dividends for the senior guard as he lifted his team past North Carolina and into the NCAA Final Four.
Taylor was the catalyst in the Jayhawks' 80-67 win in the the Midwest regional final. It didn't hurt that North Carolina's regular point guard, Kendall Marshall had been sidelined with a fractured wrist, leaving Taylor one-on-one for much of the game with less-capable replacements - Stilman White and Justin Watts - who together tallied just nine points for the Tar Heels.
Able to guard players with limited understanding of North Carolina's attack, Taylor was able to pick off five steals, and snatch six rebounds while the bigs battled under the hoop, while on the offensive end he scored a game high 22 points and dished out five assists to grateful teammates.
Playing all but four minutes of the game, Taylor slowed Carolina's offense and while he was 0-for-5 from three-point range, he was effective otherwise, hitting 10 of 19 shots from the field and turning the ball over just three times.
Kansas will face the East region's Ohio State in Saturday's semi-final in a battle of #2 seeds. Ohio State, like Kansas, defeated their region's #1 in the regional final - in Ohio State's case, Syracuse - to advance to New Orleans.