The 2012 National Championship will be handed out on Monday night, and here at Cappers Info, we are making our last Final Four picks of the year when we watch the Kentucky Wildcats take on the Kansas Jayhawks in New Orleans.
Final Four Matchup: #1 Kentucky Wildcats vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks
Date: Monday, March 2nd, 9:20 ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Final Four Odds: Kentucky -6.5
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: CBS
The road to the Final Four ends here for both Kentucky and Kansas, who are vying for yet another banner to be able to hang in either Rupp Arena or Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The Wildcats have had a very tough road to reach this point, having to dispose of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Iowa State Cyclones, Indiana Hoosiers, Baylor Bears, and Louisville Cardinals to reach this point. Those who got in the way of the Jayhawks include the Detroit Titans, Purdue Boilermakers, NC State Wolfpack, North Carolina Tar Heels, and Ohio State Buckeyes.
The big difference between the two roads to make it to New Orleans has had to do with the ease in which both teams have gotten here. Kentucky really hasn’t been challenged the whole way. There are times in which the Cats have looked beatable, but in the end, there hasn’t been a team in the land that has been able to stick within better than eight points of them here in the dance. If they are able to cover this game with ease, this will surely go down as one of the most dominating performances in the history of the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, against a significantly easier road in terms of the seedings of the teams tit had to face, Kansas struggled a heck of a lot more. Generally speaking, you’ve got to figure out how to win the close games in this tourney, and the Jayhawks have done just that, especially in the gritty wins over Ohio State in the Final Four and Purdue way back in the second round. In both games, KU was down and down quite a bit, and in both cases, it was able to fight back and get the job done at the death with the savvy of its veteran stars.
And that is the other theme in this game. The Wildcats are going to have to win this game with their talent. Anthony Davis is going to almost surely be in the NCAA Tournament MVP if the Cats win this one, and he might be on his way to being the top pick in the NBA Draft this year as well. He and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist make up one of the most dominating frontcourts in the country. Kansas has its talent, but unlike Kentucky, which has at least four or five NBA players, it has probably just two or so. Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor are the two that are going to have to lead this team into the title game, but as we have seen in this tournament, if they aren’t able to get the job done, the rest of the veterans on this team, including Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson, and Travis Releford, have been able to get the job done.
When these two teams met earlier in the year, it wasn’t really all that much of a contest. This time around though, we think that the Jayhawks are a heck of a lot better suited for the game of their lives. Kentucky is great, but there is something about the fact that Head Coach John Calipari has never won a National Championship that really rubs us the wrong way. Head Coach Bill Self, as far as we are concerned, has done the best job in this tournament, and when push comes to shove, we think that he is going to be able to lead his troops to get the job done on Monday night to give the Jayhawks yet another National Championship.
Final Four Free Pick: Kansas Jayhawks +6.5
Wisconsin vs. Syracuse Projected Final Score: Kansas 69 – Kentucky 63