An Impressive Final Four
As fans, we all enjoy watching teams like Ohio and Xavier push the giants of college basketball to their breaking point and they both nearly pulled off huge upsets in the Sweet 16, but as only four teams remain, they all have made it to this point in the past.
Make no mistake about it, this is Kentucky's tournament to lose. If you watched or listened to either of their games this weekend, you could tell this team was head and shoulders above the competition. Indiana even scored 90 points on the Wildcats on Friday, but Kentucky responded with 102 to move on to the Elite 8. Then from there, the Wildcats dismantled Baylor Sunday to reach the Final Four. If there ever was a big difference between Kentucky and the other three teams taking the floor in New Orleans on Saturday, it is that the Wildcats truly will not be satisfied unless they win the National Championship. With just two games standing in their way of accomplishing the ultimate goal, the Wildcats will have to first get past rival Louisville, who seems to find ways to win, especially at this point in the season.
As for the Louisville Cardinals, I can tell you first hand that their style of play is like no other team left in the Tournament. I watched them in person over the weekend and the manner in which they beat Michigan State was unparalleled to anything else I have seen the last two weeks. Holding a squad to just 44 points that is used to dominating opponents was mind blowing and then to follow it up in the Elite 8 against Florida was even more impressive. They always say that defense wins championships and Louisville's style of play is no exception, so don't be surprised if the Cardinals shock Kentucky on Saturday.
The other National Semifinal will feature the two big men for each team and we can only hope that neither of them get into foul trouble because it would certainly ruin this heavyweight matchup.
The Ohio State Buckeyes had the easiest road to New Orleans and when you take that into account along with the fact that they are jelling as a team, it parlays into success. The Buckeyes beat Syracuse in the Elite 8 despite Jared Sullinger picking up two fouls in the first 6 minutes of action and they were able to keep it close before Sullinger stole the show in the 2nd half. Having the most favorable road to the Final Four is nice, but will Ohio State be ready for a definite step-up in competition Saturday? We will find out soon enough.
The final piece of this year's Final Four puzzle is the Kansas Jayhawks. Much like Ohio State, many people wrote off this Jayhawk team back in December saying it was one of the least talented squads in Lawrence in quite some time, but after yesterday's thrilling win over North Carolina, Kansas is one of the last four standing. They are led by the only unanimous All-American player in the nation: Thomas Robinson, and with the way they played yesterday offensively, they have just as good of chance as anyone to be cutting down the nets Monday night.
Our Final Four coverage will begin at 1:30 PM on Saturday and will continue on with both National Semifinals from New Orleans. Tune into 630 The Fan all week long or you can listen online at 630thefan.com.