(1) Kentucky vs. (2) Kansas Preview
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
Follow @Yannis KoutroupisYannis Koutroupis
(1) Kentucky Wildcats
In a Final Four Matchup against Louisville that was not lacking intriguing story lines in the least bit, the Wildcats proved to be the better team defensively as they eliminated the Cardinals 69-61. The Wildcats held the Cardinals to 34 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc. The Cardinals made a couple of runs in the second half, but in the end they just could not get the consecutive buckets they needed. Anthony Davis played like the star he is, putting up 18 points, 14 boards and five blocks. The Wildcats uncharacteristically got outrebounded and shot 55 percent from the charity stripe. They don’t want those two problems to persist on Monday against Kansas, because they will capitalize on them if they do. The Jayhawks are going to be looking to their leader Thomas Robinson for a big game. If Kentucky can slow him down, the title will be returning back to Lexington.
(2) Kansas Jayhawks
In the first half the Jayhawks were having a hard time figuring out the Buckeyes’ defense. They missed a lot of shots they should have made and found themselves in a 34-25 halftime hole as a result. The tables turned in the second half, though, as the Jayhawks defense picked it up a notch to seal the 64-62 comeback victory. After a slow start Thomas Robinson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. Jeff Withey deserves a ton of credit for the way he defended Jared Sullinger. He used his length very effectively, holding Sullinger to just five makes on 19 attempts. As expected, Tyshawn Taylor had some trouble against the pesky Aaron Craft, but he managed to dish out nine assists and score 10 points. The Jayhawks were a +11 on the glass. Winning the battle of the boards against Kentucky will be key if they are going to pull off the upset. Robinson needs to be on top of his game early and try to get Davis into foul trouble as well.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Kentucky. We’ve been going with the Wildcats all tournament long and there’s no reason to stop now. The Jayhawks will have too much trouble scoring against their defense as Coach Calipari wins his first championship ever.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!