Elite Eight Bracket: Power Ranking Teams Left in the 2012 NCAA Tournament

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY - MARCH 20:  A detail of a NCAA logo  decal is seen at center court as the Kansas State Wildcats play against the Brigham Young Cougars during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Ford Center on March 20, 2010 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the Elite Eight ready to kick off and the end of the 2012 NCAA Tournament within spitting distance, it’s time to dig your heels in and enjoy the madness of March while you still can.

The Sweet 16 was a wild ride that has turned the Elite Eight weekend into one of the most most-see television events in recent history.

All of the following teams have a chance to win it all, but only one will take the national championship.

Get your full Elite Eight bracket here.

 

(1) Kentucky

After beating down on Indiana and proving why they came into this tournament as favorites to win it all, John Calipari and the Wildcats will look to oust the Baylor Bears and move onto the Final Four.

 

(4) Louisville

The Cardinals are on a seven-game winning streak and veteran head coach Rick Pitino has his Louisville boys playing their best basketball of the league. Louisville wins because Pitino does not lose (6-0) against former protégé Billy Donovan and the Gators.

 

(2) Ohio State

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 22:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after a basket against Cincinnati Bearcats during their 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Semifinal game at TD Garden on March 22, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo b
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With Jared Sullinger finding himself offensively and the team as a whole finding their defensive way, the Ohio State Buckeyes could hand the Fab Melo-less Syracuse Orange a test too tough to pass.

 

(2) Kansas

While this year’s Kansas team isn’t the best they’ve had over the past few seasons, their tenacity and never-say-die attitude has helped them make it this far. Two straight tournament wins by three points shows they are fighters through and through.

 

(1) Syracuse

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 22:  The Syracuse Orange mascot performs during their 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Semifinal game at TD Garden on March 22, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

While the Orange have been playing excellent up until this point, their close games will bite them as they face the first team that is legitimately better than them without Melo in the lineup.

 

(1) North Carolina

After barely squeezing out a win over the Ohio Bobcats, the injured North Carolina Tar Heels will limp into their meeting with the Kansas Jayhawks. I expect UNC nation to walk away utterly disappointed.

 

(7) Florida

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Head coach Billy Donovan of the Florida Gators reacts while taking on the Marquette Golden Eagles during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Pho
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

While the Gators don’t have the big names as some of the other schools left in the tournament, the Gators have a head coach in Billy Donovan that has won multiple national championships.

 

 (3) Baylor

While the Baylor Bears have made it this far on stellar offensive production and solid team defense, their luck will run out against the No. 1 seeded Kentucky Wildcats.

 

Check back for more on the NCAA basketball as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s College Basketball Page to get your fill of college basketball.