With the Elite Eight of the 2012 NCAA tournament kicking off soon, the time to study which teams have the best chance to advance is upon us.
The odds are in the favor of Kentucky Wildcats right now, but plenty of teams are still in the mix, and every team has at least a chance to shock the world, no matter how slim.
Every team has a mathematical chance to win the entire tournament, but these are the realistic percentages that each team in the Elite Eight will advance on and possibly win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
The Kentucky Wildcats trounced the Indiana Hoosiers in the Sweet 16, topping the century mark on the scoreboard and sending a message to the reaming teams in the NCAA tournament.
The No. 1-seeded Wildcats and their head coach John Calipari have proven their worth time and time again, and a matchup against Baylor will have Kentucky heading to the Final Four easily.
The Louisville Cardinals are 6-0 under Rick Pitino when they face his old player and coaching protégé Billy Donovan. As good as the Florida Gators have been, the Cardinals are on fire.
After sending the No. 1-seeded Michigan State Spartans home early, the Cardinals will have no problem sending the Gators home as well and cashing their ticket to the Final Four.
The key for the Syracuse Orange would have been to depend on Fab Melo in order to shut down Jared Sullinger, but the academic problems that have kept him out of the lineup will keep his team from the Final Four.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are playing too well at both ends of the court, and Sullinger will have too much room for the Orange to pull out this upset. Buckeyes move on.
This is not the typical Kansas team that will out-gun any team on any day. This is a team that plays smart defense and lets their offense come from that. In other words, they play basketball.
With their last two tourney wins coming by three points each, the Jayhawks know they can pull out a tough win when the chips are down—something they’ll need if they plan on going any further.
The Syracuse Orange didn’t get to the Elite Eight on the shoulders of any one player, but their loss in this round will fall squarely on the shoulders of Fab Melo.
Syracuse depended on his defensive prowess, and he let them down by putting himself in the position to miss the tournament. When Jared Sullinger and Ohio State go off offensively, it will be because Melo isn’t there to defend.
When always-tough North Carolina has two of their better players in John Henson and Kendall Marshall at less than 100 percent, the team greatly suffers.
After barely beating the Ohio Bobcats, the Tar heels will be trounced by a Kansas Jayhawks team looking to prove that they deserve more respect.
I would be leaning heavily towards Donavan and his squad in this round if it wasn’t for the man he has to face: former coach and teacher Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals.
Donovan is 0-6 against Pitino and the Cardinals, and this matchup in the Elite Eight will go the same way. Pencil in 7-0 for the Cardinals over the Gators.
The Baylor Bears have to face the toughest team in the nation when they square off with the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday.
While the Bears have looked good thus far in the NCAA tourney, they have not faced a team of the Wildcats' caliber yet and will go no further than the Elite Eight.
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