Final Four 2012 Predictions: Kentucky's NCAA Title Drought Will End

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Final Four 2012 Predictions: Kentucky's NCAA Title Drought Will End
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Fourteen years ago, Kentucky cut down the nets to win another NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. They haven't done it since.

Similar to the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Detroit Red Wings and other historic franchises, 14 years is an extremely long title drought.

Kentucky easily has its best opportunity to win the NCAA National Championship with this group in 2011-12.

The drought is ending in 2012. They have all the tools for a championship season. 

 

NBA Talent

Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb will play in the NBA.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Davis will be the No.1 pick most likely, Kidd-Gilchrist is one of the more underrated prospects given his size, athleticism and ability to play well in big games, and Jones is a risk-reward type of player. 

 

Championship Pieces 

Davis blocks/alters shots, Lamb and senior Darius Miller knock down outside shots, Kidd-Gilchrist will do whatever it takes offensively and defensively, and Jones and Teague are capable of being difference makers with their ability to score the basketball.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Davis blocks five shots per game, Lamb and Miller knock down 47.4 and 38.3 percent of three-point opportunities, Kidd-Gilchrist averages 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block per game, and Jones and Teague score 23 points per game combined.

All of the pieces are there.

 

Difference Maker

Aside from Davis blocking/altering shots, i'm going to focus on Kidd-Gilchrist. I raved about him all season, which probably made people sick on Twitter, but I absolutely love what this kid brings every game. 

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

He has that "whatever it takes" attitude that people who love the game of basketball can appreciate.

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He'll volunteer to defend the best player on the opposing team, he doesn't need the offense to run around him to score points, he'll dive on the floor, contest shots, rebound with a high success rate, find the open man and score by driving to the basket.

The list goes on and on.

Now that he seems out of his little funk in the NCAA Tournament, expect Kidd-Gilchrist to play a major role in a national championship run. 

With Kendall Marshall's wrist setting the Tar Heels back and Fab Melo being ineligible for the Orange, Kentucky clearly has the best team left in the field. 

With the door wide open, the 14-year drought will finally come to an end. 

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