Final Four 2012: Championship Odds for Each Remaining Team
The field of 68 has been cut down to the Final Four, and these are the updated odds for each team to win it all.
Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Kansas are the last four teams in the 2012 NCAA tournament, and all four have already experienced cutting down the nets in their regions.
When these four teams meet up in New Orleans, they all have a chance to win a championship, but their chances are not equal.
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Under head coach Rick Pitino, the Louisville Cardinals mounted one of the greatest comebacks in Elite Eight history against Florida, winning the game on a 20-5 run.
Louisville is led by point guard Peyton Siva, who is an excellent leader. He controls the tempo, and he brought the game against Florida back into contention. He did not have his best game in terms of stats, but his eight assists and intangible leadership were invaluable to the team.
Louisville has won eight tournament games in a row, winning the Big East tournament and then four more games in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Louisville's first game will come against No. 1-overall Kentucky. While Louisville lost their game against Kentucky during the regular season, they are incredibly hot right now and appear unstoppable.
The Cardinals are trying to duplicate what UConn did last year, winning the Big East tournament and then the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, the team does not have a star like Kemba Walker to carry them, and I'm not giving them very good odds to win it all.
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Kansas beat No. 1 North Carolina in the Midwest final, pulling away with a 12-0 run to end the game.
Kansas got into the Final Four without playing their best basketball. Point guard Tyshawn Taylor has struggled in every game of the tournament except for the last, when he dropped 22 points. However, in that last game, Thomas Robinson did not have a great game, going cold in the second half.
The team is good, but they are also very vulnerable.
The Jayhawks look to play their best basketball in their next game, but that requires both Taylor and Robinson to be playing well.
Taylor, however, will struggle in the Final Four because he will be playing against some of the best point guards in the country in Aaron Craft, Peyton Siva and Marquis Teague.
While this team has the potential to win it all, they will need Taylor to play well, and I don't expect that to happen.
Ohio State, 4-1
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Ohio State looks like a dangerous team, and while they are third in terms of odds, they definitely have the potential to win it all.
The Buckeyes are led inside by Jared Sullinger, who is a man among boys, and it is next to impossible to stop him from recording a double-double. Sullinger is an incredible player, but he is also being helped inside by DeShaun Thomas, who is averaging 22.3 points per game. Thomas is playing the best basketball of his career, and he is peaking at the right time.
Ohio State's X-factor is William Buford, who is also playing excellent basketball. He is playing up to his potential, which is great news because he makes this team multi-dimensional. He struggled against No. 6 Cincinnati, but there are very few players left in the Final Four who can stop him.
Lastly, point guard Aaron Craft is playing well. While he isn't one to light up a stat sheet, he played possibly the game of his life against No. 8 Kansas State, and has continued that trend. Craft is also a shut-down defender, which will help to beat elite teams, including Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor in the team's next game.
While Ohio State is easily one of the best in the country, they are not the best, as that honor belongs to this next team.
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Kentucky is the best team in the nation. Period.
This is arguably the most talented team in history, with seven future NBA stars. This team could have the first two picks in this year's NBA draft, and they are simply so much better than every other team that it seems almost unfair.
Anthony Davis will be the National Player of the Year, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has the potential to be the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NBA draft. Throw in lottery picks like Marquis Teague and Terrence Jones, and this team is stacked with talent.
John Calipari has combined three starters from a Final Four team with one of the best recruiting classes in history.
This team is young, but they do not play like it. This team does not get flustered or make mistakes, which is why they have such a good chance of winning it all this year.
This team is just so good that they have twice the chance as any other team left, of winning it all.