Final Four 2012 Predictions: Why Kentucky Will Roll to a National Championship

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Anthony Davis #23, Eloy Vargas #30 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrate their 82 to 70 win over the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I've been ranting and raving for months now that if Kentucky plays up to its full potential, they won't be stopped on the path to a national championship.

Why would I stop ranting and raving about that now?

The three potential roadblocks ahead for the Wildcats—in-state rival Louisville then either Ohio State or Kansas—are talented teams that play solid defense, are led by experienced coaches and have been battle-tested against elite competition this year.

All three can very easily beat Kentucky. But none can beat Kentucky if the Wildcats are playing their A-game.

Louisville's stifling pressure defense would cause any teams fits, but the Cardinals will have problems of their own. Kentucky is long and athletic, making passing lines narrow and the path to the bucket treacherous.

That, and attacking the rim is always dangerous with Anthony Davis and his 4.6 blocks per game patrolling the paint. Kentucky is scary in transition, too, meaning Louisville doesn't have a decided advantage if the game's pace quickens.

Louisville's best bet would be to beat Kentucky over the top with outside shooting, but that hasn't exactly been the Cardinals' forte this season—the team shoots 42.5 percent from the field (225th in the nation) and 31.7 percent from three-point range.

They'll need to do better than that—or be more balanced than they were when these teams met in December and Russ Smith scored nearly half of Louisville's points (30) in a 69-62 loss—to beat Kentucky.

This will be a fun, physical and heated matchup, but Kentucky is built to win those games, and they'll do just that.

And what about on the other side of the bracket?

Kansas normally has a discernible edge down low with Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey, but Davis and Terrence Jones negate that.

Ohio State's occasional difficulties playing team offense and relying on Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas and William Buford to create shots could prove more difficult against Kentucky's athletic defenders.

Kentucky might have the two top players drafted in this year's NBA draft, Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I haven't even mentioned Doron Lamb, Darius Miller or Marquis Teague yet, all talented players, or the fact that Kentucky has six players that average double-digit points.

They are more athletic, more physical, more capable of playing any style and more balanced than any remaining team. This is Kentucky's championship to lose.

Don't hold your breath.

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets have won a lot since 2009.

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter