Final Four 2012 Predictions: Peyton Siva Will Lead Louisville over Kentucky

Steven MarinoContributor IIIMarch 28, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 24:  Head coach Rick Pitino celebrates with the Louisville Cardinals before he gets interviewed by Reggie Miller after the Cardinals defeat the Florida Gators 72-68 during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Final at US Airways Center on March 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Peyton Siva has averaged 9.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game this season, leading the Louisville Cardinals to the Final Four.

Thus far in the 2012 NCAA tournament, Siva has averaged nine points, two rebounds and seven assists.  Siva have been a true floor general this March, which every tournament team needs.  His assist production has been up, and he has had his best games against top competition.

In Louisville's Sweet 16 appearance against Michigan State, Siva posted a game-high nine assists, and he also posted a game-high eight assists in Louisville's Elite Eight bout against Florida.  

His best game this tournament came in the opening round again Davidson, where Siva contributed to his team's victory with 17 points, two rebounds, six assists and two steals on 7-12 shooting and 3-4 from the charity stripe.

Siva has laid off his three-point shooting this tournament, going 1-4, which has worked well for the Cardinals.

Siva is doing his best Steve Nash impersonation, which has allowed him to record a game-high in assists in three out of his four tournament games.

Heading into Saturday's matchup against the No. 1 overall seed and bluegrass rival, Louisville will need Siva to distribute a fluid and consistent offense if the Cardinals want to reach the National Championship Game.

The Kentucky Wildcats have a freshman point guard in Marquis Teague, younger brother of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks starting point guard Jeff Teague, who averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game during the regular season.  

Teague has seen his scoring significantly increase during the tournament, averaging 14.5 points per game with just over five assists per game.  Kentucky has steamrolled its competition thus far, but when they tipped off against Baylor in the Elite Eight, Teague had his worst game of the tournament, posting eight points and three assists.

Saturday's matchup looks to be the better of the two semifinal games, and if Louisville looks to advance to the National Championship, Peyton Siva will be the reason why.

Siva's pass-first attitude bodes well for the Cardinals and could cause struggles for Kentucky's defense.  Siva's unique and crafted passing ability will help distribute the ball to Louisville's bigs, who will have their hands full against the potential No. 1 draft choice, freshman Anthony Davis.

Guard play will be important if Louisville wants to get past Saturday's matchup with their in-state rival, which has even caused a fight at a dialysis clinic between two elderly gentlemen.  Saturday's matchup between Louisville and Kentucky will be a great one, which I believe will go to the Louisville Cardinals if Peyton Siva has another pass-happy performance.