Final Four 2012: Power Ranking Each School's Chances of Winning It All

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 30:  Marquis Teague #25 and Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats talk during practice prior to the 2012 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 30, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Any of the Final Four teams can win the final, but they certainly don't have an equal chance at success. 

Kentucky entered this tournament as the favorites, and they still are. They have enough talent to allow for the biggest margin of error and still be victorious. 

Checkout their chances, as well as those of their three peers, of winning the Big Dance.


The only knock on Kentucky is their lack of experience. They roll out a starting lineup featuring three freshman and two sophomores. Normally, this is a recipe for tournament disaster. 

However, this is a talented and complete group of players. They finished 20th in scoring, 15th in rebounds and 10th in field-goal percentage. 

They have players that can win on the perimeter and those that can dominate in the post. They also are capable of playing suffocating defense. 

Another big plus is that they can shoot free throws. This has derailed plenty of Calipari's teams in the past, but this group shoots 72.9 percent from the charity stripe.

Likelihood of Winning the Championship: 65 percent


NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 30:  Head coach Thad Matta of the Ohio State Buckeyes talks to his team during practice prior to the 2012 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 30, 2012 in New Orleans
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Jayhawks are well-built for Final Four success. They have a dominant player in Thomas Robinson. They can rebound. They can defend. They can shoot and they can move the ball. They have four players averaging at least 1.8 assists per game. 

That ball movement will serve them well here, and it will allow them to work for open looks against tough defenses.

One of those defenses has actually already shut them down. In just their second game of the year, they lost to Kentucky 75-65. 

If Kansas does meet Kentucky again, they will have to shoot lights out to beat them. That is certainly possible, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it is likely. 

Likelihood of Winning the Championship: 5 percent

Ohio State

The Buckeyes had some rough patches in an otherwise dominant season, and they are playing their best ball when it matters most. 

They have an excellent front court, solid guard play and good outside shooting. All the ingredients are there. However, there is a problem with these matchups. The Buckeyes need Jared Sullinger to dominate. 

This is something he has done time and again, but he is about to face some amazing athletes. Sullinger does not have tremendous foot speed. This is going to put him at a disadvantage on the defensive end, and could easily lead to foul trouble. 

Likelihood of Winning the Championship: 17 percent


The Cardinals get the unenviable task of having to face Kentucky first. This, and the fact they are the lowest seed alive, is enough to knock them to the bottom of this list.

The Cardinals chances of success are going to hinge on them dictating the flow of the game. This is the one team left that likes to keep the score down.

They finished the season ranked 155th in scoring at 68.8 points per game. Every other school in the Final Four was ranked 36th or higher and averaged at least 75 points per game. 

While this slower offense could give their opponents fits, it is going to be hard for them to avoid a track meet. They like to play press defense and they are surrounded by teams with amazing athletes. 

Likelihood of Winning the Championship: 13 percent