When filling out my bracket for this year's March Madness, I'll admit I was the one screaming loudest that Kentucky would fall before the Final Four. But one broken bracket later and I've learned my lesson. Kentucky will defeat Kansas and take home another National Championship.
As gifted and talented a head coach as Kentucky's John Calipari is, he's never made it to the final round of the NCAA tournament, and will have just as much drive and passion to win this bout as his players will.
In some ways, Calipari has become like the college basketball version of Marty Schottenheimer in that he's a fantastic coach who has just never found a way to hoist the title. Well, this tournament will mark the end of those comparisons.
Kentucky took literally everything that Louisville could throw at them, and even then there wasn't a huge chance that they were going to go home that night. Calipari told the Boston Globe's Bob Ryan:
"I have a team that has had teams come at them all year and they have responded the way they did [against Louisville]."
His team has a smothering defense that knows how to take its oppositions best weapons away, while knowing how to make opportunities for superstars like Anthony Davis.
Davis is a sure-fire top five, if not the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and while Kansas is no slouch, Kentucky just has too many weapons for the Jayhawks to attempt to shut down.
The Wildcats were the consensus favorite and overall number one seed heading into March Madness, and they withstood the hardest division to earn their right into the final four. It was Kentucky, not Indiana, VCU, Duke or Baylor that emerged from the South.
While Kansas did defeat North Carolina and Ohio State, taking out Baylor, Indiana and Louisville in succession is far more impressive. Kentucky just defeated their biggest in-state rival, riding a huge stream of momentum and a head coach who wants to cement his place in college basketball history.
The Jayhawks are a fine squad, and college basketball fans should be treated to a final match far more entertaining than what was showcased last tournament, but it will be Calipari and the Wildcats emerging as the 2012 season champions, not Kansas.