Tonight is the night. The Super Bowl of college basketball has arrived. The Kentucky Wildcats and the Kansas Jayhawks will square off for the NCAA Division-I Men’s Basketball National Championship tonight at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:23 p.m. EST, and will be televised on CBS.
Kentucky is the favorite heading into tonight’s game. No surprise, as they have been the clear cut favorite to win the title almost all season long. Kansas will look to upset Kentucky in tonight’s game, even though it really won’t be an upset considering Kansas is an elite team and favorites mean nothing when it comes to huge games like this. Kansas will not be intimidated by the firepower of the Wildcats and will look to prove themselves on the big stage against the team that was said could beat the Washington Wizards.
Kentucky is coming off a 69-61 victory in the Final Four over Louisville. The Wildcats controlled most of the game, but the Cardinals refused to go away. Louisville kept the game close until the very end, where Kentucky pulled away for an eight point win and a trip to the National Championship Game. Freshman phenom Anthony Davis led all scorers with 18 points in the game. Davis also dominated on the defensive end by pulling down 14 rebounds and blocking five shots.
Kansas completed a stellar come-from-behind victory over the Buckeyes of Ohio State on Saturday night to ensure its spot in tonight’s title game. The Jayhawks trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, but took the lead with 1:35 left to go in the game. Ohio State could not put together anything in the final minute and a half, as Kansas captures a 64-62 victory. Unanimous, AP First-Team All-American Thomas Robinson led the Jayhawks with 19 points in the game while also tearing down eight rebounds.
Kentucky and Kansas met once this season back on November 15th, where the Wildcats earned a 75-65 win. Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones carried Kentucky with with 17 and 15 points respectively. Tyshawn Taylor led the Jayhawks with 22 points, 15 of which came from the free throw line. Kentucky shot an outstanding 51.0% from the field and went 7-15 from beyond the arc. Kansas shot a dismal 33.9% from the floor and was just 4-15 from the three-point line. Lastly, every starter for the Wildcats reached double figures in scoring.
Tonight’s game will definitely be interesting to watch. Seeing how Bill Self plans to contain Kentucky and keep them at bay will be the storyline of tonight’s matchup. I look for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Doron Lamb to have big games tonight for the Wildcats, and Tyshawn Taylor and of course Thomas Robinson to have big games for the Jayhawks. In the end I believe Kentucky will pull off the victory and John Calipari will finally win his first ever title as a Division-I head coach. However, don’t be surprise if Kansas keeps Kentucky in check and takes home the title either. Kansas is a very deep team that certainly has the ability to pour it on. As for me, I am going with Kentucky.
Kentucky (1) vs. Kansas (2) – 74-66, Kentucky