The Kentucky Wildcats were supposed to be in this game. The Kansas Jayhawks, on the other hand, were not. The Wildcats entered the season ranked No. 2 by the AP, while the Jayhawks entered at No. 13, which is certainly nothing to scoff at, but still far off the program's usual expectations. But none of that will matter come tip-off on Monday night, as both teams now stand a game away from winning this year's national championship.
The young Wildcats have shown none of the pitfalls of youth so far in this tournament, as they've methodically rolled to the tournament's final game thanks to the play of their young stars (Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) and veterans such as Darius Miller (senior) and Terrence Jones (sophomore, which qualifies). Where Kentucky can come at teams with at least five legitimate scoring threats, the Wildcats are powered by the duo of junior Thomas Robinson and senior Tyshawn Taylor, with a bit of junior Elijah Johnson thrown in.
If Robinson can handle Kentucky's vaunted frontline, the Jayhawks may be able to pull off what would be considered a decided upset. But if he and Taylor shoot the 11-29 that they did against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Saturday night's quarterfinals, Kentucky may be too good to allow a second-half comeback that saves the day.
Game time/date: Monday, April 2, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CT
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Odds: Kentucky by 6.5
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