And Then There Were Four: Kentucky and Kansas Join Louisville and Ohio State in the Final Four
Kentucky, a 1-seed, and Louisville, a 4-seed, will start off the Final Four on Saturday at 6:09 PM. Kentucky disbanded Baylor in surprisingly easy fashion yesterday, riding an 82-70 victory into New Orleans.
Although Baylor outscored the Wildcats 48-40 in the second half, the lopsided 20 point lead Kentucky held after one proved to be plenty.
Kentucky led for the entire second period and coasted to victory, showing that they may be the most dominant team left in the tournament.
I thought Kentucky would win in a decently close game, but the Wildcats had different ideas. Expect more of the same against a Louisville team that will be overmatched on Saturday.
In what may turn out to be the best contest of the tournament thus far, 2-seeded Kansas matches up against 2-seeded Ohio State in the Final Four’s nightcap on Sunday. The game will tip off at 8:49 PM.
This is a tough one for me to call, because I believe both these teams are playing their best basketball right now.
I had UNC beating KU in my bracket, but once Mizzou was busted in the first round so was my bracket. Yesterday, I changed my prediction and called that Kansas would take this game.
They did, and they deserved it. In a game played in St. Louis that had a crowd that was dominantly in favor of Kansas, the Jayhawks used a strong second half to pull away from a Tarheels squad that went ice cold shooting at the end of the game.
Kansas finished the game on a 12-0 run, putting away a game that had been 47 all at the half. The offensive explosiveness from both sides simmered down in the second period, but Kansas’s defense shut down the Tarheels when it mattered most, holding them to a mere 20 points in the second period.
That leaves Kentucky as the remaining one-seed in the tournament, and the favorite to win it all. I think the Buckeyes will be their foe by a sliver, using defense and good shooting to edge out Kansas in a dramatically close one.
But then again, I had Mizzou in my Championship Game in my bracket. I’m not alone in having my bracket busted early, however.
According to a WSJ Article, Fox Sports offered $1 million to anyone who picked all 63 games correctly. After the first round, less than 1% of contestants were perfect.
I’ll bet that the percentage now resembles a goose egg.
So don’t feel bad, pretty much everyone has messed up this year’s tourney in some way, shape or form. Join the millions of others who are eliminated in their 2012 pool, but will still enjoy the festivities of the weekend as we watch to see who will fight their way to the 2012 Title Game.
E.J. Aguado Jr. is a freelance writer based in New Jersey and Fox News Latino's official March Madness correspondent.