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Scott Beattie 26th Mar 2012 - 15:00

Kentucky’s presence is frightening for Final Four

John Calipari's programme at the University of Kentucky might have a one-and-done reputation but this year's 'done' has all the makings of a National Championship title.

The Wildcats head to New Orleans as the only remaining number one left in the bracket after a Sweet 16/Elite 8 weekend that saw under-strength Syracuse and North Carolina join Michigan State as top seed casualties.

It's now down to either the Big East champion Louisville Cardinals or number two seeds Ohio State or Kansas Jayhawks to stop Anthony Davis and Kentucky.

Final Four Game One: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals

Louisville shocked a few people by landing the Big East Tournament title but their progression through the Big Dance has been no real surprise.

They kept the lid on number one Michigan State, turning in the best defensive performance of the Tournament so far, and dismissed the busy Gators by landing a double-digits come-from-behind victory.

The adjusted rankings show they're in a league of their own on defence and the momentum they're carrying is on a par with last year's National Champion winning UConn Huskies - and yet despite all the plusses it's impossible to take them over Kentucky.

Anthony Davis is a big man with a huge future and is the difference between a good UK roster and a potential NCAA Tournament winning roster - his performance against the highly thought of Baylor Bears in the Elite 8 told you everything you need to know in one stat line (18 points on 6-9 shooting with 11 rebounds and 6 blocks).

What's more, even if Louisville manages to get the star forward in foul trouble, the Wildcats have shown they will find a way to win without him; the Sweet 16 win over Indiana springing to mind.

If Coach Calipari never manages to get a National Championship at Kentucky then you know he'll be looking back at 2012 and wondering what should have been.

Tip: Kentucky 10/11 to cover the -8.5 spread

Final Four Game Two: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Two number twos go in the second game and it's being billed as a battle of the big men with Thomas Robinson trying to get past Jared Sullinger's Buckeyes.

This might not go down as one of Kansas' all-time great recruiting classes but they still have some solid pieces to support Robinson, including a pair of free-scoring guards in senior Tyshawn Taylor and junior Elijah Johnson.

Their showing against UNC in the Elite 8 will also have given them a huge confidence boost as they forced another future NBA starter, Harrison Barnes, into one of the most indistinctive performances as a Tar Heel.

Another massive defensive effort is required though to quieten Sullinger, the returning forward who declined the opportunity to become a lottery pick in favour of one more season under Thad Matta.

The sophomore ran riot against 'Cuse, dominating in the paint with seven boards and 19 points and has everything it takes to kill off KU - and even if he doesn't William Buford will be willing to step forward and take some big shots.

It's a tough one to call, but if Kansas can get pressure on early they might be able to take advantage of what many people perceive to be a lack of maturity within OSU's psyche.

Tip: Kansas 13/10 to win on the money line


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