NCAA Final Four set
Success is still a choice, according to Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.
The best path to ultimate success in 2012, however, would undoubtedly allow Pitino and his Cardinals to choose anyone but No. 1 overall seed Kentucky. But unfortunately for Pitino, who led the Wildcats to a national championship in 1996, the only way to advance to the title game is to beat his in-state rival on Final Four Saturday (6:09 p.m., CBS).
Kentucky cruised past Baylor yesterday afternoon, 82-70, to win the South Regional.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tallied 19 points and Anthony Davis pumped in 18 and had 11 rebounds for the Wildcats. Louisville beat Florida Saturday to advance to this upcoming Saturday.
Saturday will feature another showdown of schools with rich athletic tradition on the other side of the bracket as Ohio State will meet Kansas (8:49 p.m., CBS).
The Jayhawks pulled away from North Carolina in St. Louis yesterday, beating the Tar Heels, 80-67.
Tyshawn Taylor provided the majority of the Jayhawks offense with a team-high 22 points.
A potential championship game between Kentucky and Kansas next Monday would have plenty of juicy storylines as Bill Self’s Jayhawks held off John Calipari’s Memphis squad in the 2008 national championship game. Memphis’ appearance in that game, however, was vacated due to NCAA rules violations. It was the second time a Calipari Final Four appearance was vacated (UMass in 1996).
In the 2007 Final Four, Thad Matta’s Ohio State squad, led by Greg Oden, was unable to topple Florida in the title game.
The blue bloods
All four representatives in New Orleans have rich NCAA Final Four tradition.
Kentucky last won the national championship in 1998. The Wildcats made the Final Four last year as well before being ousted by UConn. The Wildcats boast seven national championships, second all-time to UCLA.
Ohio State The Buckeyes were in the Final Four in 2007. Their lone national championship came in 1960.
Kansas The Jayhawks were NCAA tournament champs in 1952, 1988 and, most recently, 2008 when they beat John Calipari’s Memphis squad.
Louisville The Cardinals won two NCAA championships in 1980 and 1986 under then-head coach Denny Crum.