BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24: Head coach Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate after defeating the Syracuse Orange during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Final at TD Garden on March 24, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Who will play for the National Championship on Monday night? Bomani Jones answers that with his his 2012 Final Four predictions for Saturday's games. | Final Four schedule
Kentucky vs. Louisville
I'm not sure who's going to be cute enough to pick Louisville, but it won't be me. Picking Kentucky barely requires explanation for anyone who's watched college basketball this year, but this should be enough: Louisville, though a national semifinalist, still isn't a good offensive team. Not even a decent one. So even though their halfcourt defense might be the best in New Orleans, it's hard to see them scoring enough to stop Kentucky from getting into transition.
All that said, if this game is close late, all the pressure will fall on John Calipari. It would be the most pressure he's felt since the final of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. That pressure helped break Memphis, and a similar scenario could do the same to the Wildcats.
Prediction: Kentucky 73, Louisville 58
Ohio State vs. Kansas
Many forgot about Ohio State while Michigan State took the Big Ten, beating the Buckeyes twice in the process. But here they are, still with a talented starting five, and still with a smothering defense. They're simply a very good team, and they're matched up against Kansas, whose big name belies its overachievement this season.
Jared Sullinger's matchups with Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey will probably get the most attention, but Kansas' chances hinge on how well Tyshawn Taylor handles being guarded by Aaron Craft all night. If Taylor keeps it together, the Jayhawks can win. If not, it will be a frustrating night for Bill Self. My guess? It will be a frustrating night for Bill Self.
Prediction: Ohio State 69, Kansas 64