The fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals and top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats will tip off Saturday night in the first of two Final Four games to determine the championship game of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. There is no love lost between the Cardinals and Wildcats and, with the added stakes, this year's rematch is arguably the most important in the rivalry's 99-year history.
John Calipari's Wildcats enter as the clear favorites, after losing just two games this year to earn a No. 1 ranking in both major polls and the tournament selections committee's top overall seed. Freshman Anthony Davis was named the AP Player of the Year, after averaging 14.3 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. Of course, the Wildcats have talent all over the court, including sophomore guard Doron Lamb and forward Terrence Jones.
Rick Pitino's Cardinals lost the regular-season matchup between the two teams, 69-62. It's safe to say they have come a long way since then, however. Louisville is coming off a 57-44 dismantling of Michigan State and a 72-68 come-from-behind win over Florida. Chane Behanan and Russ Smith have led the way on a Cardinals squad that's now playing its best ball of the season on both ends.
Game Date/Time: 6:09 p.m. ET, Saturday, March 31
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Announcers: Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, with Steve Kerr reporting
For more on this game, visit Kentucky blog A Sea Of Blue and Louisville blog Card Chronicle. Head over to SB Nation NCAA Basketball. For all your 2012 March Madness needs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NCAA Tournament hub.