By Jon Rothstein
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KENTUCKY VS. LOUISVILLE
BEST INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: Anthony Davis vs. Chane Behanan
X-FACTORS: Darius Miller (Kentucky), Kyle Kuric (Louisville)
THE SKINNY: The highly anticipated showdown between John Calipari and Rick Pitino features a talent mismatch on paper but don’t expect that to matter when the teams take the court. Louisville’s aggressive 2-3 match up zone will test Kentucky’s outside shooting and could slow the Wildcats’ ferocious transition game. Still, Kentucky is too talented for the Cardinals and that will be apparent after the first 20 minutes.
PREDICTION: KENTUCKY 72, LOUISVILLE 59
OHIO STATE VS. KANSAS
BEST INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: Deshaun Thomas vs. Thomas Robinson
X-FACTORS: Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State), Jeff Withey (Kansas)
THE SKINNY: A battle of heavyweights should feature a scintilating lead guard showdown between the Buckeyes’ Aaron Craft and the Jayhawks’ Tyshawn Taylor, who still has yet to make a 3-point shot in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas played its best basketball of the postseason in their Elite Eight win over North Carolina — but it will be difficult to replicate that type of offensive perfomance against Ohio State. The Buckeyes don’t wow you offensively but are exceptionally tough and seem to land every 50-50 ball. On Saturday, that will be the difference.
PREDICTION: OHIO STATE 69, KANSAS 65
Who will advance to the title game? Make your prediction in the comments below…