There are just two teams that are left to fight it out for the whole enchilada in the 2011-12 college basketball betting campaign, and on Monday night, either the Kentucky Wildcats or the Kansas Jayhawks will be crowned as champions.
The Jayhawks haven’t always been the sharpest this year, as they had a number of losses that just make you scratch your head. Many think that they have faced a bit of an easy road to reach the finale, and there is definitely an argument that could be made about that. KU has played three double-digit seeds, and a North Carolina Tar Heels team that was playing without its top two point guards. Of course, that gritty win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Final Four was definitely one to savor. It was just further proof that this team has figured out how to win the close games regardless of what the situation is that they are in. Everyone had key contributions to the come from behind effort. Thomas Robinson had 19 points and eight boards, while Tyshawn Taylor did a great job down the stretch on both ends of the court. He also had 10 points and eight assists. Travis Releford knocked down the four biggest free throws of the season, and he ended with 15 points and six rebounds. Elijah Johnson had 13 points and 10 boards. Jeff Withey had a tremendous game on the defensive side of the court, blocking seven shots, including two in the final 90 seconds of the game.
We are a bit worried that Kentucky hasn’t played a close game in quite some time. In fact, the last time that there was a game that the Cats really struggled in down the stretch, they were beaten by the Vanderbilt Commodores in the SEC Championship Game. Anthony Davis was named the AP’s National Player of the Year on Saturday, and he is certainly the overwhelming favorite to be the Final Four MVP as well. He had 18 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocked shots on 7-of-8 shooting offensively for the Wildcats against the hated Louisville Cardinals, and he was clearly the only man on the team that made that much of an impact on both sides of the court. Marquis Teague battled some foul trouble and had five assists and just eight point. He was also the man that was responsible for this offense just not getting all that many possessions in the Final Four. Louisville did the job on the glass, picking up 16 offensive rebounds on the game, and that has to be a scary proposition for the Big Blue Nation.
The Final Word: In the end, we are just really, really scared for Kentucky. There are just so many questions to be answered. Can the Wildcats win a close game? Can Head Coach John Calipari finally win a title? Can a bunch of freshman, regardless of how talented they are, beat a team that is chock full of veterans? We know that Kentucky is clearly the more talented team, but in the end, we just don’t see that as being enough. Go with the Jayhawks to, at bare minimum, stick inside of the number, though we do think that they are going to end up winning the National Championship in upset fashion.
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kentucky Wildcats Free Pick: Kansas Jayhawks +6.5
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.