The 2012 Final Four is set as Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas, and Louisville prepare to head to the Big Easy for the conclusion of the college basketball season. Per usual, the quartet is predominantly high seeds, featuring one No. 1 seed, two No. 2 seeds, and a four seed. To no one’s surprise, opening Final Four Point Spreads have the Wildcats, the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, listed as a -125 moneyline favorite to win it all.
Kentucky Wildcats (-125): The Wildcats were dominant throughout the season and the NCAA Tournament has been no different with them winning all four of their games by no fewer than 12 points. Now John Calipari’s squad must continue its run against a red hot Louisville team, but Kentucky should not lack for confidence as it beat the Cardinals 69-62 in Lexington on December 31st. The Wildcats also own a 75-65 win over Kansas, which it beat at Madison Square Garden way back on November 15th.
Ohio State Buckeyes (+275): Perceived as the biggest threat to Kentucky and for good reason. The Buckeyes have been lights out during the NCAA Tournament, earning relatively easy wins over Loyola-Maryland, Gonzaga, and Cincinnati before taking top seeded Syracuse 77-70 in the regional final. Ohio State is solid in all areas, a fact that makes them a difficult match-up for just about anyone.
Kansas Jayahwks (+400): The Jayhawks looked horrible in their first three tournament games, but still found a way to advance to the Midwest regional final. Once there they finally turned in a more typical Kansas performance, beating the North Carolina 80-67. Bill Self’s crew went on a 12-0 run to finish off the short-handed Tar Heels, and their showing should serve notice to the rest of the field. Like Ohio State, Kansas is solid both inside and out, particularly on defense.
Louisville Cardinals (+1000): Kentucky is a tough draw, but this Lousiville team looks motivated right now. The Cardinals have won eight straight games and their defense is good enough to slow down just about any offense. While the Wildcats are expected to win next weekend’s game, do not believe for a second Louisville will go down without a fight. The only thing separating the Cardinals from a Connecticut like run is two games and a dynamic offensive player like Kemba Walker.
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2012 Final Four Point Spreads: Provided by Bovada.lv
Kentucky Wildcats -125
Ohio State Buckeyes +275
Kansas Jayhawks +400
Louisville Cardinals +1000