#1 Kentucky Wildcats
#12 Cornell Big Red
Team Preview --
Vegas Odds: Kentucky -9
How Kentucky Got Here: Kentucky 90 - Wake Forest 60
How Cornell Got Here: Cornell 87 - Wisconsin 69
Why Watch? This is what the NCAA Tournament's all about. Big, bad, Kentucky led by big, bad John Calipari going up against the future financial advisors of America, the Ivy League's Big Red.
Why Cornell will win:
Cornell showed against Kansas that they can hang with anyone in the country, now they've proven against Temple and Wisconsin that not only can they hang with top teams.. they can destroy them.
Big Red to Watch:
Jeff Foote, C - 12 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 apg
While John Wall gets the hype for UK, the Wildcats biggest edge is arguably in the middle with DeMarcus Cousins. Foote, the big 7-footer, has been a major pain for recent opponents, but he's met his physical match with Cousins.
Why Kentucky will win:
With a ridiculously good 34-2 record, winning hasn't been much of an issue for the Cats. They're Top 10 in offense & defense, can beat you on the inside or the outside, in transition or in the half-court. While some top seeds have struggled (Kansas, Villanova, etc), UK's steamrolled their first two opponents by 29.5 ppg.
Wildcat to Watch:
Eric Bledsoe, G - 11 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg
On any other team, Bledsoe would be getting tons of hype. He's overshadowed by Wall & Cousins, but is still an integral piece of UK's puzzle. In the two losses, he was a combined 5-17 from the floor and 1 of 6 from three. UK struggles when he's not hitting shots.
How it will go down:
In UK's two losses, they were a combined 5-34 from downtown, and on the season they rank only 144th from long-range. Cornell will do its best to slow the tempo, keep UK in the half-court set, and force them to hit threes. UK will win, but the formula will help keep Cornell with in range for most of the game.
Betting Pick: Cornell
Real Pick: Kentucky