After winning their Final Four games, the Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks tip off tonight at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana with the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship on the line.
The game tips at 9:23 PM Eastern Time on CBS, but if you’re unable to get to a TV, don’t worry – the game is also streaming live online here.
Here’s a video from Kentucky’s win over Louisville in the National Semifinals on Saturday night:
It’s a familiar scene for Kentucky coach John Calipari, whose Memphis Tigers surrendered a nine-point second-half lead to Kansas in the 2008 national championship game before ultimately succumbing to the Jayhawks.
But this time, the tables are turned in Calipari’s favor.
If the 2008 Tigers were favored in their game with Kansas (and they were, barely), then the 2012 Wildcats are Goliath to the Jayhawks’ David. All year Kentucky has been in the top three nationally, and players like Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist provide exactly the combination of speed, strength and size that Kentucky has used to overwhelm opponents with the ball and frustrate them without it.
Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist, both freshmen, are likely to be lottery picks in June’s NBA Draft. Meanwhile, Kansas’ starting lineup of four juniors and a senior are facing a certain last chance at glory.
Here’s more from CBS Sports:
Jayhawks or Wildcats, take your pick. Either can make a case for this being “their” year.
For Kansas, a season that started with low expectations keeps getting better, filled with high-wire comebacks and an inescapable feeling that this was simply meant to be.
For Kentucky, a cadre of NBA-caliber players have had the word “champion” practically imprinted on their chests since they gathered at Rupp Arena for the season’s first practice.
They meet Monday for the NCAA championship, a history-filled matchup between the two winningest programs in college basketball history. This is the one-and-dones at Kentucky vs. juniors and seniors at Kansas; Anthony Davis vs. Thomas Robinson in a front-court battle of All-Americans; a title-game coaching rematch between John Calipari and Bill Self; a high-stakes meeting between one team whose founder invented the game and another that likes to claim its legendary coach perfected it.